Early Support for Infants and Toddlers

Early intervention services during the first three years can make a big difference in a child’s life. The Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program provides services to children birth to age 3 who have disabilities or developmental delays.

Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal grant program that assists states in operating a comprehensive statewide program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities, ages birth through age 2 years, and their families.

Congress established this program in 1986 in recognition of "an urgent and substantial need" to:

  • enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities
  • reduce educational costs by minimizing the need for special education through early intervention
  • minimize the likelihood of institutionalization, and maximize independent living
  • enhance the capacity of families to meet their child's needs