Infants and toddlers (up to 36 months of age) with a developmental delay or disability or who have certain risk factors are eligible for early intervention services through the Regional Center of Orange County (RCOC). Funded by the federal government, this early intervention program is called "Early Start in California. Early Start is an invaluable investment in the future, because the earlier a developmental delay or disability is identified, the greater impact we can have in ensuring that a child is able to achieve his or her maximum life potential. After a parent or other health care professional refers a child to RCOC, an evaluation for eligibility is completed and an assessment is conducted for program planning.

The assessment process includes evaluation of the child's motor skills, communication development, learning skills, social interaction, and emotional development. Depending on the needs of the child and the parents' choices, early intervention services may then include, for example: an infant development program, family training, speech and language services, and occupational and physical therapy. Like all services provided through RCOC, the focus is on what we call "self determination - placing the family at the center of planning and decision-making, respecting individual values, lifestyle, language and culture.

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What is Early Intervention?

Early Intervention are services and supports to help infants and toddlers from birth to three years old with disabilities or delays in their development. These services are intended to help eligible children learn new skills, overcome challenges, and increase success in life.

What are UP's Early Intervention Services

Each child has an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that is based on a child's assessed developmental needs and the family's concerns and priorities. Early intervention services can include: Developmental support Family training, counseling, and home visits Developmental assessments for evaluation purposes Occupational Therapy Physical Therapy Speech and Language services.

Who Can I Contact With Concerns Regarding My Child's Development?

If you have concerns about your child's development, discuss them with your child's doctor. To learn if your child may benefit from early intervention or specialized education services through California's Early Start Program please contact Kay Haynes, Family Support Specialist. 

For more information regarding Early Start services, please contact Regional Center of Orange County Early Start Intake Coordinator at 714.796.5354 or email