Frequently Asked Questions about Early Intervention

What You Can Expect

Who is eligible for Early Intervention Services?

A child up to three years old and their families may be eligible for Early Intervention Services. In most cases the child was either born early (premature) or has a:

  • health condition or a disability
  • communication / speech delay
  • attention difficulty
  • behavior concern
  • difficult time crawling, walking, or doing things independently.


A child or family may also qualify for services if they are experiencing any environmental or social emotional stress that could potentially affect the child’s overall development.

Where do the services take place?

Services are provided in the natural settings for the child. Natural settings may include the child’s home, childcare centers, family childcare homes, and other community settings.

Who pays for Early Intervention Services?

Early Intervention services are paid for by commercial health insurers, Masshealth and the Department of Public Health(DPH). DPH pays for costs that are appropriately denied by an insurer. There are no out-of -pocket costs for Early Intervention services. You will not pay anything.

What area does your program cover?

Early Intervention covers the Massachusetts towns of Springfield, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Wilbraham, and Hampden.

How long does the evaluation take?

An evaluation takes place in the child’s natural setting (often their home) and can take up to two hours to complete. Once the evaluation is complete, the family will be notified that day if the child qualifies for Early Intervention Services and the next steps will be discussed.

Who will be doing the evaluation?

An evaluation of the child’s development is to be made by a multidisciplinary team. Functioning in each of the following areas is evaluated: Cognitive development, physical development, communication development, social and emotional and personal development, adaptive development/self-help.

Do I need a referral from my child’s pediatrician?

Early Intervention programs accept referrals from all sources. Sometimes this is a pediatrician or child care provider. A parent can also call directly without a referral from the pediatrician. If the parent is not the referral source, the Early Intervention Program will encourage the referral source to notify the parent about the referral. You can call our direct number at 413-739-3954 to make a referral.