About NC ITP

Mission and Vision 

Mother playing peek-a-boo with baby

Who We Are 

The North Carolina Early Intervention Section (NCEI) is a part of the NC Division of Child and Family Well-Being. It is the lead agency for the NC Infant-Toddler Program (ITP). The Infant-Toddler Program provides supports and services for families and their children, birth to three who have special needs. Research shows that this time period is critical. It offers a window of opportunity to make a positive difference in how a child develops and learns. Sixteen Children's Developmental Services Agencies (CDSAs) across North Carolina work with local service providers to help families help their children succeed. 

We Believe 

Our vision for families and caregivers of children enrolled in the NC Infant Toddler Program is that they will be able to help their children reach their maximum potential. 

Our mission is to provide supports and services to families and children to help them be successful in their homes and communities, by using every-day learning opportunities.  We will respect the diversity of families and use evidence-based practices to guide our work. 

We Serve 

Children aged birth to three with certain levels of developmental delay or established conditions, and their families, are eligible for the ITP. No family is denied services because of the inability to pay. 

We Offer

  • Service Coordination 
  • Physical, occupational and speech-language therapies 
  • Family support 
  • Special instruction 
  • Assistive technology 
  • Other services 

Services are provided within the child’s natural environment as a part of the everyday routines and activities in which families participate and in places where families would typically be. Natural environments are settings that are natural or normal for the child’s age peers who have no disabilities. When services take place children can be at home with their families or at places within the community like the park, playground or daycare with other care providers. 

Confidentiality of Information  

The ITP policies are designed to assure parents that: 

  • they will be fully informed about any release of information, 
  • they can limit the sharing of information among ITP staff and providers, and 
  • basic safeguards are provided when they are asked to authorize the release of child or family information. 
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Anyone with concerns about a child may refer him or her to the ITP.  

  • Parents 
  • Hospitals 
  • Physicians and other health care providers 
  • Childcare programs 
  • Public health facilities and other social service agencies 
  • Other public or private agency receiving public funds. 

Referrals to the ITP can be made by phone, email, fax, letter, in person at your CDSA, or by completing and submitting the NC ITP Referral Form to your CDSA. The following information should be included: 

  • Child's name 
  • Date of birth 
  • Address 
  • Telephone number 
  • Parent's name 
  • Reason for the concern. 

Parental consent is not required to make a referral. Referral sources are encouraged to talk with the parents before referring a child to the ITP. Parental consent is needed to determine eligibility and conduct evaluations.  Authorization to Disclose Health Information.

Eligibility Determination                        

Only the CDSA determines if a child is eligible. CDSAs use various methods and procedures to make this decision. Examples include standardized measures of child health and development; interviews and discussions with families; and observations of the child in home or play settings. 

A child and the child's family may receive Infant-Toddler Program supports and services if the child is younger than age three and has a developmental delay or an established developmental condition. 

Developmental Delay 

A child is considered to have a developmental delay if the child's development is delayed in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Cognitive - thinking and learning skills 
  • Physical - moving, seeing, hearing and health 
  • Communication - understanding and using sounds, gestures, and words 
  • Social-Emotional - responding to and developing relationships with other people 
  • Adaptive - taking care of one's self when doing things like feeding or dressing 

The specific level of the delay shall be: 

  • Documented by scores of 2.0 standard deviations below the mean of the composite score (total test score) on standardized tests in at least one of the above areas of development, or 
  • Documented by a 30% delay on instruments that determine scores in months in at least one of the above areas of development, or 
  • Documented by scores of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean of the composite score (total test score) on standardized tests in at least two of the above areas of development, or 
  • Documented by a 25% delay on instruments that determine scores in months in at least two of the above areas of development. 

Established Conditions 

A child is considered to have an established condition if the child has a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay. Examples include genetic disorders, vision impairment, hearing loss or autism. Specific conditions through which a child may be deemed eligible in the established conditions category are as follows: 

  • Congenital anomaly/ genetic disorders/ inborn errors of metabolism 
  • Congenital infections 
  • Autism 
  • Attachment disorder 
  • Hearing loss 
  • Visual impairment 
  • Neurologic disease/CNS disorders 
  • Neonatal conditions and associated complications:
    • Gestational age less than 27 weeks or birth weight less than 1000 grams 
    • Neonatal encephalopathy with neurological abnormality persisting at discharge from the NICU 
    • Moderate to severe ventricular enlargement at discharge from NICU or a ventriculoperitoneal shunt 
    • Neonatal seizures, stroke, meningitis, encephalitis, porencephaly, holoprosencephaly 
    • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia requiring supplemental oxygen at discharge from NICU 
    • Intrauterine Growth Retardation 
    • Necrotizing enterocolitis requiring surgery 
    • Abnormal neurological exam at discharge 
    • Intraventricular hemorrhage III or IV 
    • Periventricular leukomalacia 

NC ITP Eligibility Definition

Not Eligible 

The ITP will work to link families with appropriate local resources if a child is found ineligible. 

The Be Early Brochure provides basic information about the ITP and what to do if there are concerns about a child's development. It also includes a checklist of developmental milestones for the first year of life. 

