About EI

About Early Intervention

Early Intervention Services are Free for All Children

You may want to get an Early Intervention referral if you have concerns about your child's development in any of the five developmental areas: 

  • Cognition
  • Communication
  • Motor (fine and gross motor skills)
  • Adaptive (Self-help skills)
  • Personal-Social


What is Early Intervention?

There are lots of skills that develop in the first three years of a child’s life. Some infants and toddlers meet developmental milestones more slowly than expected. This is called a developmental delay. Early intervention can help infants and toddlers with delays catch up in their development.  

Child Development

Cognitive development in early childhood refer to your baby or toddler's mental capacity for problem solving, language acquisition, learning about objects and relations between cause and effect.

Communication and language development is about more than talking. It means all the different ways a child understands and communicates, only part of which are spoken words.

Sensory and motor development is the gradual process by which a child gains use and coordination of the large muscles of the legs, trunk, and arms, and the smaller muscles of the hands. A baby begins to experience new awareness through sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing.

Adaptive development can be defined as a child's self care ability which might include feeding, dressing, toileting and cleaning up.  


Personal development is about how children come to understand who they are and what they can do.  Social development covers how children come to understand themselves in relation to others, how they make friends, understand the rules of society and behave towards others.  Emotional development concerns how children understand their own and others’ feelings and develop their ability to be empathetic – to see things from another person’s point of view.

Personal, social and emotional development includes three aspects of children’s learning and development:

  • making relationships
  • managing feelings and behavior
  • self-confidence and self-awareness.

Referral Information

Ages Birth - 3

You can ask your doctor for a referral to Early Intervention or call to refer yourself: Early Intervention, Erie County Care Management (814) 528-0600

Ages 3-5

Children over the age of 3, who live in Erie County, can be referred to Early Intervention, Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5 (814) 734-5610 or 1-800-677-5610

Children over the age of 3, who live in the City of Erie, can be referred to Early Intervention, School District of the City of Erie

(814) 874-6155