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Special Needs Services

York Region Early Intervention Services (EIS) delivers programs that support families who have children with special needs in their homes or licensed child care settings.

The years between birth and school-entry are critical to a child’s development. Studies have shown that intervention early in a child’s development has a much greater impact than later. York Region Early Intervention Services assists children and their families in this important period.

Benefits of Early Intervention

  • Assists the child in reaching their full potential in all areas of life
  • Helps the parent/guardian understand their child’s development and adjust to their needs
  • Puts the parent/guardian in touch with needed help and support as soon as possible
  • Supports the child’s participation in a child care setting
  • Encourages a successful transition to school


Early intervention services are available to children who:

  • Live in York Region
  • Attend licensed child care in York Region and require support
  • Are at risk due to prematurity, low birth weight or other birth complications
  • Have delays in development
  • Have a diagnosis such as:
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Autism
    • Down Syndrome

Please refer to each program below for more information on eligibility.


  • All early intervention services are provided at no cost
  • Minimal cost for materials may apply


York Region EIS provides four different programs to support a child’s development:

Infant and Child Development Services

The Infant and Child Development Services program supports families who have infants and young children who have been diagnosed with, or are at risk of having a developmental delay at home. It is primarily funded by York Region and in part, by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services.


Families and children are eligible for service when they meet the following criteria:

  • Live in York Region
  • Children aged birth to five years 11 months at date of referral
  • Child demonstrates one or more of the following:
    • Established Risk: a diagnosed developmental disability, disorder or medical condition
    • Biological Risk: events that occurred prior to, during, or soon after a child’s birth that may impact a child’s development
    • Delays in Development: child demonstrates delays in developmental functioning, cause unknown (areas of delay may include: communication, fine motor, gross motor, cognition or activities of daily living/self-help):
      • In one or more areas for children under 12 months
      • In two or more areas for children 12 months and older
      • Child demonstrates signs (red flags) for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)


Our program ensures families have the supports required to enable their children to fully participate in family routines by:

  • Supporting families with their service coordination needs as required
  • Collaborating with families to develop Individual Family Service Plans with child and family goals
  • Providing consultation based home or office visits
  • Developmental monitoring (i.e. siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or children eligible for neonatal follow-up clinics (see below) at a York Region Hospital)

Location of Services

We provide services in both individual and group settings. Services can be provided in:

  • Family/caregiver home
  • Local community settings (e.g. libraries, Child and Family programs, recreation centres, parks)
  • York Region Early Intervention Services offices

When Do Services End?

  • When the child begins school (Junior Kindergarten, Senior Kindergarten or Grade 1)
  • When the child attends a licensed child care program (includes licensed before and after school care, Montessori Schools, and nursery schools); in this case, we would support the child and family’s transition to our Inclusion Support Services program (see below)
  • When the family moves out of York Region
  • At any time that the parents/guardians choose

Office Locations

17310 Yonge Street
Unit 9
Newmarket, ON L3Y 7R9

Richmond Hill
50 High Tech Road
4th Floor
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4N7

9060 Jane Street
2nd floor
Vaughan, ON L4K 0G5

Junior Kindergarten,Senior Kindergarten,Grade 1,Support Services The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Neonatal Follow-up Services

York Region Early Intervention Services provides neonatal services for infants and children at higher risk of developmental delay due to prematurity or birth complications. The program is in partnership with Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, Markham Stouffville Hospital and Southlake Regional Health Centre.


  • Assessment, monitoring and early intervention of the child to promote optimal developmental outcomes
    • Multi-disciplinary team will focus on the child’s growth and development in all areas, including: gross and fine motor, feeding, speech and language, play skills and problem solving
  • Providing parents/guardians with information about their infant/child’s development and an opportunity to ask questions and discuss concerns
  • Connecting parents/guardians to community resources and making referrals to community supports
  • The clinic is not intended for primary medical care


  • Infants/children with a high risk for delays, including:
    • Infants born less than 33 weeks gestation,
    • Birth weight less than 2,000 grams
    • At risk for neurological impairments
    • Small for gestational age (SGA)
    • Metabolic conditions (including prenatal exposure to substance abuse)
    • Complex needs
  • A referral from the child’s doctor is required

When Do Services End?

