If your child is under 3 years old, he or she might be eligible for Early Intervention (EI) services. EI is a program for infants and toddlers who currently have, or are at risk of having, a developmental delay (that is, children who develop differently or at a slower rate than most other children). These developmental concerns may be due to many reasons, including environmental reasons.

EI uses a family-centered approach-that is, focusing on the whole family, not just the child. EI helps families recognize and understand their child's particular developmental needs, and learn different ways to help their child.

Examples of children who may be eligible for EI services include children who:

  • Are born prematurely (less than 32 weeks)
  • Have feeding, vision, or hearing problems
  • Are slow to sit up, stand, walk, talk or do things for themselves
  • Have behavior or attention difficulties
  • Are born with a disability or health condition that affects their development

If you think your child might need EI services, discuss your concerns with your child's primary care provider (PCP). A free developmental evaluation can be scheduled to determine whether your child would benefit from, and is eligible to receive, EI services.

Parents may also refer their child for an EI evaluation themselves. Contact Massachusetts Family TIES at 800-905-TIES (8437) or 617-624-5992 (TTY) to find the EI program nearest you.

Who Pays for EI?

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and health insurance plans usually pay for EI services. Families are required to pay an annual cost participation fee for Early Intervention services. This fee is based on family size and income. Call the Member Services Representative at your health plan for more information on EI services.