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Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was established in 1986. Known as Early Intervention (EI), it is available in all 50 states and 7 territories. Children under the age of three who have a disability or significant delays in development can receive EI services. In eight states, the program also includes those who are at-risk for delays in development.


Census data from 1999 – 2005 showed an increase of approximately 100,000 children served in EI (49% increase) while during the same time period the breakdown of Part C Federal allocation per child decreased from almost $2000 per child to barely $1600 per child (21% decrease).

EIFA would like to recognize the
Infant Toddler Coordinators Association
(ITCA), The Federation for Children with Special Needs and The Beach Center for their partnership and support. Thank you.

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Welcome to the EIFA web site. The Early Intervention Family Alliance is a national group of family leaders dedicated to improving outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The EIFA works to assure meaningful family involvement in the development of Part C policies and their implementation at community, state and federal levels.

Guiding Principles

  • Families are essential partners in implementing family centered practices in all levels of early intervention.
  • Families are respected experts on the services their child should receive.
  • Families have equal access to training and technical assistance to foster meaningful involvement.
  • Family diversity and voices of the underrepresented are essential to quality services and implementation of policies and practices.
  • Family-centered services that are community based and culturally competent ensure the highest quality programs.


  • Families will inform policy-makers of the needs of infant and toddlers with special needs and their families.
  • The interests of families of infants and toddlers receiving Part C services are represented through a proactive and recognized national agenda.
  • Part C policies and procedures incorporate and actualize the ICC Principles of Family Involvement.
  • Family leaders are cultivated and mentored to foster growth and make certain the unique diversity of families is represented in all Part C activities.
  • Family leaders, whether professionally dedicated or in voluntary positions of responsibility, are unified and act as a catalyst for effective advocacy.
  • Develop collaboration between related organizations and resources to provide effectiveguidance and support to family leaders.