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Early Childhood Intervention -

What is ECI -

ECI is a statewide program for families with children, birth to three, with disabilities and developmental delays. ECI supports families to help their children reach their potential through developmental services. Services are provided by a variety of local agencies and organizations across Texas.

About ECI Services -

ECI provides evaluations, at no cost to families, to determine eligibility and the need for services. Families and professionals work together as a team to plan appropriate services based on the unique strengths and needs of the child and family. Services are provided in the home and in community settings such as child care facilities, play groups and Mothers' Day Out programs. For help in locating ECI services, please call our toll-free DARS Inquiries Line, or use our search feature to find a service or program in your area.

ECI services feature:

Individualized Planning Process Once eligibility is determined, an interdisciplinary team, which includes the family, develops an individualized family service plan. The services in the plan are provided in a location chosen by the family.

Family-Centered Services

Services are based on the needs and concerns of each family and child. ECI professionals and family members incorporate activities into the child and family’s daily activities to promote the child’s development.

Case Management

Service coordinators help families access and receive the services, resources, and supports they need to support their child’s development. Supports include helping the child and family transition to special education services as appropriate for children exiting ECI at age 3. ECI programs provide comprehensive case management for all members of the child’s family as their needs relate to the child’s growth and development.

Familiar Settings

Though most ECI services are provided at home, they can be provided in other places where the child goes regularly (e.g., a childcare center, park, library, or other community setting).

Professional Providers

The team that evaluates the child and plans services includes licensed or credentialed early intervention specialists, speech and language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, registered nurses, dietitians, social workers, and counselors.

Plans for Continuing Services

ECI services end when the child turns three. Well before that time, the ECI team, including the family, decides on next steps. Children may transition to public school, preschool, Head Start, childcare centers, or other community activities and programs or they may stay home with their family. For those children who need further intervention services, the goal is a smooth transition with no service gaps.

How much do services cost?

The following services are provided at no cost to the family regardless of income:

  • Evaluation/assessment
  • Development of the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)
  • Case Management
  • Translation and interpreter services

Families with children enrolled in Medicaid , do not pay for any ECI services. Other families may pay a cost share based on family size and adjusted income after allowable deductions.