Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

Current Section  Purpose
 Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Home

Program Office: Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

CFDA Number: 84.181
Program Type: Formula Grants
Also Known As: Grants for Infants and Families, Part C of IDEA, Grants for Infants and Toddlers


This program provides grants under a statutory formula to 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the secretary of the interior, and four outlying areas to assist in maintaining and implementing statewide systems of coordinated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, interagency programs of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Allocations are based on the number of children from birth through age 2 in the general population in the state relative to the population in this age range for all states. In addition, no state may receive less than 0.5 percent of the funds available to all states or $500,000, whichever is greater. The outlying areas may receive an aggregated amount of up to 1 percent of the funds appropriated, and the secretary of the interior receives 1.25 percent of the aggregate of the amount available to states, which must be distributed to federally recognized Indian tribes, tribal organizations or consortia of these entities.

States are responsible for making early intervention services available to eligible children and their families, including Indian infants and toddlers residing within the state on reservations. States also may elect to provide services to infants and toddlers who are at risk of having substantial developmental delays if appropriate early intervention services are not provided. In fiscal year 2008, this program served 321,894 infants and toddlers with disabilities.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended, allows states, at their discretion, to make available for early intervention services under Part C to children with disabilities beyond age 3 until the children enter or are eligible under state law to enter kindergarten or elementary school, if the children are eligible for services under the Preschool Grants for Children of Disabilities Program (see # 84.173, under topical heading "Special Education") and previously received services under the Part C program. Recovery Act funds are set aside in FY 2009 for states that may elect to pursue this option.


Lead agencies are responsible for, and coordinate the provision of, early intervention services and develop formal interagency agreements that define responsibilities for services and procedures to ensure their timely delivery. Funds also may be used to provide direct services that otherwise are not available from other public or private sources. Through evaluation and assessment, services are identified to address the physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and adaptive developmental needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities (e.g., special instruction, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and psychological services) and to support families (e.g., family training and counseling). In addition, each eligible child and family must be provided service coordination, a key component of family-centered services. Depending on whether a state has adopted a system of payment policy, which must be on file with and approved by the secretary of education, families who do not meet the state's definition of inability to pay may be required to pay for some services.

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Last Modified: 04/04/2014