The Milestones Chart helps parents determine whether their child is meeting developmental milestones during the first three years. 

The Assistive Technology Loaning Program provides proper care and cleaning instructions for assistive technology devices. 

Early Childhood Transitions in NC: A Parent's Guide to the Infant-Toddler & Preschool Programs helps parents be successful partners in planning for their child's transition from the Infant-Toddler Program to the Preschool Program. 

The Eligibility Definition describes who is eligible for services in the NC Infant Toddler Program under the Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

Growing Up Naturally - Early Intervention in Natural Environments provides practical information and guidance on the rationale behind the "what," "why," and "how" to provide services in a child's natural environment and the benefits to children, families and the programs that serves them. 

Guiding Practices for Early Childhood Transitions in NC provides an outline of activities, timelines, and recommended practices to facilitate a child's transition from the Infant-Toddler Program to the Preschool Program. 

Infant Toddler Program Guidance to Personnel Certification 2014 describes the requirements and competencies necessary to be certified in the ITP. 

Infant Toddler Program Guide to Reimbursement Procedures serves as a guide to the Children’s Developmental Services Agencies (CDSA) staff for reporting and billing for services. 

Notice of Child & Family Rights describes the child and family's rights while in the ITP, as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

Condensed Versions:  

Full Versions:  

The Parent Handbook helps parents understand the role and philosophy of the Infant-Toddler Program and answers key questions concerning its policies and procedures. 

Teleservices Resources for Early Intervention is a list of provider resources for use of teletherapy within Early Intervention.  

Teletherapy in the NC Infant-Toddler Program is a flyer to help parents decide whether teletherapy is right for them. 

The Importance of Early Intervention provides information on the importance, benefits, and the take home messages of early intervention. 

Working Together to Support Children's Learning and Development outlines how CDSA staff and community providers use coaching to help caregivers support their children's learning and development. 

The Infant-Toddler Program Central Directory of Resources helps ensure that: 

  • Parents, family members, service providers, and members of the public, including those with disabilities, can get accurate, up-to-date information on early intervention resources available across the state, and 
  • Information regarding the nature and scope of these resources is available through the internet, telephone or written requests at state and local levels. 

N.C. American Academy of Pediatrics 

The North Carolina Pediatric Society (NCPS) and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is one organization with two names representing over 1,200 pediatricians in the state.  Pediatricians' activities range from office care of infants, children and adolescents to age 21, to research and teaching at one of the state’s five academic medical centers, to child advocacy in the private and public sectors. (919) 839-1156 

N.C. Assistive Technology Program 

The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) is a state and federally-funded program that provides assistive technology services statewide to people of all ages and abilities. (919) 855-3500 

Autism Society of North Carolina 

For more than 43 years, the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) has worked to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina. ASNC is a statewide organization, supporting North Carolinians affected by autism. The organization works to directly improve the lives of individuals and families affected by autism through advocacy, training and education, and direct services. (800) 442-2762  

BEGINNINGS of North Carolina 

BEGINNINGS of North Carolina is a non-profit agency providing an impartial approach to meeting the diverse needs of families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and the professionals who serve them.  BEGINNINGS’ staff provide valuable technical information, emotional support, resources and referrals to parents and professionals. Services are free to parents in the state of North Carolina. (919) 715-4092 (V/TTY) 

Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) 

The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities is a comprehensive program for services, research, and training relevant to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The institute provides a continuum of clinical services from complex, interdisciplinary evaluations on-site to more limited and selected clinical services and training in all 100 counties in North Carolina. The institute brings together state-of-the-art research and clinical practice to ensure the best possible care for the citizens of North Carolina. (919) 966-5171 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeks to accomplish its mission by working with partners throughout the nation and the world to monitor health, detect and investigate health problems, conduct research to enhance prevention, develop and advocate sound public health policies, implement prevention strategies, promote healthy behaviors, foster safe and healthful environments, and provide leadership and training. (800) CDC-INFO(800) 232-4636 

Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) 

The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), so that they can focus their efforts on serving families of children with disabilities. (973) 642-8100 

Childcare Services Association (CCSA)  

CCSA is a non-profit association that improves the quality of childcare in North Carolina for all children by providing information to families and helping them find child care. CCSA also provides a variety of professional development opportunities for programs, providers, and policymakers. (919) 967-3272 

Disability Rights N.C. 

Disability Rights North Carolina is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Raleigh. Its team of attorneys, advocates, paralegals and support staff provide advocacy and legal services at no charge for people with disabilities across North Carolina. As the state’s federally mandated protection and advocacy system, Disability Rights North Carolina is charged with protecting the rights of children and adults with disabilities living in North Carolina. 
(877) 235-4210 (888) 268-5535 (TTY) 

Easter Seals/United Cerebral Palsy of North Carolina and Virginia 

Easter Seals UCP prepares children with disabilities to engage in the world and supports families to become and stay connected in their communities.  (800) 662-7119 

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) 

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs to improve state early intervention and early childhood special education service systems, increase the implementation of effective practices, and enhance the outcomes of these programs for young children and their families. (919) 962-2001 

Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC) 

ECAC is a private non-profit parent organization committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children through a special emphasis on children with disabilities. It affirms the right of all individuals, from all backgrounds and cultures, with or without disabilities, to an appropriate education and other needed services. ECAC seeks to make that right a reality by providing information, education, outreach, and support to and for families with children across the state of North Carolina. (800) 962-6817 

Family Support Network of N.C. 

