Birth to 3

Birth to 3 Years

This is a critical time to get connected with resources and begin accessing services for which your child might be eligible.  This section of the Stark DD Navigation Tool will provide you with insight on how to help your child reach their highest potential.

  • What is Early Intervention?

    Early Intervention, or EI, is a statewide system that provides support and resources for family members and caregivers as they enhance children’s development through everyday learning opportunities.


    Stark DD provides services to the young children in our County, in partnership with Stark County Early Intervention (formerly Help Me Grow), and all 17 of our local school districts. Early Intervention services are available to families whose children have been deemed eligible.  Ohio Early Intervention Website


    After Diagnosis – 8 Steps to Early Intervention

  • What do I do if I'm concerned about my child's development?

    Every child is unique and develops at their own pace, but there are general milestones that can help you understand your child’s development.


    In this section, we have included a resource that has free developmental screening tools that you can complete in the comfort of your own home.



  • How do I make a referral for EI Services?

    Anyone can make a referral for Early Intervention services.  To speak with someone directly about your concerns, you can call Ohio Early Intervention at 1-800-755-4769.


    You can also submit a simple online referral form, and Ohio Early Intervention will set up a time to speak with you that works with your schedule.  Online Referral Form

  • What can I expect after submitting a referral for EI Services?

    After referral, Ohio Early Intervention will assign a local Service Coordinator (SC) to your family, who will present your child’s case to our Stark County Early Intervention Team.


    The EI Team will work with you and your family to conduct an Initial Evaluation and Assessment, which will determine what services will help your child reach their highest potential.


    Based on results, the Team will work to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP.


  • What is an IFSP?

    An IFSP, which stands for Individualized Family Service Plan, is the formalized plan for your child’s EI services.  The IFSP includes your concerns, a summary of your child’s developmental assessment results, the outcomes that you set for your child and your family, and a listing of the EI services necessary that will help to reach the desired outcomes you’ve set.  The IFSP will be used to guide services, and will also track your child’s progress.


  • Early Intervention Playgroups - Connect with other families in your community!

    Stark DD’s EI Program recognizes that providing opportunities for small children to socialize and interact with their peers is an important part of every child’s development.


    Children are encouraged to participate in their own way at playgroup.  Whether your child prefers to be up and moving around, watching the other children or even just listening to what is going on, they are still participating in a way that is comfortable for them.


    EI Releases a monthly newsletter that has the locations where playgroups will be held, amongst other important information.

  • "What's Next?" Transitioning to Preschool, and what to expect.

    Children are only eligible for Early Intervention services through age 2, which means it’s time to consider your preschool options once your child turns 3 years-old.


    If your child was enrolled in Early Intervention, school districts will evaluate and determine eligibility beginning at 2 1/2 years of age for special needs preschool services.


    Children will transfer from having an IFSP in Early Intervention, to an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) once they turn 3.

  • Stark DD Services Beyond Early Intervention

    Two of the services that families can access are Family Support Services (FSS) and Service and Support Administration (SSA).


    Family Support Services provides assistance to families to assist with supporting loved ones/children who are in the family home through funding items such as medical supplies, camps, recreation, counseling or respite, etc.


    The Service and Support Administration can advocate and connect families to community resources.

  • Resources beyond Stark DD

    In today’s day and age, there are many resources available online for families that can help navigate through different circumstances, or simply provide information.


    See the “Links” tab in this section that includes valuable resources for families.