What Is Kentucky First Steps?
First Steps is Kentucky's Early Intervention System. Early intervention is a system of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. Early intervention focuses on helping eligible babies and toddlers learn the basic and brand-new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life. Our Early Intervention Providers focus on educating parents/families on strategies to assist their children with gaining these skills.
Early Intervention means providing appropriate services and supports to families to enhance children’s growth and development. First Steps believes that all families know their child best and are the primary decision makers.
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 Steps services during critical developmental years. Services and support also benefit families by reducing stress.. Early intervention services can decrease or sometimes even eliminate the need for costly special education programs later in life by remediating problems in the child’s development.
Your Financial Responsibilities in First Steps
Early intervention services are costly and a variety of funding sources are needed to support the system. First Steps is governed by a federal law known as Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). This law requires these funds be the payor of last resort and requires these funds only be used for early intervention services that an eligible child needs but is not currently entitled to under any other federal, state, local or private source.
Certain First Steps services are provided at no cost to families. These services include service coordination, screening, evaluation and assessment, IFSP development and the implementation of Parent’s Rights.
Families participating in First Steps are required to contribute resources to help cover the cost of ongoing early intervention services. Families financially support early intervention by: