Chapter 13: Early Childhood Intervention Providers

(Revised 10/10)

13.1 Who Can Provide Early Intervention Services?

DARS contracts with local entities to provide early intervention services. The contractors must employ or contract with appropriate early intervention providers to implement the required array of services in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C (20 U.S.C. Sections 1431–1444).

An early intervention provider must

13.1.1 National Crime History Record Information Review

Authority: 40 TAC Section 108.306 Criminal Background

When conducting a national crime history record information review, the contractor must

13.1.2 Job Descriptions for Each Position

The contractor must maintain written job descriptions for all positions. Each job description must include

The contractor must submit a job description to DARS ECI for any new or revised position type.

13.1.3 Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP)

The contractor must develop an annual individualized professional development plan (IPDP) for all providers who work directly with families, excluding subcontractors. The IPDP must address the overall needs of the contractor as well as the person's professional development.

The IPDP must

Required Trainings by ECI Provider Type

The following table shows training required for each type of ECI provider.

  Providers with Access to Child Records1 Providers Who Work Directly with Children and Families
Completed upon initial employment. Repeat as needed.
Recognition of Common Childhood Illnesses   X
Due Annually
Procedural Safeguards for Confidentiality X X
Universal Precautions Training for the Texas Early Childhood Intervention Program   X
Update certification according to the requirements of the certifying agency.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) of infants and toddlers   X
First Aid including emergency care of seizures.   X

1Includes subcontractors, interns, and volunteers who have access to consumer records.

The contractor must maintain documentation in staff members' personnel files of completed training on using the Texas Early Childhood Intervention nutrition, hearing, vision, and assistive technology screening packet. This applies only to those staff members who use the screening packet.

The contractor must have written policies or procedures for implementing the DARS ECI Making It Work curriculum for all direct service providers.

13.1.4 Provider Health Standards

Authority: 34 CFR Part 85 and Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 81.

The contractor must have written policies and procedures to address

The contractor's written policies and procedures that address returning to work following exposure to communicable disease must either

If required by local health officials or public school officials, all providers must provide written evidence of tuberculosis screening within six months of beginning employment and follow-up as required by the local health department.

13.2 Early Intervention Specialists

Early intervention specialist (EIS) is a professional occupational category established by DARS ECI. It is specific to direct-service providers employed by DARS ECI contractors. To function as an EIS or to use the occupational title EIS, a person must be participating in or credentialed through the ECI Competency Demonstration System (CDS).

The early intervention specialist

13.2.1 Entering the ECI Competency Demonstration System (CDS)

To enter the CDS, a person must hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. If the degree is from an institution outside the United States, documentation must be provided from an accrediting agency that verifies that the degree is comparable to a degree from a United States institution. The bachelor's degree must be in one of the following areas of study:

Alternately, a person may enter the CDS with a bachelor's degree in another area of study. Eighteen hours of college credit must be directly related to early intervention and be verified by an official transcript with passing grades. Courses that directly relate to early intervention are found in any of the departments mentioned above.

13.2.2 Early Intervention Specialist Requirements

The entry-level EIS must

The fully qualified EIS must

EIS Mentors and Supervisors

The responsibilities of EIS mentors and supervisors are shown in the following table.

Responsibility EIS Mentor EIS Supervisor
Holds an ECI-approved license or credential that authorizes supervisory responsibilities, X X
Follows requirements of professional licensure authority X X
Attends the DARS ECI CDS Manual Training For New Supervisors and Mentors within 6 months of assuming EIS supervisory duties   X
Receives training in the requirements of the CDS X X
Documents weekly supervision for the entry level EIS

Documentation of EIS supervision includes the EIS's name, the date, the length of the supervision meeting, a short description of what was discussed, and the signature of the supervisor or mentor.
Approves completion of CDS competencies X X
Ensures competence of the EIS before the EIS independently implements any service to children and families   X
Completes 3 hours of training in supervision and/or leadership skills annually   X

13.2.3 Documentation Requirements and Timelines for the CDS

Information and documentation in the EIS Registry and the EIS Registry files are subject to the requirement and restrictions of the Public Information Act.

EIS Required Documentation

The EIS must submit required documents to DARS ECI by the designated deadline. Failure to do so will result in the EIS losing professional status. If extenuating circumstances exist, the EIS may submit a written request to extend any deadline before the due date. The program director must sign or otherwise approve the extension.

