Florida

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

Florida's Early Steps System is part of the Department of Health.

Eligibility criteria for early intervention services

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

  • Developmental delay that meets or exceeds two standard deviations in one or more developmental areas
  • Developmental delay of 1.5 standard deviations in two or more areas
  • Established condition that has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay

See eligibility criteria for more information.

Number of children served

Florida reported 12,036 infants and toddlers for the 2012 child count.

Support service structure

A network of regional offices coordinates local early intervention services.

Initial family contact

Families should contact the regional office that serves their location or call 800-654-4440.

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 centers listed below.

Family cost participation

Families are not required to pay for services. Public or private insurance may be accessed under certain conditions.

Insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder services

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

Parent training and information centers

Florida has four parent training and information center agencies:

Early childhood school services information

Information regarding school services for children ages 3 through 5 is available from the local school district, local service teams and the parent training and information centers listed above. Additional information is available from early childhood education or by contacting:

Florida Department of Education
Phone: 850-245-0478

State early intervention resources

A comprehensive list of state and local resources is available at central directory or by calling 800-654-4440.

Baby on parent's shoulder