Making a referral is a way of asking Birth to Three to evaluate a child. Experts will meet with the family to see if the child might need some help with their development. It’s the first step in our process. Referrals are free.

You don’t have to be an expert to make a referral. Anyone can make a referral, including:

  • Parents
  • Foster parents and guardians
  • Teachers
  • Childcare providers
  • Health care providers
  • Case workers
  • Relatives or family friends

How do I make a referral?

It’s easy — and there are a few ways to do it.

1. Call us at 1-800-505-7000 or 211

Experts are standing by and ready to help. You can also go to the 2-1-1 Child Development website.

2. Fill out our online form

There are a few different referral forms.

3. Fax us a referral form

Fill out this form and follow the instructions to fax it to us.

What happens after I make a referral?

When someone asks for a referral, we’ll check with the child’s parents to see if they agree to an evaluation.

If they do, we’ll send the referral to one of our nearby Birth to Three programs. Then, they will call the family to schedule the evaluation. During the evaluation, they’ll figure out the child’s strengths and needs, often using one or more standardized tests. Learn more about evaluations.

We’ll also send a letter to the person who made the referral that says:

  • Whether the parent agreed to an evaluation
  • Which program will evaluate the child (if the parent agreed)

The Birth to Three System in partnership with 211 Child Development (211 CD) work diligently to send referrals to contracted programs in a timely manner. When a referral is made, families should receive a phone call back from 211 CD within 2 business days. If a parent makes the referral themselves online, a Birth to Three program will reach out to them directly. If referrals go beyond that without contact, please notify the Birth to Three System’s Child Find, Rebecca Smith, at

What if I’m not sure a child needs a referral?

You can learn about eligibility requirements here. But if you’re not sure, call 211 anyway. They can help figure out whether a referral makes sense. If not, they can direct you to other resources that might help.

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