Located at 5548 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Family Support Services’ Community-based Early Intervention (EI) Program serves birth to three year-old children with at least a 25% developmental delay. Services are funded by the government and governed by Pennsylvania Law (Act 212), and Federal Law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act “IDEA”). The Federal IDEA law also defines EI service protocols.

Our dedicated, experienced teachers, family trainer and therapists in the Infant/Toddler Program provide children with special instruction, and speech, physical, and occupational therapy. This therapy can be offered in the home, daycare centers, playgrounds, libraries, and shelters. The staff works closely with families in setting goals for children, and services are designed to involve parents in all aspects of decision-making. Regularly scheduled therapies take place in the home/community on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Duration of therapy will vary depending on a child’s individual progress.

Enrollment – Children are referred to the Infant/Toddler Program through Philadelphia’s service-coordination program, ChildLink. The ChildLink web address is (look under “Programs and Affiliates” for “Children with Special Needs”).

Referrals – Concerned parents, family members, doctors, hospitals, and community outreach programs may contact a ChildLink Service Coordinator to initiate a referral. Parents will work with a service coordinator in the process of obtaining a multi-disciplinary evaluation (MDE) and develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for a child. During the IFSP process a family will be helped by the Service Coordinator to explore all service options available through early intervention providers in the city.

Transition – As a child approaches three years of age, the staff works with parents to ensure a smooth transition from Early Intervention (EI) Services for birth to three year-olds (coordinated by ChildLink) to services for three to five year-olds (coordinated by Elwyn). Parents participate in all meetings to ensure a smooth transition for their child.

FSS also runs a monthly parent education program for the parents of children with significant development delays. Funding for the lectures, workshops and presentations has been provided by The van Ameringen Foundation. Classes take place in the evenings.


To Contact The Community Based Early Intervention Program, please call 215-471-3320. The program’s fax number is 215-471-3323. Mail should be sent to 5548 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19139. Email us at

Preschool and Daycare Listings FSS accepts children with special needs at its Chestnut Street Preschool and Childcare Program at the same site, but space is limited. FSS suggests that families searching for a developmentally appropriate preschool/daycare setting for their child consult Childcare Information Services (CCIS) at1-888-491-KIDS for an appropriate referral. The web address is

The Office of Intellectual Disabilities funds birth to three EI services. It administers government funding for children with special needs in the birth to three year old age range.

Elwyn funds birth to five EI services. It receives funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to serve children with special needs through two programs The Development Center and Special Education for Early Development Success (SEEDS).