Early Childhood Intervention Services
The DARS Early Childhood Intervention Services Family Cost Share Evaluation Report is Now Available
12/17/2014: The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Division for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Services has published the ECI Family Cost Share Evaluation Report and is now available. | More about Family Cost Share Evaluation Report
Message for ECI Families Served by Harris County Department of Education (HCDE)
12/15/2014: As of December 15, 2014, Harris County Department of Education will begin transferring the responsibilities for providing Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services to MHMRA of Harris County and Easter Seals of Greater Houston. | More information for families served by HCDE
New Website for Parents Launched
10/17/2014: Region 13 Education Service Center and Texas Parent to Parent launched a new parent website designed to provide information and resources to parents and other caregivers of children with a diagnosed or suspected disability ages birth to 5. | More information about new website
ECI is a statewide program for families with children, birth to three, with disabilities and developmental delays. ECI supports families to help their children reach their potential through developmental services. Services are provided by a variety of local agencies and organizations across Texas.
- Vision & Mission statement - ECI's guiding principles
- Make a referral - Information for physicians and other professionals
- Division history - How ECI came to be
- How babies develop - Information about developmental milestones
State and federally funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, P.L. 108-446), ECI provides evaluations and assessments, at no cost to families, to determine eligibility and need for services. Families and professionals work as a team to plan appropriate services based on the unique needs of the child and family. ECI asks families who can afford to do so, to share in the cost of services. The amount a family pays for ECI services is determined using a sliding fee scale and is based on family size and income after allowable deductions. No child and family will be turned away because of an inability to pay.
ECI goes to families and focuses on working with the child and family in their natural environment, such as at home, grandma's, or a child care center. Essentially, it's where children live, learn and play.
Research shows that growth and development are most rapid in the early years of life. The earlier problems are identified, the greater the chance of reducing the impact of them. Early intervention responds to the critical needs of children and families by:
- promoting development and learning,
- providing support to families,
- coordinating services, and
- decreasing the need for costly special programs.
ECI is here to help and can become an important resource for all families. For more information about ECI or to refer a child, call the DARS Inquiries Line at 1-800-628-5115.