The mission of the Family Support Program is to promote and to provide support for families with children who have special needs. (800) 852-0042 

First in Families N.C. (FIFNC) 

First in Families N.C. helps people with disabilities and their families to believe in their dreams, achieve their goals, and give back to others. We assist children and adults to be more involved and contributing members of their communities by helping them meet current goals and plan for the future; acquire needed goods and services and find opportunities to give back to others. (919) 251-8368 

Hands and Voices: Off to a Great Start

Off to a Great Start provides an interactive webpage exploring resources to support the early intervention journey for families of children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. The purpose of this new resource is to provide families with just in time family-friendly resources in one location and to support Early Hearing Detection programs in reaching one of their HRSA funding objectives of increasing by 15% from baseline, or achieve a minimum rate of 80%, whichever is lower, the number of infants identified as Deaf/Hard of Hearing that are enrolled in EI services no later than 6 months of age.

Off to a Great Start also includes a fun guide for those providing support to families or families themselves. Included are family support activities to promote family learning in the areas of wellbeing (how you are doing), knowledge (what you need to know), and empowerment (the confidence to get where you are going.)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 

The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 7.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.  

March of Dimes North Carolina Chapter 

The March of Dimes North Carolina Chapter has one goal: to help babies in our community start life in the healthiest way possible. Through education and intervention, we help moms-to-be learn how to take care of themselves before, during and after their pregnancy. We are also there when things don’t go as planned, providing comfort and information to families when a baby is born too soon. 
They also partner with local medical groups and organizations to establish guidelines for how to care for pregnant women and premature babies. And we provide grants to researchers working to understand birth defects and premature birth and to find treatments and solutions. (888) 663-4637; (970) 395-3148 (NC Chapter) 

North Carolina Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Help Line 

The Help Line  is an information and referral Help Line for those living with, caring for and concerned about a child with special health care needs. Callers can learn about health care programs as well as funding resources available to North Carolina residents. Email: CYSHCN.Helpline@dhhs.nc.gov. (800) 737-3028 

North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities 

The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities works collaboratively, across the State, to assure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity and inclusion in all areas of community life. The Council identifies problems facing its community through its five-year planning process and funds innovative projects and initiatives that promote the goals of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) for all North Carolinians. (800) 357-6916 (voice)   (984) 920-8200 (TTY) 

N.C. Early Intervention and Early Childhood Libraries 

North Carolina’s Early Intervention-Early Childhood Lending Library houses a large collection of print and video materials that focuses on young children with special needs and those who are typically developing, their families, and recommended practices for serving them. There is also a special collection of children’s books. These materials are available for loan to professionals and parents in North Carolina. (800) 962-6817  

The North Carolina Early Learning Sensory Support Program (NC ELSSP) 

The NC ELSSP is a state-funded direct service provider for young children with vision and/or hearing impairments. Services are provided at no cost by licensed teachers and staff trained to work with children with vision and/or hearing impairments. The N.C. ELSSP serves children birth to five years of age who have vision and/or hearing impairments. For more information about the program, to sign up for newsletters or to make a request for services, please contact: (984) 292-3063 

North Carolina Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association (NCIMHA)  

NCIMHA is a statewide, interdisciplinary non-profit organization established to promote and support the optimal development of infants, toddlers, young children, and families through relationship-focused workforce development and advocacy efforts. 

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Programs 

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local school districts. (202) 245-7459 

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina 

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina supports the development of safe, stable, nurturing relationships for children in their families and communities to prevent child abuse and neglect. 
(919) 829-8009 

Smart Start & the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. 

Smart Start was created in 1993 as an innovative solution to a problem: Children were coming to school unprepared to learn. Policymakers recognized that progress would require tapping into the same innovative spirit that inspired private sector advances, and therefore, established Smart Start as a public/private partnership. Independent, private organizations work in all 100 North Carolina counties through The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., and 75 Local Partnerships. The power of Smart Start is that it delivers outcomes by giving communities local control to determine the best approach to achieving them. (919) 821-7999 

University of North Carolina Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (UNC FPG)  

UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute is a community of scholars, scientists, and specialists dedicated to helping each child succeed by generating knowledge, informing policies, and support practices to promote positive developmental and educational outcomes for children of all backgrounds and abilities from the earliest years. The FPG Child Development Center conducts and provides research, evaluation, implementation, technical assistance and outreach. (919) 966-2622 

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) 

WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, commonly referred to as the WIC Program. 

Zero to Three 

ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development. 
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If you cannot find the information you need, call the N.C. Infant-Toddler Program toll free at (855) 623-2759 or (919) 707-5520.