Early Intervention Services

Infants and young children with developmental, social-emotional, and medically-related vulnerabilities need extra care from the beginning. Early Intervention Services (EIS) provides therapeutic intervention, child development services, and family support services for infants and young children (ages 0–5) with emerging developmental, medical, and social-emotional delays. EIS services are family-centered and are predominantly delivered in the home, although group sessions are offered at community-based locations. With the right intervention at the start, we can put your entire family on the path to positive growth and relationships.

Find Us

Why Families Choose Us

Family- and Home-Based Support

  • Services offered through Early Intervention Services are multidisciplinary, family-centered, and relationship-based. Support is tailored to the sociocultural context of your unique family dynamic, and many services are predominantly delivered in the child's home.

Organized Care in Tandem with Community and Public Organizations

  • Our therapists, developmental specialists, psychologists, and clinical social workers are often called upon to train and consult with community-based and public agencies to help them enhance their own programs.
  • Case management and parent support are an integral part of all EIS options. We work with outside agencies and community outreach programs to ensure streamlined access to care.
  • In addition to serving individual families in Alameda County, the ECMH program is regularly called on to provide consultation and training to throughout the county, state, and nationally.

Developmental Programs for Your Unique Situation

Neonatal Follow-Up Programs

  • The Special Start Home Visiting Program—Special Start offers developmental, medical, and psychosocial case management to approximately 225 infants per year who are graduates of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and have complex medical conditions and/or social risk factors. Participants receive weekly to monthly home visits for up to 3years by a coordinated team with mental health and developmental expertise.
  • The Neonatal Follow-Up Clinic—This program provides developmental assessment and medical care for CCS eligible infants who were in the Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Services include neurodevelopmental pediatric assessment and case management. Approximately 450 young children are served yearly.
  • The Intensive Care Nursery Developmental Support Program—Developmental intervention and support, including kangaroo holding and breastfeeding interventions, are provided to parents with newborns in Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The program serves more than 200 neonates and their families each year and is an integral part of the care given in the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery.

Parent–Infant Programs (PIP)

  • Local Early Access Program (LEAP)—LEAP is designed for infants up to age 3 who have developmental disabilities and are eligible to receive Part C services through the Regional Center of the East Bay. Program components include parent-child playgroup, home visits, developmental interventions, and parental support. About 27 children and their families are in the program at any given time.
  • Developmental Playgroups Program—This community-based intervention provides parent-child playgroups to encourage the healthy development of infants and young children who are at risk for developmental delays. All groups incorporate developmentally rich play activities with parent support and education. Groups are located in Oakland and South Hayward. Many of the groups are offered in Spanish. These programs serve 100 young children and their families each year.

Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) Mental Health Programs

EPSDT Mental Health Programs are designed for children with social-emotional delays or disturbances:

  • CARE Early Childhood Mental Health Program—CARE provides home-based therapeutic intervention for children under age 6 and their families. About 125 children are enrolled.
  • Therapeutic Guidance for Infants and Families (TGIF)—Infants in the TGIF program are those that are involved with the child welfare system and their families including biological parents, relatives, and foster caregivers. The TGIF program activities include therapeutic parent-child playgroups, parent education and support sessions, and dyadic therapy sessions. About 10 parent-child dyads are served at any given time.
  • FIRST Perinatal Drug Treatment Support Program—The FIRST program provides group and individual infant and early childhood therapeutic intervention to children living with their mothers in residential perinatal drug treatment or with their mothers in outpatient drug treatment. Children of incarcerated parents are also served in this program.
  • Fussy Baby Program—The Fussy Baby program provides intervention to parents whose infants have a crying, sleeping, or feeding problems that are creating stress in the family. Referrals come from local pediatric providers and community-based agencies.


EIS has received funding to begin the process of building a research program that will focus on the impact of trauma on early attachment, successful early childhood treatment, and other issues related to supporting positive outcomes for young children with medical, developmental, and social-emotional delays.

Consultation and Training

EIS operates a broad range of consultation and training activities that support agencies working with young children throughout the county, state, and nation.

  • Irving B. Harris Early Childhood Mental Health Training Program—EIS administers a two-year training program for mental health, developmental, nursing, and social work professionals to expand their expertise and skills in addressing the social-emotional development and mental health needs of young children. Over 250 professionals have completed the program.
  • EIS Consultation and Training Team—EIS provides technical assistance and mental health consultation services to numerous community-based agencies and Early Head Start/Head Start programs each year.
  • Consultation to Another Road to Safety and Paths to Success—This program is designed to support community-based agencies that serve families whose children have been reported to Child Protective Services and that have a goal of keeping young children out of the welfare system. EIS provides organizational development support, training, and consultation.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Internship Training Program—EIS provides an intensive one-year training program for mental health interns at the post-graduate levels who are interested in developing skills and experience on the subject of early childhood mental health.


EIS advocates are involved in policymaking regarding issues of infant and early childhood mental health and development at the local and national levels. EIS staff members helped to develop the California Training Guidelines and Personnel Competencies for Infant/Family and Early Childhood Mental Health providers. EIS also has several members of the Infant Development Association of California, an organization co-founded by a former EIS Director. The administrative and clinical directors of EIS are currently involved in planning and implementing Alameda Countywide policy initiatives and are members of many local collaborative planning activities.