Early Start


California Early Start is a federally funded program through Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The program is designed to ensure that eligible infants and toddlers and their families receive evaluation and assessment of their current functioning and coordinated services early enough to make a difference in development.

Early intervention services are planned and delivered to help prevent or lessen the need for special services later in the child’s life. The goal is to help answer questions and concerns about each child’s development and to assure that infants and toddlers (ages 0-3 years) meet their highest potential.

Early intervention involves the prompt identification of delays and risk factors and the provision of assistance to eliminate or minimize problems resulting from them. These services are designed to meet the developmental needs of each eligible infant or toddler and the needs of the family related to their development. Services include medical diagnosis/evaluation; physical, occupational and speech therapy; special education instruction; social services, counseling and home visits.


The San Diego Regional Center provides service coordination and evaluations to determine eligibility and Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) development. The IFSP is a family focused, outcome-oriented plan written to address the infant/toddler’s developmental needs and family concerns.


1) Early Identification and Intervention Systems in California (Full Report) – the system of support needed to identify and address developmental and behavioral concerns and delays.

2) Early Identification and Intervention Systems in California (Executive Summary) – Throughout the country, there is growing recognition of the importance of healthy child development in fostering school readiness and, by extension, social and economic success as adults.

3) Take a Minute…Relationships Matter – social and emotional development impacts relationships and the ability to express feelings and explore the world.

4) Early Start Transition: A Guide for Parents (English) and Early Start Transition: A Guide for Parents (Spanish)

5) Special Education for Preschoolers (English) and Special Education for Preschoolers (Spanish)

Comments are closed.