Early Development Network Babies Can't Wait  

June 17, 2015
Are you concerned about the health or development of a young child? 
Most parents wonder at times if their children are growing and developing like other children the same age. No two children develop at the same rate or learn to do things at the same exact time. However, if you have concerns about the development of a child (birth to three years), or if a child has been diagnosed with a disability or health condition that affects developmental growth, it is better to seek answers sooner than later through the Early Development Network. 

What is the Early Development Network?
The Early Development Network (EDN) serves children from birth to age three and their families. EDN is a collaborative effort shared by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as co-lead agencies. These agencies are responsible for planning, implementation, and administration of the Federal Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C of IDEA).

How do you find out if a child is eligible for services?
After receiving the family’s permission, a referral may be made by anyone concerned about the child’s development (e.g., a family member, child care provider, physician, social worker, or others). The call is made to a Services Coordinator, who will contact the family within seven days to determine if they are interested in receiving EDN services. With the family’s consent, the Services Coordinator contacts the school district, in which the family resides, to arrange for a multidisciplinary team (MDT) evaluation. The parents, Services Coordinator, and educational professionals from the local school district comprise the MDT that determines eligibility. 

What happens next?
If the child qualifies for special education services, the team (of which parents are key members) will develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This plan contains prioritized goals, based on the unique needs of each child and family, and then family-centered services needed to achieve these goals are identified. Educational services are provided by the school district in the home through coaching by one or more of the following: an early childhood special educator, a speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist. The Services Coordinator works to link the family with community resources and supports. 

How can you get involved?
There are 28 Planning Regions in Nebraska. Each Planning Region Team (PRT) is made up of parents and representatives from School Districts, Educational Service Units, Head Starts, Health and Human Services, and other community agencies and persons responsible for assisting in the planning and implementation of the Early Intervention Act in each local community or region. You can serve as a member of your local Planning Region Team. You can be part of a “grass roots” effort to locate children and to make parents and the public aware of the assistance available through the Early Development Network. 

What is ESU 10’s role?
Educational Service Unit 10 is the local Lead Agency responsible for Planning Region 10 team activities, while CHI Health Good Samaritan is the Services Coordination Contracting Agency responsible for providing coordination of services. These agencies serve infants, toddlers and their families in Buffalo, Dawson, Garfield, Greeley, Loup, Sherman, and Valley counties. CHI Health Good Samaritan is also the Services Coordination Agency for Planning Region Team 28, serving Blaine and Custer Counties.

Who do you contact?
To request information or to refer a child in the Planning Region 10 service area, please contact an EDN Services Coordinator at (308) 865-7131 or (800)-689-7131. 
If you live outside the PRT 10 service area, please call the Nebraska Statewide Early Development Network Child Find number at: 1-888-806-6287 or visit http://edn.ne.gov/cms/ 
If you are interested in being part of Planning Region Team 10, contact John Street jstreet@esu10.org or Karen Verraneault kverrane@esu10.org