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KENTUCKY EARLY INTERVENTION / EDUCATION – FIRST STEPS PROGRAM
First Steps is a statewide Early Intervention System that provides services to children with developmental disabilities from birth to age 3 and their families. Typically, children who participate in Early Intervention experience significant improvement in development and learning. Children with developmental delays or conditions likely to cause delays benefit greatly from First Step services during critical developmental years.
First Steps is Kentucky's response to the federal Infant-Toddler Program. First Steps is available in all Kentucky counties.
Services may be provided in the home, at child development or other designated centers or in a clinical setting, depending on the needs of the child and family and the availability of services in a given area.
First Steps offers comprehensive services through a variety of community agencies and service disciplines and is administered by the Department for Public Health in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Child eligibility for the program is determined two ways:
- By Developmental Delay – A child may be eligible for services if an evaluation shows that a child is not developing typically in at least one of the following skill areas: communication, cognition, physical, social and emotional or self-help.
- Automatic Entry – A child may be eligible if he or she receives a diagnosis of physical or mental condition with high probability of resulting in developmental delay, such as Down Syndrome.
Anyone can refer a child for First Steps services by calling 877-417-8377 or 877-41 STEPS