  • At any time that parents/guardians choose
  • When the child turns 36 months old or when the neonatal-follow up team determines that the child no longer requires monitoring


Service is provided by a multi-disciplinary team, including:

  • Physician (neonatologist or pediatrician)
  • Early Interventionist (child development specialist)
  • Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist

How often are appointments?

  • Typically appointments are scheduled at 4, 8, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months corrected age
  • The first appointment is usually scheduled before the baby is discharged from the hospital

What happens at a typical appointment?

  • The team will assess the child by completing developmental screens (tests) and a physical exam by the doctor
  • The team will discuss their assessment with the parents/guardians and provide recommendations
  • A written report will be provided to the parents/guardians and a note sent to the child’s primary doctor (and any other care providers, as requested)
  • Appointments last approximately 45 minutes
  • Parents/guardians must bring the child’s Ontario Health card and any relevant reports from the child’s therapists or physicians. They are also encouraged to bring a list of their questions.

What if I need to change or cancel an appointment?

Please contact the hospital where the appointment is scheduled as soon as possible to cancel or change an appointment:

Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital
905-883-1212 ext. 3069

Southlake Regional Health Centre
905-895-4521 ext.2288

Location of Services

The clinics are located at the following hospitals:

Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital
10 Trench Street
B Wing Room 2912
Richmond Hill, ON L4C 4Z3

Markham Stouffville Hospital
381 Church Street
PAC Clinic 4
Markham, ON L3P 7P3

Southlake Regional Health Centre
596 Davis Drive
Floor 4 Pediatrics
Newmarket, ON L3Y 2P9

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Inclusion Support Services

The Inclusion Support Services program supports children (aged from birth to 13 years old) who attend a licensed child care, licensed before and after school program, or an approved recreation program in York Region. The program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education.


Any child, aged from birth to 13 years old, enrolled in a licensed child care (including licensed home child care and licensed before and after school program) or an approved recreation program in York Region is eligible.

Approved recreation programs are approved by Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM). Our intake staff can advise about which programs are approved.


The Inclusion Support Services program ensures that children who may require support have equal access to inclusive licensed child care programs in York Region by providing:

  • Support to the Child Care Centre
  • Support to individual children through collaborative consultation visits
  • Support for families’ service coordination needs, as required

What is offered?

  • Consultative visits to:
    • Licensed Child Care
    • Licensed Before and After school programs
    • Licensed Home Child Care
    • Approved recreation programs
  • General classroom consultations
  • Child-specific program planning
  • Capacity building activities to promote best practices in inclusion
  • Provide professional development opportunities for child care staff

Location of services

Services are provided in:

  • Licensed child care centres, including licensed home child care
  • Licensed before and after school programs
  • Approved recreation programs

When Do Services End?

  • When the child no longer attends a licensed child care or licensed before and after school program in York Region (may then be eligible for our Infant and Child Development Services (see above)
  • At any time that the parents/guardians choose
  • When the parent/guardian and/or the child care provider no longer have concerns regarding the child’s development

Office Locations

Richmond Hill
13175 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, ON L4E 0G6

50 High Tech Road
4th Floor
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4N7

9275 Markham Road
Unit 15
Markham, ON L6E 1A2

9060 Jane Street
2nd floor
Vaughan, ON L4K 0G5

one year of age,13 years old,licensed child care,before and after school program The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Therapy Services

Therapy services support the development of children (from birth to age six) who require occupational therapy (OT) and physiotherapy (PT). Therapy services are funded by York Region and by the Children’s Treatment Network (CTN).


