Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Child care reflected on IFSP

I have been grappling with the issue that the IFSP should reflect the child care hours a child in early intervention receives, in addition to the number of hours of official early intervention services (e.g., special instruction, family training, SLP, OT, PT, etc.). I thought the federal law specifically allowed for the listing of “services” paid for and unpaid for by the system, but it doesn’t. The IFSP must contain “a statement of specific early intervention services based on peer-reviewed research… necessary to meet the unique needs..., including the frequency, intensity, and method of delivering services.” Resources are mentioned in the law, of course, in the CPR section: “a statement of the family’s resources, priorities, and concerns….” So below I list places on the IFSP where child care and number of hours can be documented.

Ideally, every IFSP would document, in the natural environments section, how many hours a week the child was planned to (a) attend a child care center, (b) attend a family child care home, (c) receive child care from one primary nonparental child care provider (e.g., nanny/babysitter, family member). In the meantime, we might want to record it in one of the four places identified below. This would show everyone how much intervention the child care center is providing and probably not getting paid for, from early intervention funds.

Places on the IFSP Where Child Care Intensity Can Be Recorded

  • Concerns, priorities, and resources section

  • Section for documenting natural environments

  • Section for extra notes from the IFSP meeting

  • Strategies or action steps for outcomes/goals

(Thanks to Jacque Davis, Ph.D., for getting some background information on this for me.)