Address: LifeSkills
380 Suwannee Trail
Bowling Green, KY 42103 View Map

Phone: 270-901-5749 or 800-643-6233

About Us

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.

First Steps FAQ

Who can make a referral to First Steps?
ANYONE including Moms! Often pediatricians, relatives, friends, Social Workers, Audiologists and even Daycare professionals contact us to make referrals.

Who pays for First Steps?
Early Intervention/First Steps Services are costly and a variety of funding sources are needed to support the system. Families are required to contribute resources to help cover the cost of ongoing Early Intervention Services. Family Contributions may include monthly payments on a sliding fee scale and/or allowing of billing of your health insurance company. First Steps is free if your child has a Medical Card.

What types of service specialist are available through First Steps?
First Steps maintains contracts with a variety of service specialists to meet the needs of the children and families that we serve. Service specialists include but are not limited to Audiologists, Developmental Interventionists, Nutritionists and Registered Dieticians, Occupational Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Physical Therapists, Service Coordinators and Speech Language Pathologists.

How is First Steps/Early Intervention different than outpatient services?
The Kentucky First Steps System may look different from what you expect; unlike Outpatient Therapy Services, Early Intervention/First Steps services are provided in places where your child typically lives and plays- home, parks, libraries, etc. Early Intervention providers are family educators and do not work with your child while you watch or are in a nearby room. Families are included in Early Intervention sessions and First Steps professionals are skilled at teaching the child’s First and Best teacher, YOU-the parent, activities that may be incorporated into daily activities and routines.

What would make a child eligible for First Steps services?
We assist the families of significantly delayed children. They may be dealing with a variety of difficulties that can affect development such as prematurity and various genetic issues; many of the children we assist may have diagnoses such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism, and Sensory Processing Disorder. On the other hand, some of the children we assist don’t have issues that are so clearly defined and/or a specific diagnosis.


  •     Service Coordination
  •     Assessment
  •     Developmental Intervention
  •     Occupational Therapy
  •     Speech Therapy
  •     Physical Therapy
  •     Audiology Services
  •     Vision Services
  •     Nutrition
  •     Psychological
  •     Social Work

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:

  •     Making monthly payments on a sliding fee scale (Family Share Participation).
  •     Consenting to the billing of your health insurance company.