  • Families and children enrolled in the following Early Intervention Services programs may access therapy services:
    • Infant and Child Development program
    • Inclusion Support Services program
  • Eligibility for our CTN funded therapy services is determined by an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist

How to Access Therapy Services

Referrals for our consultative therapy services are made by the child/family’s Early Interventionist once enrolled in Infant and Child Development or Inclusion Support Services.

Referrals for CTN Therapy can be made by calling or faxing the KIDS Line (refer to the How to Access Services section below).


We provide two streams of therapy services:  Consultative Therapy Service and Children’s Treatment Network funded service (referred to as CTN therapy).

Services may be offered in one-to-one and group settings and may include one or more of the following: assessment and screening, education, coaching, direct intervention (CTN therapy only), consultation, monitoring, referrals to community supports and services, and prescription of seating and mobility equipment (CTN therapy only).


  • Physiotherapists are registered health professionals with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
  • Focus on maximizing a child’s functional movement potential and participation
  • Assess and address concerns regarding physical function, including: mobility, strength, endurance, range of motion, balance, coordination and muscle tone
  • Prescribe adaptive equipment for enhanced physical function and mobility (walkers and forearm crutches)
  • Prescribe orthotic braces and garments
  • Guide choices around sports and leisure activities

Occupational Therapy

  • Occupational Therapists are registered health professionals with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
  • Focus on maximizing a child’s functional potential in their daily activities in their natural environments (school, child care, home) including: fine motor tasks, play/leisure activities and self-care (feeding, dressing, bathing)
  • Assess and address concerns regarding mobility, strength, range of motion, motor planning, sensory system function and muscle tone
  • Prescribe adaptive equipment, seating and materials to improve task performance and participation (hand splint fabrication, wheelchairs, bath seats)
  • Recommend environmental modifications to promote accessibility and function


Partnership with Parents and Caregivers

We work together with parents and caregivers to establish the child’s service plan. The more opportunities a child has to practice new skills, the better the outcomes. We engage parents and caregivers in therapy sessions, provide education, and help families to incorporate therapeutic activities and suggestions into their family routines.

Collaborative Team

Our therapists work collaboratively with all members of the child’s team. Joint sessions with team members, collaborative goal setting, use of consistent tools, and coordinated service planning ensures integrated service delivery. Team members may include: Early Interventionists, speech-language pathologists, vision consultants, child care providers, as well as school board occupational therapy and physiotherapy consultants.

In our Consultative Therapy Services, all sessions occur jointly between the Early Interventionist and therapist (barring exceptional circumstances) in order to maximize the benefits of collaboration and integrated service.

Location of Services

Both individual and group services are provided. For our consultative therapy service, the location aligns with the service location of the Early Interventionist. Services may be provided in:

  • Family/caregiver home
  • Child care centres
  • Local team offices
  • Local community settings (e.g. recreation centres, Child and Family programs, parks)

When Do Services End?

Our consultative services end upon discharge from Infant and Child Development Services or Inclusion Support Services. For children receiving CTN therapy services (OT/PT funded through the Children’s Treatment Network), this service will end when any of the following are met:

  • Child reaches five years and 11 months of age
  • Therapy services are transferred to school-aged therapy supports
  • Child has progressed well and no longer meets eligibility requirements for the CTN hosted therapy support
  • When the family no longer lives or attends child care in York Region
  • At any time that the family chooses
one year of age,six years old The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How to Access Services

Parents may call the KIDS Line at 1-888-703-KIDS (5437). Calling KIDS Line will direct you to an intake worker who will:

  • Explain EIS programs and services
  • Ask questions about the child’s development
  • Suggest resources for the child to access
  • Refer the child to other services in the community for additional support

With parental consent, physicians and other professionals can refer by faxing a developmental screen (E.R.I.K. or Nipissing District Developmental Screen) and the referral form to our Intake line at 905-762-2115.

Related Resources

Special needs services,early intervention services,early intervention,special needs,children with special needs,special needs children,child services,children’s services The Regional Municipality of York en-US Special Needs Services Special Needs Services Early Intervention Services (EIS) deliver programs that support children with special needs and their families from birth until they enter school.

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