Documentation Due Date Additional Information
Application to enter the CDS and a signed EIS Code of Ethics 30 days from the EIS's date of hire A signed EIS Code of Ethics must be submitted with the application.
A person does not have professional status as an EIS until his or her application to enter the CDS is approved by DARS ECI.
9-Month Review 9 months from the EIS's date of hire  
Completion of the CDS individualized professional development plan 24 months from the EIS's date of hire Once approved, DARS ECI issues a certificate of recognition to verify that the person has attained the status of a fully qualified EIS.
Annual continuing professional education (CPE) Annually on the anniversary of the EIS's fully qualified certificate date

Documentation cannot be submitted more than 8 weeks before the due date
10 hours of continuing professional education is required annually.

Three hours of ethics training is required every two years in addition to the 10 hours of CPE.

CPE does not include ECI required trainings (CPR, First Aid, Universal Precautions, etc.) or the ECI static Web-based trainings found on the ECI Web site.
Change of information for any of the following changes:
  • name change,
  • change in supervisor,
  • change in program, or
  • change in status (active to inactive or inactive to active)
Within 30 days of change  

13.2.4 Loss of Professional EIS Status

An EIS who fails to submit the required documentation by the designated deadline may not perform activities requiring EIS professional status.

Professional status is reinstated after DARS ECI receives and approves the required documents.

If an EIS's professional status is lost, all evaluations, assessments, and IFSPs that were performed by an interdisciplinary team of only two providers that included the EIS must be reviewed and approved by another licensed or credentialed professional. This professional ensures that the activities were performed correctly and that appropriate services are in place for the child and family.

13.2.5 EISs Returning from Inactive Status

Fully-qualified EISs may return to active status from inactive status by submitting 10 hours of CPE for every year of inactive status.

EIS Returning from Inactive Status Actions

To return from inactive to active status, an EIS must complete the application actions in the following table.

Status Required Action
The fully qualified EIS was due for ethics training while on inactive status. The EIS must submit the required ethics training in addition to the required CPE.
The fully qualified EIS does not have the appropriate number of CPE or ethics training hours. The EIS returns to active status as an entry-level EIS and participates in documented weekly one-hour direct supervision sessions until the appropriate number of training hours are submitted to DARS ECI, or completes the CDS again instead of submitting the necessary training hours.
The entry-level EIS is returning to active status from inactive status. The EIS starts over in the CDS unless he or she is able to complete the CDS by his or her original final IPDP deadline.

13.2.6 Early Intervention Specialist Code of Ethics

The EIS must abide by the standards of conduct in the EIS Code of Ethics found in the Texas Administrative Code.

If the EIS violates the EIS Code of Ethics, the EIS's supervisor must

Documentation of the EIS Code of Ethics Incident Report is maintained in the EIS's registry file, which is maintained by DARS ECI.

13.3 Service Coordinators

Each family must have a service coordinator who acts as a single point of contact for the program and the community. Service coordinators must

13.4 Paraprofessional Supervision Requirements

A paraprofessional with a discipline-specific license or credential must adhere to the specific supervision requirements of that license or credential. A paraprofessional without a discipline-specific license or credential who provides services to children and families must participate in one hour per week of direct supervision with a degreed professional.

A paraprofessional who serves as a service coordinator must receive supervision from a degreed ECI service coordinator who has 18 hours of college credit directly related to early intervention. The college credit must be verified by an official transcript with passing grades.

Supervision includes consultation, record review, and observation.

13.4.1 Eligible Activities for Paraprofessionals

A paraprofessional must complete the appropriate training before providing the following activities:

13.4.2 Ineligible Activities for Paraprofessionals

A paraprofessional is not qualified or allowed to

A paraprofessional without a discipline-specific license or credential is not qualified or allowed to provide developmental services.

13.5 Provider Qualifications for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

The contractor must provide appropriate teams to perform assessment and provide services to children diagnosed with or displaying signs or symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Any staff member who provides assessment and evaluation or services to the family of a child suspected of having an ASD must demonstrate proficiency in recognizing the signs of ASD and early intervention modalities for ASD.

Others who may implement ASD early intervention strategies include

ECI staff members or subcontractors authorized to provide clinical support of the ASD early intervention services are limited to

Any staff members who provide oversight of an IFSP for a child suspected of having an ASD must have documented training and expertise in autism and infant-toddler development.