Who Is Eligible

Kid Playing with Bubble

California Early Start Program


  • Birth to age 3 years.

  • Residence in San Diego or Imperial County.

  • No financial qualifications.

  • Developmental delay in one or more of the following five areas: Cognitive; Communication; Social/Emotional; Physical; Adaptive.

  • 33% delay in at least one developmental area.


  • Established Risk for developmental disability: Conditions known to cause delays in development (e.g. Down syndrome, Prader-Willi, Spina Bifida) Need not be demonstrating delays at time of referral.


  • At risk for developmental disability (two or more factors):

    • Less than 32 weeks gestation and/or birth weight less than 1500 grams.

    • Assisted ventilation for 48 hours or longer during first 28 days of life.

    • Small for Gestational Age.

    • Asphyxia neonatorum.

    • Severe and persistent metabolic seizures during the first 3 years of life.

    • Neonatal seizures or non-febrile seizures during the first 3 years of life.

    • CNS lesion or abnormality.

    • CNS Infection.

    • Biomedical insult (injury, accident or illness) which may affect developmental outcome.

    • Multiple congenital anomalies.

    • Prenatal exposure to teratogens.

    • Prenatal substance exposure, positive tox screen or withdrawal.

    • Clinically significant failure to thrive.

  1. 14. Persistent hypertonia or hypotonia.


  • Parent of the infant/toddler is a person with a developmental disability.


Evaluation in the five areas of development to determine eligibility. Development of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), including age 3 transition planning. Coordination of required Early Intervention services based on the needs of the child. Services may include: Assistive Technology; Audiology Services; Family Training, Counseling, Home Visits; Health Services; Medical Services (evaluations for early intervention services); Nursing Services; Nutrition Services; Occupational Therapy; Physical Therapy; Psychological Services; Service Coordination; Sign Language/Cued Language Services; Social Work Services; Special Instruction; Speech and Language Pathology; Transportation and Related Costs; Vision Services.