MY GUIDE > DARS Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Services

KEYWORDS: age 1 up to age 3ConcernedECIFirst Stepnewborn up to age 1services and transitions

What ECI offers

ECI is a very important statewide program for families with children, birth to three, who have disabilities and developmental delays. ECI supports families to access resources and improve their child's development through daily activities. Services are provided by a variety of local agencies and organizations across Texas, and include:

  • Specialized skills training (strategies for families to support their child’s development)
  • Behavioral intervention
  • Service coordination or case management (helping to connect with resources)
  • Nutrition services
  • Physical, occupational, speech and language pathology services

And much more

Also see Understanding the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

 
 

Referring your child to ECI

Refer your child ages birth to three to ECI if you have concerns about how your child is moving, developing language, eating or playing. To refer a child, call the DARS Inquiries Line at 1-800-628-5115, or send an email message to dars.inquiries@dars.state.tx.us. If you are hearing impaired, use the relay option of your choice or dial 7-1-1 to connect with Relay Texas.

Find an ECI Program near you

Use the ECI Program Search to find an ECI program in your area. The information for the program nearest you will include a Referral Number. This is a phone number you can call to request an evaluation for your child.  When you call, tell the ECI program staff you speak with if your child has a medically diagnosed condition or whether you are concerned he has a developmental delay.

ECI staff can answer your questions. They are trained to work as a team with families to create an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to help children grow and learn.

To speed up the referral process, print the Physician Referral and Feedback Form (PDF) from the Texas Pediatric Society and have your physician complete it. ECI will select the best team members to evaluate your child for eligibility and determine needed services using information from your child's healthcare provider.

 

About ECI services

  • ECI Services are available in every county in Texas
  • There is no waiting list
  • The IFSP outlines services and helps families learn how to help their child
  • Services take place in familiar places like the home and child care centers
  • There is no charge for Service Coordination (Case Management) and Evaluation Services
  • Private insurance and family fees help with funding but no one will be turned away due to inability to pay
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About ECI eligibility

Income is NOT a factor in determining eligibility for ECI. Eligibility for infants and toddlers living in Texas from birth to age three is based on the child’s medically diagnosed condition, auditory or visual impairment, or developmental delay.

Eligibility is determined by a team of at least two professionals from different disciplines, such as early intervention specialists, speech and language pathologists, nurses, and social worker. Get more details about ECI eligibility and the evaluation process.

Videos that help explain ECI

These YouTube videos featuring parents with children in ECI programs can help you understand more about ECI and how it may help your family.

About Texas ECI

Parent to Parent: Knowing Your Rights

Texas ECI: Family to Family