What is the Birth to 3 Program?
The Milwaukee County Birth to 3 Program is an early intervention program for children with developmental delays and disabilities ages birth to 3 and their families. Milwaukee County DHHS Disabilities Services Division is responsible for the administration of this program. The Birth to 3 Program provides a range of services to families to enhance their child’s development. Services are provided in Milwaukee County by several community agencies. These services may include:
- Related Health Services
- Family Education Developmental
- Education Services
- Communication Services
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
Who should be evaluated for the program?
Children ages birth to 2 years 9 months who are suspected of having developmental delays which may indicate the need for early intervention services are eligible for an evaluation. Children ages birth to 3 that are eligible for services have a:
- 25% delay in 1 or more areas of development (behavioral, social, cognitive, speech/language or motor)
- Atypical development which is adversely affecting the child’s overall development
- Diagnosed condition, with a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay
- Diagnosed hearing or vision impairment
How is eligibility determined?
Each child referred to the program is assigned a service coordinator who will assist the family throughout the process of evaluation and service plan development. Children who are referred receive a team evaluation by a community agency. The evaluation team includes two or more professionals from the following areas – special education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work and psychology. The evaluation should take place in the child’s natural environment. The family is an integral part of the evaluation team. The evaluation team determines if the child has a developmental delay and is eligible for services.
If the child is eligible for services, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed with the family. This plan outlines the family’s concerns regarding the child’s development and what strategies and early intervention services will be provided to address these concerns. The service coordinator assists the family in locating the recommended services.
Who can make a referral?
Parents, physicians, public health nurses, childcare providers, hospitals and many other community agencies make referrals to the Birth to 3 Program. If a person other that the parent/guardian makes a referral to Birth to 3, they should discuss this with the parent prior to calling the referral line or submitting the referral document.
How can I make a referral or get more information?
Referrals can be made from 8:00A.M. to 4:30P.M., Monday through Friday via:
Phone: (414) 289-6799 (English & Spanish)
Voicemail is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
Wisconsin Department of Health Services – Birth to 3 Program Website: