Is a Daycare Provider Required to Refer a Child to Early Intervention When A

Updated on October 16, 2013
A.E. asks from Trenton, NJ
13 answers

developmental delay is suspected? The IFSP early intervention.

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answers from Washington DC on

I do not think they are required. I would talk to the pediatrician and the early intervention people. When I suspected a speech problem for DD, her pediatrician gave me the numbers to call, and I filled out forms and gave some to her preschool for their input. You should not have to wait for anybody to initiate this.

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answers from Boston on

From my experience EI referrals come from a pediatrician, but things may differ in your state.

ETA here is a link to NJ policy. Daycare providers are required to make a referral but need the parents' permission to do so. If the parents refuse the referral, the daycare provider has to follow some steps to document that:

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I think you'd have to go to your state child care site and download the state child care regulations booklet but in Oklahoma I don't think they can.

If a child is different, say....they can't sit still for more than 5 minutes and they can't follow you when you tell them something or ask them something, they don't like to be touched or their space invaded, etc...a child care worker who had been working in the field for several years is going to be able to say "hey, there's something different about this child" but they cannot say "Hey, you're kid is autistic".

A child care worker can talk to the director to see if they can find a way for the local psychologist to come in and observe the class to give that teacher some pointers on how she can have a better learning environment, how she can develop a better curriculum for her age group, the teacher can talk to the psychologist about any stresses she's/he's having and how the psychologist can help them feel better.

A child care center can't really call someone and say they're having a problem with a particular child and they need to be referred. That's the parents job.

However, if this child is obviously struggling with some developmental issues that are impairing them from learning or growing and developing the child care staff have a legal and moral obligation to turn the family in to child welfare.

Child care workers aren't like a school employee. They don't typically have BA's in child development or some other related field. They usually have hours and hours and hours in child development and other topics required for them to work in this field. They have specific training required by the state.

So if you are a worker in a child care setting and you have a child that you suspect has some sort of developmental delay or a disability please talk to the director before you even talk to the parents. They're going to take it wrong and you don't want them upset with you. Let them be upset with the director. That way they won't take it out on you. They'll turn to you and ask what's been going on, why haven't you said anything, etc....then you can say "Well, I have seen some stuff I didn't know about so I asked the director if she could help me figure out how to deal with "little Johnny's" actions when someone tried to touch him. I didn't know what I might be doing wrong and I felt I needed a little guidance".

This will hopefully diffuse the situation some and they'll be more receptive to getting "little Johnny" evaluated.

If you're a parent this has happened to then I suggest you ask the director what's going on, why didn't they talk to you first, how they came to the conclusion "little Johnny" needed a referral. Hopefully you'll be receptive and respectful of their years of experience and consider their referral to be something for your child's growth and development.

Head Start/Early Head Start and other pre-school programs that are under the umbrella of the public school system follow different guidelines and can actually ask the school psychologist to come and observe a specific child. They have that right due to being a public school sub program.

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answers from Dallas on

In my situation, the daycare voiced their concerns politely and respectfully and told me about EI. It was my responsibility to do it. I don't think they can because they are not professionals in that particular area. They can give their opinions, but that's it.

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answers from Dallas on

No, you need to see the pediatrician

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answers from New York on

No but if they suspect a problem, they could talk to the parents.

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answers from Kansas City on

We are not required to report delays. I try to talk with parents if I think a child has a delay of some kind. If I know that a child has a check-up coming up I will suggest that Mom and Dad discuss --- with the doctor.


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answers from Portland on

Daycare providers should let the parent know that they are seeing an atypical development and then to give the parent the suggestion to go their pediatrician first. I've done this before as a preschool teacher: notice developmental delay, talk to parent over a phone call, describing what I am/am not seeing and then strongly suggesting they talk to their pediatrician.

I need to warn you up front: It is very difficult for a parent to hear this about their child, do not be surprised if a parent gets upset or emotional. What you want to give them is ONLY what you are seeing and not guess at any diagnosis. "I am noticing that Suzy is having a difficult time with pronouncing some words clearly" or "I see that Bobby is not able to get in and out of the sandbox by himself".

If you are the parent receiving this information, the only time early intervention is contacted is if *they* have already done evaluations as part of the daycare program. When I worked at a nonprofit which served at-risk families, we had evaluations done once a year by an early intervention team. Then, they contacted the parents directly through the director of the program-- at least, that was how it was handled back then.

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answers from New York on

in NJ the referral does NOT have to come from a doctor. It typically comes from a parent, because many under age 3 do not go to a school.



answers from Philadelphia on

My pediatrician gave me the info I needed to contact the program. At my son's 2 year wellness check up, when they were asking me about things he was or should be doing, that is when they suggested getting him started in early intervention. When he was 4, there were some things that were dropped from IEP (Individual Education Program) and his preschool teacher had told me about some struggles my son was having and suggested I ask for a re-evaluation to get him some more help and that is what I did. It's up to you as a parent to make the calls, follow up with call backs and fill out appropriate paperwork. Also, be sure you know what your childs struggles are because they will ask you. When a team comes together they will most likely have you and your day care provider sit down and have a meeting to see what is going on and what kind of help is suggested.



answers from San Francisco on

The referral needs to come from your pediatrician. The early intervention evaluators may want to interview your child's daycare provider but its not a requirement.



answers from Sacramento on

Daycare providers are not expected to refer, nor SHOULD they unless they are also a pediatrician. Providers, teachers etc... can make recommendations and bring up concerns to parents (very carefully), but are not qualified to give referrals.



answers from Washington DC on

I don't know what your state rules are, but I would be surprised if a provider was required to contact early intervention. Early intervention is an optional program. Anyone can refer but parents can choose not to have their child seen in both MD and PA.

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