The Basics

Early On / Early Intervention

About Early On

Early On is the State of Michigan Early Intervention program.

Early On exists to provide early intervention services to children, birth to three years of age, with developmental delays and/or disabilities and their families.   


Early On builds upon and provides supports and resources to assist family members and caregivers to enhance eligible children's learning and development through everyday learning opportunities.


Infants and toddlers who are enrolled in Early On reach their fullest potential, successfully transitioning to the next phase of life, with empowered and supportive families.

As Michigan’s Part C of IDEA program, the purpose of Early On is:

  • To enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities and to minimize their potential for developmental delay.
  • To minimize the need for special education and related services when these children reach school age.
  • To maximize their potential to live independently.
  • To enhance the capacity of families (and communities) to meet the special needs of their children with disabilities.

The Coaching Approach in Early On/Early Intervention

Coaching is an evidence-based practice used for interacting with caregivers to help them recognize what they are doing that works to support their child's learning and development. It is used to build upon existing or new strategies within the child's natural environment and daily routines. 

Coaching involves collaborating with your child's provider; jointly thinking about what works, does not work, and why; trying ideas with your child; modeling with your child for you; sharing information; and jointly planning next steps.

We will provide the information and support you need to make the most of your “teachable moments” with your child. This way, your child receives quality intervention all the time, not just during a home visit with your Primary Service Provider (PSP).  It is far more helpful for a child to have a caregiver who has been coached to provide support throughout the day than to have one session with a professional and no carryover. 

The Role of the Caregiver in Coaching:

You are your child’s first teacher. You have the opportunity to work with your child throughout the day, every day. Your interactions are key to your child’s development and establishing a foundation for early learning.

During each visit, you will create a joint-plan with your primary service provider (PSP). The idea of the joint plan is to intentionally plan for how to use a strategy between visits when the PSP is not present. 

The joint plan is a shared process. You are encouraged to contribute ideas for how you could use what has been learned during each visit to support your child’s development within the natural environment and your daily activities. There will also be opportunities for you to show the strategies you have tried, problem solve, and practice new ideas and strategies with your PSP.

(Information adapted from the works of R. McWilliam, D. Rush, M. Shelden, L. Cook Pletcher, and N. Younggren)

Role of Teaming in Early Intervention:

Early intervention uses a team approach, which means that your child has a team of people available to support you and your child’s development during everyday activities in your home and community. This team includes you (the caregiver), the Primary Service Provider (PSP), and other early intervention team members. We are all equal partners and will work closely together to support you as you help your child meet the outcomes that are important to your family.

Your child’s team meets on a regular basis through formal and informal discussions to problem-solve and plan together to provide strategies based on the unique needs of your child and family.

Your child’s team may include:

• Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

• Occupational Therapist

• Physical Therapist

• School Social Worker

• Speech-language Pathologist

• Teacher Consultant of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

• Teacher Consultant of the Visually Impaired

• Psychologist