Early Intervention (EI)
Bureau of Early Intervention
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


Children under three years of age who are experiencing developmental delays in one or more of the following areas: cognitive development; physical development; language and speech development; psychosocial development; and self-help skills.


To support families in promoting their child's optimal development and to facilitate the child's participation in family and community activities.


Early Intervention services include, but are not limited to: developmental evaluations and assessments, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, nutrition services, psychological services and social work services.

Delivery Method

Regional Child and Family Connection agencies arrange for evaluations and assessments for children under three. Families with eligible children receive an Individualized Family Service Plan, which lists the services and supports that must be made available to the family. Early Intervention services are paid for with a combination of government and family resources. The cost of some services are paid by the program and provided to families at no cost. These include evaluation, assessment, development of a service plan, and service coordination. Ongoing Early Intervention services are paid for by the family's health insurance, when appropriate, government insurance (Medicaid/KidCare), and program funds. Families contribute to the cost of services by paying fees based on a sliding scale.

Program Data

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $104,505.7 $116,454.8 $119,652.8 $126,026.0
Number of Grantees 25 25 25 25
Number Served 15,389 16,647 17,039 17,936

Program Accomplishments

  • Implemented Criminal Background checks for Early Intervention providers. All providers are checked through CANTS/SACWIS (Child Abuse & Neglect Tracking System), Fingerprint check through the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Sex Offender Registry (SOR).
  • Set record caseload of 17,900 infants/toddlers.
  • Implemented online training modules for Early Intervention providers.
  • Implemented electronic collection of data on service delays to assist the Bureau in aggregating and reviewing specific detail on problems to improve our ability to address problems systematically.