Located at 5548 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, the Center Based Early Intervention (EI) Programs’s purpose is to help children learn within the context of a group setting, prepare for kindergarten, and achieve their individual potential. Children with developmental delays attend along with typically developing children (who are enrolled in FSS’s Preschool Program).
The program’s classrooms are set up to foster development in an environment that is stimulating and fun, with a focus on bridging the gap between the child’s disabilities and typical development. Children are assigned to one of four classrooms, each of which is staffed with a special educator and an assistant teacher.
In addition to the special educators and assistant teachers, the EI Center has occupational, physical, and speech therapists who work in the classrooms to support children in their daily activities.
Each child enrolled at FSS’ EI Center has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP is based on the results of child assessment tools which measure their current development and skill level relative to age appropriate developmental milestones of language, fine motor, and gross motor skills. Informed by each IEP, teachers and therapists are able to educate children through fun and educational activities designed to correct developmental delays, enhance lifelong learning and increase educational success. Coming together with the parents, EI staff develops goals and strategies which will address the child’s needs in class, at home, and in other settings. Goals and strategies are articulated in the IEP and reviewed with the parents.
The EI Center supports children with autism, and many other diagnoses, and uses a variety of inclusive instructional models in its five classrooms. Parents who have questions about their child’s learning issues are encouraged to speak with the program’s director and teachers.
In 2014, Family Support Services’ Early Intervention Division expanded to add a behavioral health component to its programming. Family Support Services entered into a partnership with The Village to establish an on-site satellite mental health office. The therapist assists staff with any behavioral issues exhibited by clients, provides individual assessments, offers clinical observation and therapy for clients as needed.
Periodically, FSS hosts a parent education program for the parents of preschool children. Classes are held at the 5548 Chestnut Street in the evenings.
Hours of Operation – Children may attend FSS’ EI Center from 8:30 am – 11:30 am or 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
Enrollment – Children are referred to the EI Center solely through Elwyn’s Service Coordination (SEEDS).
Transition – As a child nears kindergarten age, a transition process with the school district begins in order to ensure a smooth and successful start in kindergarten.
Transportation – Transportation is provided for children residing in some zip code areas (19102, 19103, 19106, 19107, 19121, 19122, 19123, and 19130).