Children’s Services Unit

The Children’s Services Unit includes three (3) programs:

  • Early Intervention Program,
  • Preschool Program, &
  • Children and youth with Special Health Care Needs Program.

All are designed to help parents and families nurture their children and develop skills.

Early Intervention Program

Parents and providers may refer children to the Early Intervention (E.I.) Program if a delay in development is suspected.  Call (518) 873-3522.

The Early Intervention (E.I.) Program serves children from birth through age three (3) who are delayed in their development or have a diagnosed disability.  Areas of delay may be in one or more area:

  • Physical development – including hearing and vision
  • Learning or cognitive development
  • Speech or language development
  • Social or emotional development
  • Self-help skills.

Delay criteria is determined by evaluation using New York State Department of Health  (NYSDOH) guidelines or a diagnosis included in a NYSDOH list.

If your child is eligible for the program, your Service Coordinator will assist you in developing a family-centered plan.  Most services are provided at your home, daycare, Head Start, or other community setting.  Your Service Coordinator can assist you with other issues too such as connecting you to health insurance programs, other community resources, and information on child development.  Any child residing in Essex County who meets the criteria of delay or who has a qualifying diagnosis is eligible for this program.

NYS Department of Health’s Early Intervention Program Site

Learn about the ADK Basics – 5 fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can give every child a great start in life!

 Preschool Program

This program serves preschool children ages 3-5 years old.

If your preschool child received early intervention services [as an infant or toddler up to age three and may still need special education services] your Service Coordinator will help you with transition planning and making a referral to the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

If your preschool child did not receive early intervention services but has some delays such as difficulty in talking, moving around, thinking, learning or is facing physical or behavioral challenges — you, or professionals who know your child, may make a referral to the chairperson of your school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) who will assist you in completing the referral process.

Eligibility for services is determined by your school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and based on following Part 200 of the New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. The State Education Department is the lead agency for implementing Part B of the Federal Regulations.

For a referral to the Preschool Special Education Program, contact the CPSE office of your local school district:

Ausable Valley 518-834-2800 ext. 3505 – Kate Frederick
Boquet Valley518-962-8244 – Abby Seymour
Crown Point 518-597-3285 ext.6 – Tieah Gunnison
Keene Valley  518-576-4555 – Donna Sawyer
Lake Placid     518-523-3640 ext. 4011 – Sarah Allen
Minerva 518-251-2500 – Jody Hyatt
Moriah     518-546-3301 ext. 409 – Michael Dinsmore
Newcomb518-582-3341 – Steven Wilk
Saranac Lake518-891-5460 ext. 410 – Suzanne Nicholas
Schroon Lake  518-532-7164 ext. 3501 – Linda Seber
Ticonderoga518-585-7442 ext. 2212 – Tracy Price
Willsboro518-963-4456 ext. 209 – Jennifer Leibeck

Preschool Brochure

Parent Guide

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program

The Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program seeks to improve the system of care for children and youth with special health care needs from birth and up to 21 years of age and their families. The Program helps to shape public policy so families can get the best health care for their children.

Children served by the CYSHCN Program have an illness or condition for which they need extra health care and support services. These children might have a serious or long-lasting:

  • Physical condition,
  • Intellectual or developmental disability, and/or
  • Behavioral or emotional condition.

Conditions include but not limited to ADD or ADHD, allergies, anxiety, arthritis/joint problems, asthma, autism or autism spectrum disorder, behavioral/conduct problem, blood disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, depression, developmental delay, diabetes, Down syndrome, epilepsy/seizure disorder, genetic or inherited condition, head injury, hearing problem, heart problem, intellectual disability, learning difficulty, migraines, other mental health condition, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anemia, speech or language disorder, substance use disorder, Tourette syndrome, and vision problem. 

The Children with Special Health Care Needs Program (CSHCN) is a state wide public health program.  NYSDOH is dedicated to achieving a statewide system of care for children with special health care needs and their families.  Program goals are to:

  • link families to correct health and related services,
  • identify gaps and barriers,
  • assist in family resolutions, and
  • assure access to quality health care.

Eligibility is determined by the county health department.

Call (518) 873-3522 for more information about any of these programs.

Essex County Resources:

Adirondack Community Action Programs   ACAP’s mission is to promote personal development, healthy interdependence and improved quality of life.

Families First of Essex County offers a hand in partnership to parents who have children with emotional or behavioral challenges.

Regional Resources:

Capital District/North Country Early Childhood Direction Center The Center is able to answer questions about childhood development, behavior, and a variety of special needs regarding young children (birth through age 5). They provide information, referral and support. Services are free and confidential.

New York State Resources:

NYS Parent Guide for building a nurturing, healthy relationship with your child

NYS Department of Health

NYS Education Department

New York State Office of Children and Family Services

Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped CBVH offers a range of services for individuals who are legally blind.  (866) 871-3000.

Parent to Parent of New York State
This is a parent-run organization, with nine offices statewide, that brings parents of children with disabilities together with other parents who have children with the same or similar disabilities. Parents can discuss similar problems, successes, share information, and provide each other with support.

National Resources:

American Academy of Pediatrics

Cerebral Palsy Guidance

Cerebral Palsy Guide

Zero to Three –  National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families.