Early Start is the statewide interagency system of coordinated early intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk of disabilities or developmental delay and their families. The Santa Clarita Valley SELPA works closely with the North Los Angeles County Regional Center to ensure that infants and toddlers with disabilities have access to early intervention services.
Early intervention services are federally mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and in California by the California Early Intervention Services Act. California Early Start provides many necessary early intervention and related services based upon the assessed needs of the child and the family. Services may be provided in the home, child care or other community settings where typically developing children participate.
Infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months of age may be eligible for and benefit from early intervention services.
The Santa Clarita Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Early Start program serves children with Low Incidence disabilities: Vision impairments, orthopedic impairments, or children with a hearing loss.
North Los Angeles County Regional Center (NLACRC) for Early Start is based on an infant or toddler having one or more of the following conditions:
- An Established Risk condition. This is a diagnosed medical condition which has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay, and/or disability.
A one-third delay in one or more area of development before 24 months, or at 24 months of age or older, either a fifty percent delay in one area or a one-third delay in two or more developmental areas.
If your child is not eligible for Early Start, your child will be considered for California's Prevention Program, which provides developmental monitoring to children birth through 35 months of age with high risk conditions, and certain developmental delays (children between 24 and 35 months of age with a 33-49% delay in one developmental domain) that do not otherwise qualify them for Early Start.
You or the family may contact the Santa Clarita Valley Early Start Program at (661) 294-5332 to begin the referral process. If you have concerns about a child in your care, discuss your concerns with the family. Parental concerns mandate serious attention; however, the absence of parental concerns does not preclude the possibility of serious developmental delays. A diagnosis of a disorder is not necessary for referral.
Within 45 days after the referral is received:
a service coordinator is assigned
an evaluation for eligibility is completed
an assessment is conducted for program planning
a peer parent contact is made available
a meeting will be held to develop the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to initiate child and family services (the primary health care provider's input is an important part of this process)
For a copy of the Early Start brochure...