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Early Intervention for Ages Birth - 3

infant laying on bed with head propped on hand

Early Intervention for Ages Birth - 3

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Early On

Don’t worry. But don’t wait. It is natural to worry if your child needs help and what others might think. But getting your child extra help now could make a big difference in how well they do in school and later in life.

Early On Michigan can help you give your child their best chance for success. If your child is developing slower or has ongoing health issues, we can help. There is no cost for qualified children and their families.

Get Early On Information

What is Early On?

Early On Michigan is an early intervention program for children who need extra support and help because they have a development delay or pre-existing health issues that could slow their development.

Every parent looks forward to their baby's first smile, first words, and first steps. But what happens when a child is behind in reaching those milestones? If you are worried that your child "seems behind" compared to other children of the same age, Early On can offer the support you and your child needs.

young boy wearing hearing aid head-to-head and nose to nose with mom outside
mom kissing feet of infant laying on bed

What are Signs of a Developmental Delay?

Having a developmental delay means it takes a child a little longer to learn some basic skills. Those skills may be:

  • Self-help skills (feeding and dressing)
  • Cognitive skills (thinking, learning, and reasoning abilities)
  • Communication skills (talking, listening, understanding)
  • Physical development (vision, hearing, movement, health)
  • Social-emotional development (feelings, getting along with others, relationships)

Why is Early Intervention Important?

All children are born ready to learn. 80% of a child’s brain develops by age three. Quality early learning is key during these years. If your child has a delay, building their skills in these early years while their minds are actively growing will help them succeed later in life. The early learning support parents, families and child care providers provide can make a big difference.
infant sitting on floor playing with abacus
mother and father sitting on floor with baby sitting between them

How Can Early On Help My Family

Working with Early On can help reduce the need for special education later on, help build your child’s confidence and reduce family stress. They will work with you and your child in a place you feel comfortable. Together with you and your family, they will figure out ways that will help your child develop, including:

  • Learning and skill-building activities
  • A plan that meets your child and family’s needs
  • Finding social, health, and education services
  • Preparing your child for success in school and later in life
provider and young girl with prosthetic leg playing with blocks

Who is Eligible for Early On?

Early On is available for Michigan families with children, birth to age three, who have a 20% diagnosed delay. Eligible delays include, but are not limited to:

  • Delays in speech and language
  • Deaf or trouble hearing
  • Blind or trouble seeing
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Sensory and behavioral delays
  • Delayed movement skills
Learn About Early on Eligibility
dad and mom sit at table with young boy and girl sitting on table

How Do You Apply for Early On?

The Early On process starts with a referral, which can be made by anyone, including your family, no prescription is necessary. This is simply a request to have a child evaluated to see if they are eligible. To start your referral, call 1-800-EARLY-ON (1-800-327-5966) or submit your Early On referral online.

Once your referral has been submitted, you will receive consent forms. After you have reviewed and submitted these forms, the next step is an evaluation of your child for eligibility. If an eligible medical condition exists, your child is eligible with no further evaluation needed. Otherwise, an evaluation of your child’s development can be done in your home or the local school district.
Find out More with the Early On Family Guidebook

What Are Michigan Parents Saying About Early On?

“I am a better parent because of the support we received from Early On. I have learned so much about how to help my almost-two-year-old learn and develop. Thank you for all that you do, Early On. You have made a huge difference in our lives.” --Early On Parent

“Early On has been helpful with speech and language, but also sensory and behavioral issues. I can't imagine where we'd be without Early On services.” --Early On Parent

More Resources for Parents

Find Early Learning Resources

Ages 0 – 3 are the most crucial for a child’s development. Early learning starts now, in your baby’s first year. Learn simple steps, like talking, reading, singing, playing, and interacting with them on a daily basis.

Visit Michigan Alliance for Families

This is your guide to special education, providing information, support, and education for Michigan families about special education services. Find resources, disability specific information, and upcoming events of interest

Get Milestone Tracker App

For an easy way to keep track of when your child should reach certain milestones, download the free Center for Disease Control Milestones Tracker app. The App also includes activities and learning tips for each age and an area where you can keep track of all your doctor appointments.

Get Positive Parenting Tips

Find parenting tips for every age from the Center for Disease Control website. Learn things you can do with your child to help them develop and get them ready to succeed in school and later in life.