Florida’s Early Steps program supports children as they progress at their rate and allows families to help them throughout their learning experiences. Eligible children include those diagnosed with cognitive, motor, vision, hearing, communication, or social/emotional delays.
Early Steps families are referred to Early Steps through various sources, including physicians, neo-natal units, and childcare workers. Once enrolled, each family is assigned a service coordinator to guide them throughout their Early Steps “journey.”
Early Steps Learning Center’s mission is to assist families in selecting appropriate child care, educational programs, educators, and caregivers for their growing family’s needs as they mature. We will guide them through all the questions, concerns, and choices parents must navigate in choosing family day care services, child care centers, or early learning programs – no matter the time or distance involved.
ISAAGNY launched Early Steps to address a gap in organizations dedicated to helping children enroll in independent schools at lower grades, particularly low-income and minority children. Although various groups existed that assisted students with college admissions processes, none offered assistance explicitly targeting low-income and minority children entering school.
Early Steps program serves as the lead agency in Broward County to deliver early intervention services funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Act and provides services for infants to 36-month-old children who exhibit delays in physical, cognitive, communication, gross, and fine motor skills development as well as social/emotional development. Families may access Early Steps through their physician, community agencies, or Child Find, a Broward Schools Special Education Department service.
Early Steps Learning Center provides services for children who have developmental delays or disabilities, with staff having expertise in areas like health, education, and developmental sciences. Their team works closely with parents to equip them with the skills to support their child’s growth and development.
Innovative practices at this agency are focused on bettering the lives of families, while staff receive education and training opportunities to stay current on research findings and best practices in their field.
Research indicates that every child’s first three years are critical to learning. While every individual develops at his/her own pace, studies show that those receiving services during this period are more likely to succeed academically and beyond.
Every eligible family will have a primary service provider who will collaborate on developing developmentally appropriate activities at home, child care centers, and community settings for their child to engage in. This model maximizes natural learning opportunities while making them more meaningful for each child.
Each First Steps partnership in their area is guided by federal regulations, specifically Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Partnerships provide resources and best practices to help maximize outcomes for children and families.
Early Steps’ staff of experienced, highly-trained professionals is committed to supporting families and enabling children to reach their full potential. Their services span health, education, and developmental areas; together, they collaborate to provide information about child development, support family decision-making processes, and maximize natural learning opportunities in everyday routines for both the child and family members.
Early Steps’ corporate office is located at 27027 Chardon Rd in Richmond Heights, Ohio 44143, United States, and employs six employees, including a program manager, assistant manager, and multiple family service coordinators and resource specialists. Furthermore, they boast numerous rooms available for training sessions or group meetings.
Early Steps provides comprehensive evaluation and early intervention services for infants and toddlers (birth to 36 months) at risk for significant developmental delay, with medical conditions that place them at increased risk. Services may be provided at home, community centers, schools, or anywhere between; parents or caregivers can develop competence and confidence when helping their child learn and grow.
Easterseals Florida is pleased to host two of Florida’s 15 Early Steps programs, Treasure Coast Early Steps serving Palm Beach, Martin, St Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties, while Southernmost Coast Early Steps assists Monroe and Miami-Dade Counties. Both utilize our Team-Based Primary Service Provider approach that ensures each eligible child and family receives strong support from one person throughout their care journey, allowing for more efficient and consistent care delivery.
Research demonstrates that children develop at their rate, but the first three years are often the most formative years for learning. Florida’s Early Steps program offers services to eligible infants and toddlers aged 0-36 months with developmental delays or disabilities, helping children build on their strengths to reach their fullest potential.
Early Steps families are typically referred by primary referral sources such as pediatricians, health departments, or early care and education providers, or they can initiate their evaluation request. Our family-centered intake process establishes collaborative and trustful partnerships by exchanging information about family priorities, services offered by Early Steps, and how these might fit into children’s daily activities and routines.
Easterseals Florida hosts two of Florida’s Early Steps programs, Treasure Coast Early Steps (TCES) and Southernmost Coast Early Steps (SMCES). By providing services directly into children’s lives rather than forcing them into services, Easterseals Florida maximizes each child’s natural learning opportunities and allows families to collaborate with a single, consistent team from evaluation through delivery of services.
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