Early Start

Eligibility (0-3 years of age) 

As of January 1, 2015,   The State of California revised the eligibility criteria for children.  Regional Centers are now able to serve a child with two or more High Risk Factors and/or children with at least a 33% delay in one area, regardless of their age.

Click here for the current eligibility language: early start eligibility birth to 2 yrs 9 months for assessment.

Not sure if you should refer for an early start assessment?  Please click on the reason for concern link below:

Family Rights and Responsibilities
Parents who participate in the early start program will receive information about their rights and responsibilities at the time of the initial IFSP meeting. This information is provided in the “Parents Rights in Early Start Handbook” developed by the State. Learn more here: Department of Developmental Services.

First Contact:  San Andreas Regional Center contracts with service providers to conduct the early start assessments.

I Can Too! - Monterey County 

call:   1-831-443-1279

Stars Infant Development-

Santa Clara,  Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties

Call 1-844-701-9889 or visit STARS Assessment Request 

Assessment: Assessment includes a review of a child’s motor, communication, self-help adaptive, social-emotional, and cognitive development. . A vision and hearing screening and medical information is critical to determine if a child is at risk for having a developmental disability and is eligible for early start services. Assessment, eligibility, and IFSP are conducted within 45 days of initial contact.

Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP): An IFSP is developed once eligibility is determined. The plan consists of goals objectives and services jointly agreed by the IFSP team. All parties will be given a copy of the plan. The IFSP will be reviewed with the family every six months.

Primary Service Agency: Early Intervention services that are needed for each eligible infant/toddler are purchased or arranged by the Local Education Agency (LEA), which may be the local school district or San Andreas Regional Center. The LEA will be discussed at your IFSP.

The Family Resource Center (FRC) is available to provide support. Early Start Family Resource Centers (ESFRC) provide parent to parent support, outreach, information and referral services to families of children with disabilities and the professionals who serve them. All ESFRCS serve families of children birth to three and many have enhanced funding which allows them to serve families of children over the age of three and individuals with developmental disabilities. Please click on the FRC link for more information on the statewide network, but click on the link below for the local FRC’s serving the San Andreas Regional Center area.

FRC Brochures:

Santa Clara County: Parents Helping Parents
Monterey County: Special Kids Crusade
San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties: Special Parents Information Network

Early Start Services: Early Start Services may include the following services:

  • Assistive technology.
  • Hearing services.
  • Family training and home visits.
  • Health and medical services.
  • Service coordination.
  • Special instruction.
  • Occupational and Physical Therapy.
  • Speech and language service.
  • Transportation.
  • Vision services.

Transition Services: Transition to part B (School District Services) may occur as early as 9 months or must occur no later than 33 months (90 days) before the child’s 3rd birthday. San Andreas Regional Center and/or Local Education Agency (LEA) and family will meet with the School District of residence to discuss transition planning 34 CFR & 303.209 (c) (1). Once a child is determined eligible for Early Start there is no cost for evaluation, assessment, and service coordination. Public or private insurance is accessed for medically necessary services, speech and language, physical therapy and occupational therapy. IFSP agreed upon required services that are not covered by insurance will be purchased and provided by the regional center or LEA. In addition to accessing insurance an Annual Family Program Fee (AFPF) may be accessed in some circumstances. For more details visit:


Take a minute:   Resources for families 

Early start Neighborhood: resources for families