Getting Started in NC ITP

A mom, her son and his teacher

You know your child best. If you believe your child has a developmental delay or disability:

Contact your CDSA to make a referral. You can refer your child to the ITP by phone, fax, letter, in person at your CDSA office, or by completing and submitting the NC ITP Referral form to your CDSA. If your child is already three years old, contact your local school district. A contact list is available at the Office of Early Learning.

Work with your CDSA staff as they gather information from you about your child's development, health and medical history. Your concerns, interests and priorities will also be discussed. To determine if your child will benefit from ITP supports and services, evaluations and assessments must be completed. The information gathered will show your child's strengths and any areas of development that might benefit from early intervention. 

Once your child is proven eligible, you may choose to enroll in the ITP. If you decide to enroll in the ITP, remember that you are your child's first and best teacher and advocate. Be an active participant in the program to help guide important decisions about your child and the supports and services he or she may need. 

Be a Team Player  

Professionals will work with your child and family as a team to build a plan of supports and services for desired outcomes related to your child's development. The team members will share with you information and resources, and identify strategies and activities related to the outcomes. This plan will become the foundation for your child's success. 

Be Involved 

Your child and family will benefit from the support, services and skills that the ITP offers. Your ability to use your family's daily routines to help your child learn and grow will increase as you become more involved. 

Be Informed 

As the needs of your child and family change, supports and services may also need to change. Know your family's rights while enrolled in the ITP. Effectively share your child's needs to other team members. Take an active role in helping your child develop and learn. 

Notice of Child & Family Rights

ITP Parent Handbook

Tab/Accordion Items

Who is Eligible for the ITP 

A child and family may receive supports and services if the child is: 

  • up to three years old and 
  • has certain levels of developmental delay or an established condition. 

A child with a developmental delay is not developing like other children his age. The delay can be in one or more of the following areas: 

  • thinking and learning 
  • moving, seeing, hearing and health 
  • understanding and using sounds, gestures and words 
  • responding to and developing relationships 
  • taking care of one's self when doing things like feeding or dressing 

A child with an established condition has a diagnosed health condition that will very likely cause a developmental delay. This includes: 

  • genetic disorders, such as Down Syndrome or cystic fibrosis 
  • congenital infections, such as HIV and rubella 
  • central nervous system disorders, such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy 
  • hearing loss 
  • vision problems 
  • autism 

Developmental Milestones

Use this checklist as one way to see whether your child is meeting developmental milestones during the first year. If you have questions or concerns about how your child sees, hears, moves, communicates, learns, plays or interacts with others, talk with your primary care physician or contact your local Children's Developmental Services Agency (CDSA). Success in your child's growth and development can benefit from EARLY action. The Earlier You Know, The Better They'll Grow! 

1 Month: 

  • Lifts head when on tummy
  • Looks at faces

2 Months:

  • Makes sounds: Coos and gurgles
  • Follows objects with eyes

3 Months

  • Recognizes faces
  • Holds head steady and upright

4 Months

  • Smiles, laughs
  • Rolls from back to side

5 Months

  • Holds out arms to be held
  • Likes to play peek-a-boo

6 Months

  • Copies sounds
  • Rolls over in both directions

7 Months

  • Creeps
  • Uses hands to pat, touch, stroke

8 Months

  • Crawls
  • Pulls self up to standing

9 Months

  • Says "mama" or "dada"
  • Responds to own name

10 Months

  • Waves Bye-bye
  • Drinks from a cup when it's held

11 Months

  • "Walks' holding on to furniture
  • Picks up small objects

12 Months

  • Uses simple gestures
  • Knows at least three words 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” Milestones in Action Photo and Video Library is a photo and video library to help families and caregivers understand the developmental milestones of children aged 2 months to 5 years.

The Infant-Toddler Program Step-by-Step document provides an overview of the steps your family may take while in the Infant-Toddler Program.

NC ITP Step-by-Step

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. 

A family with a baby

Families enrolled in the Infant-Toddler Program are asked to complete a Family Survey at their six-month service reviews with their Early Intervention Service Coordinators. This is your opportunity to let us know how we are doing. If you need the survey in a language other than English or Spanish, let your Early Intervention Service Coordinator know. 

Your feedback is valuable to us. Your feedback will help us better identify areas for improvement so we may better serve North Carolina’s children and their families. 

Children can transition out of the ITP when they are no longer in need of the supports and services of the ITP or when they turn three years of age. All children must transition out of the program by age three. As your child nears 2 years and 3 months of age, your Early Intervention Service Coordinator will help you determine the next steps for your child. 

Be Ready  

ITP supports and services will end at or before your child's third birthday. Your Early Intervention Service Coordinator will work with your child and family to guide you through this transition. The transition from the ITP could be into the preschool program or into other community settings. 

Be Prepared  

Smooth transitions are well-planned and include open discussion and active participation. Open communication and cooperation between the families and the agencies serving your child are essential. This allows you and the providers to close old relationships and prepare for new ones. 

Be Informed  

You have the right and responsibility to make informed decisions about your choices and options. This may include visiting programs and agencies that offer services to meet your child's needs. It may also include having discussions with providers or other families receiving similar services and supports. This will help ensure that your decisions best meet the needs of your child and family.

Transition Resources  

NC ITP Transition Policy 

Early Childhood Transitions in NC: A Parent's Guide to the Infant-Toddler & Preschool Programs English Early Childhood Transitions in NC: A Parent’s Guide to the Infant-Toddler & Preschool Programs – English 

Early Childhood Transitions in NC: A Parent's Guide to the Infant-Toddler & Preschool Programs Spanish Early Childhood Transitions in NC: A Parent’s Guide to the Infant-Toddler & Preschool Programs – Spanish 

Office of Early Learning