Brain research shows that learning begins at birth. The clear link between early brain activity and brain development provides the building blocks for lifelong learning and function. When there is a diagnosis of a disability or developmental concern at birth, or soon thereafter, early intervention results in greater developmental gains for a child. Brain research shows that about 85 percent of brain growth happens in the first three years of life.
Early intervention enhances a child's growth and development. After nearly 50 years of research, early intervention has demonstrated results in children needing fewer special education and other services later in life, and, in some cases, being indistinguishable from classmates without disabilities. Research shows that every dollar invested in early childhood programs results in $4 to $9 in reduced future costs for special education, welfare, crime costs and increased tax revenues.
Community partners are a vital component of Washington's early intervention system. The Department of Early Learning (DEL) values public interest, knowledge and participation in early intevention.
Resources for community members
- ESIT Guiding Concepts video: A three-minute video that summarizes the foundational principals of early intervention.
- State and county interagency coordinating councils are a way for community members to participate in the early intervention system in their communities. Read more about Interagency Coordinating Councils.
- Federal regulations require current local and state early intervention data to be available for the public to review. View ESIT performance information and reports.
- DEL started the process in February 2013 to create state rules regarding how Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C services are implemented in Washington. Read more about the ESIT rulemaking process.
- Fast facts about the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) Program