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Early Childhood Intervention
ECI at-a-glance


Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is a statewide program within the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for families with children birth up to 36 months, with developmental delays, disabilities or certain medical diagnoses that may impact development. ECI services support families as they learn how to help their children grow and learn.


Did you know?
A newborn’s brain is 25 percent of the weight of an adult’s brain.
The birth-to-3 period is the fastest rate of brain development across the entire human life span. 
By age 3, a child’s brain has reached nearly 90 percent of its adult size.

Most astounding is the fact that the fastest rate of brain development occurs from birth to age 3. This definitely has direct impact on the work that Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) does in early intervention because early childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have lifelong effects. In other words, early childhood is a period of both great opportunity and vulnerability. Check out this video on Early Brain Development at


Did you know?
Anyone who has a concern about a child’s development can make a referral to ECI.
56 percent of the referrals made to ECI come from the medical and health services community.
23 percent of the referrals made to ECI come from parents, family, and friends.
21 percent of the referrals made to ECI come from other sources such as social services or educational agencies.

In Fiscal Year 2017, ECI served 55,412 children and their families in Texas.


Did you know?
A child can qualify for ECI services in three ways:
The child has a medical diagnosis. If a child has a medically diagnosed condition that is likely to cause a developmental delay and has a need for services, he or she will qualify for ECI services. Examples of common qualifying medical diagnoses include the following: Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, and failure to thrive.
The child has an auditory impairment or a visual impairment. A child is eligible for services if he or she has an auditory or visual impairment as defined by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
The child has a developmental delay. To determine eligibility for a developmental delay, ECI administers a standardized, evaluation tool, the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2). This tool evaluates all developmental domain areas including adaptive, personal-social, communication, motor (includes fine, gross, and perceptual motor), and cognitive.


Did you know?
Parents may ask that some of their ECI services be provided in their child’s early care and education setting.
ECI services in a child care setting focus on coordinating learning activities with the caregiver or teacher to ensure the child is fully participating in program activities. This may mean adapting the activity, changing the physical environment to meet the child’s needs, or supporting peer relationships.
ECI may also work with the child care provider to understand how to structure tasks in smaller developmental steps to show the child’s learning.

When parents and teachers work together, this allows both to set realistic expectations for the child. As a result, they are better able to recognize and applaud the child’s accomplishments. The ECI provider’s role is not to replace communication between the family and the child care provider, but to offer strategies that support the child’s development both at home and in the child care setting.


Did you know?
ECI services are provided by licensed and credentialed staff.
ECI services are provided where the child lives, learns, or plays.
ECI Services are provided to families of all income levels.
ECI has local contractors throughout the state and every ZIP code is covered.


To learn more
Early intervention provides immediate and long-term benefits for children and families. To find out more about ECI services, call 1-877-787-8999 or visit the ECI web page at Here are some additional topics you may find of interest:

ECI Resources: Check this robust collection of resources of interest to families of children with developmental delays or disabilities at

ECI Professionals: Learn more about the licensed and credentialed professionals who provide ECI services at

ECI Program Search: Find a local ECI program in your area at

ECI Videos: Take a look at ECI from a family’s perspective at

Information for Families: Learn about developmental milestones at