Who is Eligible?

woman talking with a manCriteria for Nebraska's Early Development Program

The Early Development Network (EDN) serves children from birth to age three and their families. A child is eligible for services if he or she is not developing typically, or has been diagnosed with a health condition that will affect his or her development.

After receiving the family's permission, a referral may be made by anyone concerned about the child's development (e.g. a family member, child care provider, physician, social worker, or other service provider). The call will go to a Services Coordinator who will contact the family within seven days to determine if they are interested in Early Development Network services.

With the family's permission, the Services Coordinator will arrange for an evaluation with the local school district to determine the unique needs of the child and his or her eligibility. The evaluation is completed with a multidisciplinary evaluation team which includes the child's parents. Together, the team is responsible for the analysis, assessment and documentation of developmental abilities and needs of the child and family. When making a determination of eligibility, verification criteria found in Section 006 of Rule 52 is used. The Services Coordinator can link the family with community resources before the evaluation if needed.

The verification of children with disabilities is one of the most important aspects of both federal law and state early intervention regulation. It is important that children who need EDN/early intervention services receive them. The verification process is the means for determining those children who are in need of EDN/early intervention services.

If the child qualifies for EDN services, the Services Coordinator will identify, with the family, others who can participate on a team to help the family develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), which sets goals for the child and family and identifies activities and services needed to achieve those goals. The IFSP will be completed within 45 days, so the family can access Early Development Network services as quickly as possible.

The purpose of this technical assistance document is to provide assistance to multidisciplinary evaluation teams as they assess each child who is referred for an evaluation to determine if he/she is a child with a disability and in need of special education services.

Infants and young children are learning about their environment and developing skills in many areas at the same time. Every child is unique and differences in their rate of development can be expected. However, there are some guidelines to help parents and professionals to determine how a child compares with most children their age.

This document is for any parent who has a concern regarding the development of their infant/toddler or whose infant/toddler has health care needs.

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