What Birth to Three Looks Like

Children's Drawings

Connecticut Birth to Three



The Birth to Three system is created by federal legislation known as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).   Part C of IDEA is the Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities.  This is a federal program that assists states in operating a comprehensive statewide program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities, ages birth up to age 3, and their families.

The mission of the Connecticut Birth to Three system is to strengthen the capacity of Connecticut’s families to meet the developmental and health-related needs of their infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities.

As determined by a national task force, the mission of Part C is to assist families  and caregivers to enhance children’s learning and development through everyday learning opportunities.  Key principles for providing Early Intervention services expand on the mission and include best practices for supporting families. Mission and Key Principles for Providing Early Intervention Services in Natural Environments

In Connecticut, Birth to Three services are based on the following practices:

1. Natural Learning Environment Practices

2. Coaching as a style of interaction with families and team members

3. Primary Service Provider approach to teaming


Resources and Other Information

Mission and Key Principles for Providing Early Intervention Services in Natural Environments.  Explains the mission and key principles of the Birth To Three System, as determined by a national task force.

Power Point on Connecticut Birth to Three Practices

Seven Key Principles: Looks Like/Doesn’t Look Like  This document includes examples of what Birth to Three services should/shouldn’t look like when focusing on natural environment practices (services provided in everyday family settings with focus on working within the family’s naturally occurring daily activities to provide learning opportunities for the child that will lead to skill development).

Key Principles of Early Intervention and Effective Practices: A Crosswalk with Statements from Discipline-specific Literature  Support statements from the various professional disciplines are linked with the key principles of effective practices in Early Intervention.

Adams, R. C., Tapia, C., Council on Children With Disabilities. (2013)  Early Intervention, IDEA Part C Services, and the Medical Home: Collaboration for Best Practice and Best Outcomes. Pediatrics, 132(4), 1073-1088.  The medical home and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Part C Early Intervention Program share many common purposes for infants and children ages 0 to 3 years, not the least of which is a family-centered focus. Professionals in pediatric medical home practices see substantial numbers of infants and toddlers with developmental delays and/or complex chronic conditions. Economic, health, and family-focused data each underscore the critical role of timely referral for relationship-based, individualized, accessible early intervention services and the need for collaborative partnerships in care. The medical home process and Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Part C policy both support nurturing relationships and family-centered care; both offer clear value in terms of economic and health outcomes. Best practice models for early intervention services incorporate learning in the natural environment and coaching models. Proactive medical homes provide strategies for effective developmental surveillance, family-centered resources, and tools to support high-risk groups, and comanagement of infants with special health care needs, including the monitoring of services provided and outcomes achieved.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs’ (OSEP’s) Part C of the IDEA 

Early Intervention Service Delivery Approaches/Models – ECTA Center

A Training Curriculum on IDEA Part C – Center for Parent Information and Resources

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