Kern Early Start ProgramIf your baby, or a baby you know, was born with a condition requiring special care, he or she may need special services.
Kern Early Start is a multi-agency collaborative program designed to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers from birth until age three. Infants and toddlers should be referred if they have:
- Problems due to premature birth
- Significant learning or muscle tone problems
- Identified conditions such as Down's Syndrome or cerebral palsy
- Been seriously ill
- Developmental delays in one or more areas such as walking or talking
- Born to parents needing assistance due to their own special needs
The Kern Early Start Program provides many services and is designed to simplify the process of obtaining help by providing a one step referral and identification process.
Early Start will work with the infant and toddler and their family to increase the infantís skills and development. This may be done through direct intervention, support and consultation or assistance in accessing other services and agencies in the community.
Infant Development Specialists, Therapists, and others who have knowledge of working with very young children and their families provide services. Children in this program are evaluated and have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) developed to address their needs and describe the services that they will receive. Services are provided in the home, infant centers and other environments suitable for that child and his or her family.
Kern Regional Center works closely with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, the Kern County Consortium SELPA, Sierra Sanda SELPA and Bakersfield City School District SELPA to evaluate and provide a full range of services to the infant/toddler and the family.
Anyone may refer a child ó a parent, a physician, an agency worker, a friend or relative. The easiest way to refer is to call one of the primary service agencies: Kern Regional Center, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, the Bakersfield City School District, or the Sierra Sands Unified School District if the family lives in Ridgecrest.
There is no cost for services from the Early Start Services Program. If you think you know an infant or toddler with a need for special interventions, you may obtain more information or make a referral by calling one of the following agencies:
- Kern Regional Center
661.327.8531 x220 or 800.479.9899
- Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office
- Bakersfield City School District
- Sierra Sands Unified School District