Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program

Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program


  • In 1986 Congress created a nationwide incentive for states to implement coordinated systems of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families by adding Part C to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  • As defined by Part C, early intervention means services designed to meet the developmental needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities from birth through two years of age.

  • Each year since 1987 the State lead agency has received federal funds by submitting an application to the U. S. Department of Education which assures that the State will implement the early intervention system in compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.

  • Part C policies are based on the principles of family-centered and community-based service delivery and require that services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families be provided through a coordinated, interagency system rather than a single agency.

  • Maryland’s Extended IFSP Option offers families the choice to remain on an IFSP beyond their child’s third birthday, if their child is determined eligible for preschool special education and related services as a child with a disability. The extension of IFSP services beyond age 3, incorporates the strength of the special education/preschool education program with the existing infants and toddlers family-centered model. The Extended IFSP Option moves Maryland toward its mission of creating a seamless, birth – kindergarten early childhood intervention intervention and preschool special education system of services.

Maryland's Framework for Implementation of Part C

State Administration

  • The Maryland State Department of Education serves as the State lead agency for the administration of the statewide early intervention system.

  • As the State lead agency, the Maryland State Department of Education has entered into interagency agreements with the Maryland Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Office for Children, Youth, and Families to define the roles and responsibilities of each agency in the statewide system of early intervention services.

  • To support the statewide system of early intervention services under Part C, the State lead agency identifies and coordinates all available resources within the State, including funds from Federal, State, local and other sources (e.g., Medical Assistance, EPSDT, Office of Children's Health, Part B of the IDEA, State General Funds, and local education funds.

Local Service Delivery

  • Local Infants and Toddlers Programs, composed of local departments of education, health, social services, and other public and private providers identified by each jurisdiction, constitute the service delivery component of the statewide early intervention system.

  • Local lead agencies receive Part C and Part B funds through Local Implementation Grants, awarded annually by the State lead agency to support the coordination and provision of early intervention services in each jurisdiction. The State is required to ensure an equitable distribution of Part C funds to all geographic areas within the State.

  • Early intervention services are provided through an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), which is developed within 45 calendar days of referral to the Single Point of Entry.



Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services
Office: (410) 767-0244
Fax: (410) 333-8165