The information presented below is a brief overview of this state's early intervention service system. Please contact the lead state agency or follow the various links for more detailed information.

Lead agency for early intervention services

Missouri's First Steps is part of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Eligibility criteria for early intervention services

Children under the age of 3 may be eligible if they have:

  • Newborn conditions diagnosed at birth or within 30 days post birth
  • Diagnosed conditions
  • Developmental delay defined as a child functioning at half the developmental level that would be expected for a child developing within normal limits and of equal age

For more detailed eligibility information see First Steps eligibility.

Number of children birth to age 3 served

Missouri reported 4,999 infants and toddlers for the 2012 child count.

Support service structure

First Steps uses a network of agencies called system points of entry to coordinate local early intervention services.

Initial family contact

Families should contact the system point of entry serving their region or call the statewide information line at 866-583-2392.

Services for at-risk children

Local service teams will provide information on available resources to families with children who are not eligible for early intervention services. Families may also contact the parent training and information center listed below.

Family cost participation

Families meeting certain income guidelines may be asked to pay a fee for some services. Public and private insurance may be accessed under certain conditions. More details are available at family cost.

Insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder services

Missouri enacted legislation related to insurance coverage specifically for autism spectrum disorder-related services. See Missouri insurance for more information.

Parent training and information center

Missouri Parents Act is Missouri's parent training and information center.

Early childhood school services information

Information about education services for children 3 through 5 years of age is available from the local school district, the system points of entry and the parent training and information center listed above. Additional information is available at early learning or by contacting:

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Phone: 573-751-4909

State early intervention resources

Additional information and resources are provided at early intervention resources.

One child pushing another on a swing