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Early ACCESS logoEarly ACCESS is a partnership between families with young children, birth to age three, and providers from the Departments of Education, Public Health, Human Services, the Child Health Specialty Clinics. The purpose of this program is for families and staff to work together in identifying, coordinating and providing needed services and resources that will help the family assist their infant or toddler to grow and develop.


The family and providers work together to identify and address specific family concerns and priorities as they relate to the child's overall growth and development. In addition, broader family needs and concerns can be addressed by locating other supportive/resource services in the local community for the family and/or child. All services to the child are provided in the child's natural environment including the home and other community settings where children of the same age without disabilities participate.

Services required to be provided to children and families include:

  • Service Coordination
  • Screenings, evaluation and assessments
  • "Individualized Family Service Plan" (IFSP)
  • Assistive Technology
  • Audiology
  • Family Training/Counseling
  • Health Services
  • Medical evaluations to determine eligibility
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Sign Language & Cued Language
  • Social Work
  • Special Instruction
  • Speech Language Therapy
  • Vision
  • Transportation

Age Requirements and Eligibility:

An infant or toddler under the age of three (birth to age three) who,

  • has a condition or disability that is known to have a high probability of later delays if early intervention services were not provided, OR
  • is already experiencing a 25% delay in one or more areas of growth or development.


There are no costs to families for service coordination activities; evaluation and assessment activities to determine eligibility or identify the concerns, priorities and resources of the family; and development and reviews of the Individualized Family Service Plan. The service coordinator works with the family to determine costs and payment arrangements of other needed services. Some services may have charges or sliding fee scales or may be provided at no cost to families. Costs are determined by a variety of factors that are individualized to each child and family.

Where to Apply:

The purpose of Early ACCESS Iowa is to assist families in connecting with Early ACCESS and community-based services that address specialized child and family needs through a user friendly system.

Call toll-free: 1-888-IAKIDS1 or 1-888-425-4371

State Contact
To connect a child to Early ACCESS services, use the above "Where to Apply" contact information. To contact someone at the State office, call 515-281-8634.


Legal Requirements and Reports

Iowa Part C Annual Performance Report FFY 2013 - This is the Annual Performance Report for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C, which was submitted on February 2, 2015 to the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The report provides data on the State's Early ACCESS system and the nine Regional Grantees' performance in 11 national indicators. You can also access Iowa’s State Profile directly from OSEP at

IDEA State Performance Plan - Part C - In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. Iowa must have in place a Part C State Performance Plan that evaluates Iowa's efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of Part C and describes how Iowa will improve such implementation. This plan is in effect for six years and Iowa will report annually to the U.S. Department of Education on the performance of the State under this plan. This FFY 2009 version of the plan extends targets and improvement activities for an additional two years (effective until FFY 2012 which ends June 30, 2013). Iowa revised the SPP FFY 2012 to reflect changes in Indicator C4.

Iowa's Section 618 of IDEA, Part C Data Collections
This section reports data that is collected under the authority of Section 618 of IDEA, Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Data collections located here include the IDEA Part C Child Count and Setting report, Report of Dispute Resolution Under Part C and the IDEA Part C Exit report.

FFY 2013 Iowa IDEA Part C Dispute Resolution

FFY 2013 Iowa IDEA Part C Exiting

2014-2015 Iowa-Child Count and Setting

Iowa FFY 2013 (2013-2014) Regional Profiles - This document provides State and Regional Grantee data for the FFY 2013 (2013-2014) reporting year in eight federally mandated indicators. The data provide the U.S. Department of Education and Iowa stakeholder's information about how well the Iowa Early ACCESS system is implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act/Part C and achieving results for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

Iowa's Part C Application for Federal Funds - The following documents are Iowa's applications for IDEA Part C funding for Early ACCESS. The applications demonstrate that Early ACCESS is a statewide system of early intervention services.

Iowa IDEA Early ACCESS Policies and Assurances (2013) - These policies and assurances are part of the state application requirement to the Office of Special Education Programs at the USDE.

Iowa's Early ACCESS Rules (2012) - These rules define the operation of Iowa's statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, interagency system of services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and those with developmental delays under the federal individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C.

(This site contains copies of provisions of the Iowa Administrative Code managed by the Legislative Service Bureau. Although every attempt is made to ensure that the information placed on this site is accurate and timely, the Department of Education cannot assure the accuracy of any specific provision originating from this site, and you are urged to consult the official printed version of this publication or to contact legal counsel of your choice. This site cannot legally be cited as an official or authoritative source.)

