How to Apply for Services


Birth to Age 3

Eligibility for the Early Start Program

The intake process for infants and toddlers birth to age 36 months begins by calling the Early Start Intake line at (510) 618-6195 or

Infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months may be eligible for Early Start services following evaluation and assessment if they meet one of the criteria listed below:

  • Developmental Delay: Has a significant delay (33%) in one or more areas of development in either cognitive, communication, social or emotional, adaptive, or physical and motor development including vision and hearing.
  • Established Risk : Has an established risk condition with a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay (for example, an infant with Down Syndrome may be too young at the time of intake to have a disability that is evident or measurable, but his/her genetic condition gives him/her a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay).
  • High Risk for Developmental Disability: Has two or more high risk conditions from the following list:
    • Prematurity of less than 32 weeks gestation and/or low birth weight of less than 1500 grams.
    • Assisted ventilation for 48 hours or longer during the first 28 days of life.
    • Small for gestational age: below the third percentile on the National Center for Health Statistics growth charts.
    • Asphyxia neonatorum associated with a five minute Apgar score of 0 to 5.
    • Severe and persistent metabolic abnormality, including but not limited to hypoglycemia, acidemia, and hyperbilirubinemia in excess of the usual exchange transfusion level.
    • Neonatal seizures or nonfebrile seizures during the first three years of life.
    • Central nervous system lesion or abnormality.
    • Central nervous system infection.
    • Biomedical insult including, but not limited to, injury, accident or illness which may seriously or permanently affect developmental outcome.
    • Multiple congenital anomalies or genetic disorders which may affect developmental outcome.
    • Prenatal exposure to known teratogens.
    • Prenatal substance exposure, positive infant neonatal toxicology screen or symptomatic neonatal toxicity or withdrawal.
    • Clinically significant failure to thrive, including, but not limited to, weight persistently below the third percentile for age on standard growth charts or less than 85% of the ideal weight for age and/or acute weight loss or failure to gain weight with the loss of two or more major percentiles on the growth curve.
    • Persistent hypotonia or hypertonia, beyond that otherwise associated with a known diagnostic condition.
    • High risk for a developmental disability also exists when a multidisciplinary team determines that the parent of the infant or toddler is a person with a developmental disability and the infant or toddler requires early intervention services based on evaluation and assessment

Once the referral is received, the parent or legal representative will be contacted by our regional center and the referral/assessment process is explained to them.

Next an appointment for any evaluations necessary will be made. The regional center has 45 calendar days to assess for eligibility for the Early Start program.

When an infant is found eligible, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed based upon the child’s developmental strengths and needs and the resources, concerns and priorities of the family. This plan identifies the early intervention services that will be provided and is reviewed every six months.

Age 3 and Over

Regional Center of the East Bay provides services in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Anyone who resides in our two counties and is suspected of having a developmental disability may be referred to the regional center. Contact our Intake Coordinator at (510) 618-6122 or

The Intake Coordinator will then speak to the applicant or applicant’s legally recognized representative to begin the process. If accepted for Intake, a more in depth interview will be scheduled with Intake and Assessment case manager to determine if an applicant is appropriate for assessment. The Intake and Assessment case manager will assist the applicant through the Intake process. They will provide applicants with information and gather required consents and complete a social assessment of the applicant’s unique history and situation. This case manager will arrange, if appropriate, for the applicant to meet with other specialists for further diagnostic assessments.

All of the information secured during the Intake process will be used to determine eligibility for regional center services. The eligibility team consists of a physician, a psychologist, and a social worker.

If a person is determined to be eligible for regional center services, he or she is assigned a case manager who will provide ongoing case management services. The service coordinator will arrange a meeting with the client, family, and any other person the family or client would like to have there. During this meeting, an Individual Program Plan (or IPP), based on individual needs and desires will be developed. The case manager will then work with the family to implement this plan.

To make a referral for a person over the age of three, please call (510) 618-6122.