About Early Start

What is Early Start?

Early Start is the program responsible for ensuring that early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families are provided statewide in a coordinated and family-centered system.

Provided by the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the California Department of Education, Early Start encourages partnerships between families and professionals, family support, and coordination of services. The statewide system can be accessed through:

Health or social service agencies

Family Resource Centers and networks in your community


Assistance finding and navigating services:

Staff works with parents, caregivers, families, and children to locate and utilize needed services.

FRCNCA icons (18)

Parent-to-parent support:

Tailored support to meet your specific needs, staff provide support services and resources in many languages.

FRCNCA icons (17)


Newsletters, resource libraries, websites, parent-to-parent groups, sibling support groups, warmlines, and information and referral for parents, caregivers and professionals.

What are Early Start Family Resource Centers?

Family Resource Centers that specifically help parents of young children (birth-3). Funded through the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA), they are unique because they are staffed by parents of children with special needs. Note: Many have additional funding and can also serve families of children over the age of three, as well as individuals with developmental disabilities.

Need services for your infant or toddler?