Early ACCESS (Part C) Procedural Safeguards 2013 - Parents have rights, known as procedural safeguards, which apply to every aspect of the early intervention process, such as evaluation, access to records, and Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) team participation. State and federal laws and regulations outline what needs to happen for eligible infants and toddlers with conditions or developmental delays to enhance their growth and development. This document serves as your procedural safeguards notice and will help you understand the rights available to you and your child through a federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) Part C and the Iowa Administrative Rules for Early ACCESS Integrated System of Early Intervention Services.

Memorandum of Agreement - This interagency agreement, signed May 27, 2008 by the Iowa Department of Education, Human Services, Public Health, and the University of Iowa's Child Health Specialty Clinics, outlines the agencies' roles and responsibilities in the Early ACCESS system. The agreement includes their commitment to 1) provide early intervention services and 2) support components needed for a coordinated system. This agreement fulfills a requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C - 303.523.

Early ACCESS Governor's Report 2015 - This annual report is submitted to the Governor of Iowa by the Iowa Council for Early ACCESS and the Iowa Department of Education. It documents the work of the council and provides a review of the State system and impact on infants and toddlers in the Early ACCESS system and their families.

2011 Joint Policy Statement - Consent for Signatures - In the summer 2011, the Iowa Departments of Education and Human Services issued a Policy Statement to clarify interpretations of "Consent for Signatures". This Policy Statement resolved differing interpretations of federal and state definitions of "parent" and clarified who can sign consents in a variety of circumstances, especially for children in foster or kinship care.


Early ACCESS Council


Guiding Practices

Guiding Principles and Practices for Delivery of Family Centered Services
Family Centered Services is a way of organizing and delivering assistance and support to families based upon some distinct, interconnected beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. This brochure shares eight principles selected to guide programs delivering services.

Family Centered Services

Early ACCESS Competency Based Service Coordination Training Program
Early ACCESS (IDEA Part C) Service Coordinators in the State of Iowa must complete a competency-based training program approved by the Lead Agency (Iowa Department of Education).  Iowa's research-based Early ACCESS Coordination Training Program is composed of five modules for entry-level EA Service Coordinators.  Each of the modules is focused on identified competencies necessary for effective Service Coordination.  Trainings are available either at face-to-face trainings provided by Approved Trainers or online, as indicated below.

Service Coordination Training Modules

Information about accessing the training program, contact Melissa Schnurr, at or 515-281-5751.

Procedures for Training Registration

For Module 2 &3 Service Coordination competency based training sessions register with one of the following Early ACCESS On Site Training Coordinators:

Northwest Quadrant:Teresa Hobbs

Southwest Quadrant: Anne Volker

Northeast Quadrant: Gina Greene and Margie Jensen

Southeast Quadrant: Jeanie Wade-Nagle


ARRA Reports

Iowa IDEA Part C received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds in 2009-2011. The following are reports of professional development, research, and system enhancement activities that occurred and benefited the Early ACCESS system.

CHSC ABR Hearing Pilot

CHSC Environmental Toxins Executive

CHSC Environmental Toxins Neurodevelopment

CHSC Foster Care

CHSC Health Assessment

CHSC PI CHI Late Preterm Infant

CHSC Social Determinants

CHSC Social Determinants Notebook

DE Autism Screening Tool Training

DE Executive Summary

DE Family Survey Project

DE Family Survey Workgroup

DHS EC Mental Health Blueprint

Every Child Reads

Family Household Survey

IDPH Summary

IDPH-CHSC Family Household Health Survey




Iowa Early ACCESS Family Survey

The Department of Education, as Lead Agency for Early ACCESS (Part C), is required by the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to report data on the percent of families participating in Part C who report that early intervention services have helped the family know their rights; effectively communicate their children's needs; and help their children develop and learn. This survey has been developed by the National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring (NCSEAM), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. Data from this survey will be used to describe the current performance of early intervention in Iowa and to identify targets for Iowa's 6-year State Performance Plan (SPP), due to OSEP February 2, 2007.

Family Survey - Early Intervention

NCSEAM Letter to Parents

Early ACCESS Letter to Parents - English

Early ACCESS Letter to Parents - Spanish

Iowa Part C Eligibility Document This document provides information about who is eligible for Early ACCESS (IDEA Part C) including guidance to IFSP teams on how to determine eligibility using one of two criteria:

  • Known condition (list provided) or
  • 25% developmental delay.

Parents as Presenters




ASK Family Resource Center - ASK stands for "Access for Special Kids." The ASK Family Resource Center is a "one-stop-shop" for children and adults with disabilities and their families. Through its member organizations, the Center provides a broad range of information, advocacy, support, training, and direct services.

