The Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services, in accordance with federal and state laws, provides early intervention services and supports through the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program. Each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions implements a local Infants and Toddlers Program, coordinating services provided by education, health care, social services agencies, and private providers. Services are provided to eligible infants and toddlers and certain services and supports are also available to parents and members of the immediate family.  Services are provided at no cost to families.

Maryland Infants & Toddlers Program

family-centered focus

Families are strong and valued partners whose needs and priorities are key throughout the entire process.  Decisions about services and strategies for intervention are made in collaboration with families.

services delivered in natural environments

A natural environment is a location where a child and family spend time, including the home, child care center, library, playground, and other community settings.

strong community engagement

The Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program cultivates strong partnerships with community programs and systems to ensure that families have the supports they need.

The Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program's overarching outcomes for children are to:
* Develop positive social-emotional skills and relaltionships,
* Acquire and use knowledge and skills, and
* Use appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.  

The overall outcomes for families are to:
* Understand their rights,
* Communicate effectively about their child’s needs, and
* Help their child develop and learn. 

The Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program is not a medical program that “treats” children. While they may not be trained specialists, families and caregivers are a child’s most important teachers. The early intervention team will partner with them by using a coaching model to design and implement individualized strategies within a child’s daily routines and activities.

A child and family may receive early intervention services if the child meets eligibility requirements AND if the child is under three years of age and resides in Maryland.

Eligibility Requirements

In Maryland, a child may be found eligible for early intervention services if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

≥25% delay compared with expected development for the child's age in one or or more of the following areas: cognitive (early learning), communication, physical development (fine and gross motor skills), social-emotional skills,  and adaptive (self-help).  

The Infants and Toddlers Program will conduct the appropriate evaluation, at no cost to the family, with the parent's consent.

Atypical development or behavior refers to quality of performance.  A child may demonstrate skills that are age appropriate but that are of atypical quality. Examples of atypical development/behavior include: refusal to take foods of a certain texture, decreased initiation of communication for social purposes, repetitive or stereotyped patterns of play with objects, etc.

Children may be eligible for early intervention if they demonstrate atypical development or behavior in one or more areas.

Children may be eligible for early intervention services if they have been diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that has a high probability of delayed or atypical development.  Examples include, but are not limited to, Down Syndrome, visual or hearing impairment, elevated lead levels, extreme prematurity (birth weight <1200 grams), epilepsy, etc.

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Positive Outcomes for Children and Families

Maryland’s own 2017 longitudinal research validates the importance of starting early.  More than 68% of children
who received early intervention services were enrolled in general education by third grade. 

In Maryland, most children receiving early intervention services demonstrate progress in the outcome areas of positive social-emotional development and relationships, learning and functionally using new skills, and using appropriate behavior to meet their needs.

73% of children made as much or more progress as their typically developing peers in positive social-emotional development and relationships.

74% of children made as much or more progress as their typically developing peers in learning and functionally using new skills.

74% of children made as much or more progress as their typically developing peers in using appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program Publications

These publications are designed to support families and other referral sources within Maryland's statewide early intervention system.

A Family Guide to Early
Intervention Services in Maryland

A Family Guide To Early Intervention Services in Maryland is part of Maryland’s Birth to Kindergarten Parent Information Series, a collection of publications designed to support families in the statewide early intervention and education system of services in Maryland. With this guide, we wish to welcome you into a community dedicated to the enrichment of child development, and to guide you through a process created by parents and professionals to enhance the potential of your child and support your family.

A Family Companion Guide to Maryland's Parental Rights
and Procedural Safeguards Notice

A Companion Guide to Maryland's Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards Notice is part of Maryland’s Birth
to Kindergarten Parent Information Series, a collection of publications designed to support families in the statewide early intervention and education system of services in Maryland. 

Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program Physician's Guide

As a primary health care provider and a central figure in a child’s medical home, you are often a family’s first link to early intervention services. Parents may bring a developmental concern to your attention or you may identify a concern as part of a routine visit or developmental screening. This guide will show you ways you can help families engage in the early intervention process.

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