Birth through Two

Florida's Early Steps System

The early intervention program called Early Steps in Florida is offered by the Florida Department of Health, Children's Medical Services, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Education. It offers services for eligible infants and toddlers, birth through age two with significant delays or a condition likely to result in a developmental delay. The Early Steps program is provided to support your family in developing the confidence and competence to help your child learn and develop.

Early Steps services are based on Early Steps evaluations and your family's concerns, resources, and goals. Once your child is determined eligible, Early Steps will put together a team of service providers to address your child's needs. This team will develop an individualized family support plan (IFSP) based on the desired outcomes and goals of your family/caregivers.

Early Steps uses a Team-Based Primary Service Provider approach that aims to empower each eligible family by providing a comprehensive team of professionals from the beginning of services through transition at age three. The goal is for your family to receive strong support from one person and for you to have fewer appointments and more time to be a "family." Services are provided to you and your child where your child lives, learns, and plays in your child's natural environment.

Features of Early Steps

  • Brings services into the child's life rather than fitting the child into services.
  • Maximizes each child's everyday natural learning opportunities.
  • Enhances each child's development and participation in community life.
  • Provides each child with a consistent team for evaluation and services.
  • Gives families options in service decisions and encourages active partnerships.
  • Provides a primary service provider to work with your family, other caregivers, and the team.

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