Center for Congenital and Inherited Disorders - The Center for Congenital and Inherited Disorders, in partnership with the University of Iowa and health care providers throughout the state, has developed programs that are designed to address all steps of the life cycle: prenatal, neonatal, pediatric, and adult. The mission is to advance the health and well being of children and adults with genetics conditions and special health care needs in partnership with families, health and human service providers and communities.

Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) - CDD can help find the information you want. It hosts a disability resource library free to people with disabilities and their families.

Early Childhood Iowa - This website serves as a hub for many online resources regarding the early care, health and education system, local Boards and state initiatives that focus on all young children (0 to 5 years).

Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program - This website is one component of Iowa's Assuring Better Child Health and Development II (ABCD II) initiative, which focuses on implementing prevention, early recognition, and early intervention practices that promote the healthy development of children from birth through age 3 who participate in Iowa's Medicaid system.

Healthy and Well Kids--Iowa (hawk-i) - Hawk-i is a program that provides health care coverage for Iowa children in families with limited incomes.

Iowa COMPASS - Iowa COMPASS is Iowa's free statewide information and referral service for people with disabilities, their families, their service providers and other members of the community.

Iowa Early Hearing Detection and Intervention System (IAEHDI) - The Iowa Early Hearing Detection and Intervention website contains information for parents and professionals about newborn hearing screening and early intervention services for children with hearing loss.

Iowa Program for Assistive Technology - The Iowa Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT) is Iowa's grant project under the Assistive Technology Act (ATA) of 1998. IPAT's goals are to promote and create systems change in the state with regards to assistive technology (AT) and it's use. IPAT works with consumers and family members, service providers, and state and local agencies/organizations to promote assistive technology through awareness, training, and policy work.

IowAble Foundation - Iowa Able puts technology within reach of those who need it. Iowa Able may provide direct loans or loan guarantees for eligible persons through a lending institution.

The Iowa Legislature - Find your state legislator by entering your street address, city, and zip code.



Early ACCESS Region 8 - In Early ACCESS Region 8, our beliefs will be realized when families, children, service providers and community members work as partners to ensure that children and families receive the support they need to achieve their dreams.

Early ACCESS Region 11 - Region 11 provides early intervention for children birth to age three in central Iowa. The Regional Grantee, Heartland AEA 11, is located in Johnston. Find your Early ACCESS services in the section titled "Children Birth Through 2 Years of Age".

Early ACCESS Region 13 - Region 13 provides early intervention services to children birth to age three in southwest Iowa. Green Hills AEA, located in Council Bluffs, is the Regional Grantee.



Bridges4Kids - A nonprofit parent organization providing a comprehensive system of information and referral for parents of children from birth through transition to adult life. This site shows where to find help for a child anywhere in the US.

Child Trends - Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan children's research organization. We collect and analyze data; conduct, synthesize, and disseminate research; design and evaluate programs; and develop and test promising approaches to research in the field.

Family Village - Family Village is a global community that integrates information, resources, and communication opportunities on the Internet for persons with cognitive and other disabilities, for their families, and for those that provide them services and support.

Family Voices - Family Voices is a national, grassroots clearinghouse for information and education concerning the health care of children with special health care needs.

Hands and Voices - Hands and Voices is a parent driven, non-profit organization dedicated to providing unbiased support to families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We provide support activities and information concerning deaf and hard of hearing issues to parents and professionals that may include outreach events, educational seminars, advocacy, lobbying efforts, parent to parent networking, and a newsletter.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities - NICHCY is the national information center funded by the US Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, that provides information on IDEA (the nations' special education law), No Child Left Behind (as it relates to children with disabilities), and research-based information on effective educational practices.

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center - NECTAC is a national technical assistance consortium working to support states, jurisdictions, and others to improve services and results for young children with disabilities and their families.

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) - NORD is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them.

National Parent Network on Disabilities - The mission of the National Parent Network on Disabilities is to provide a presence and national voice for ALL families of children, youth and adults with disabilities.

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) - 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 districts. IDEA authorizes formula grants to states, and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.

Pacer Center - The mission of PACER Center is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents.

PEAK Parent Center - The mission of PEAK Parent Center is to ensure that children, youth, and adults with disabilities lead rich, active lives and participate as full members of their schools and communities.

Project Participate - Project Participate provides families, educators, administrators and therapists with simple strategies to increase the active participation of students with disabilities in school programs.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on August 30, 2015 at 2:11pm.