Children’s Services Unit

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

  • Early Intervention Program,
  • Preschool Program, &
  • Children 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 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


 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                834-2800 ext. 3505
  • Crown Point                    597-3285 ext.6
  • Elizabethtown                 873-6371 ext. 504
  • Keene Valley                   576-4555
  • Lake Placid                     523-3640 ext. 4502
  • Minerva                           251-2500
  • Moriah                            546-3301 ext. 409
  • Newcomb                        582-3341
  • Saranac Lake                   891-5460 ext. 410
  • Schroon Lake                   532-7164 ext.3387
  • Ticonderoga                    585-7442 ext.2212
  • Westport                          962-8244
  • Willsboro                         963-4456 ext.209

Preschool Brochure

Parent Guide


Children with Special Health Care Needs Program

This program is for families of children ages birth to 21 who have or may have a serious health condition.  The program gives information and referral services for families of children who need health or related services beyond those normally needed by children.

Conditions may be:

  • Physical,
  • Behavioral, or
  • Emotional.

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 Guide

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