Dear Colleague Letter - Clarification of Existing Policy for Contracted Early Intervention Providers

June 23, 2009

Dear Colleague:

This letter is to reiterate existing policy requiring approval of providers by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) for the provision of service coordination, evaluations, and/or service provision in the Early Intervention Program (EI). NYSDOH has learned of instances in which provider agencies are contracting with individuals and agencies that have not yet been approved by the NYSDOH or another State early intervention services agency (e.g., New York State Education Department). The use of unqualified personnel or contracting with individuals who have not been approved can result in the recovery of funding paid for services delivered.

All individuals and agencies providing EI services, evaluations or service coordination under contract to a municipality or under contract to a provider agency must first be an approved early intervention provider. Please note that qualified individuals who are employees of an approved agency or municipality do not require NYSDOH approval. Each agency or municipality is responsible for verifying its employees' initial qualifications and ensuring continued licensure/certification. Although securing NYSDOH approval is the responsibility of each individual, agencies may wish to assist their contractors with the application process.

Applications will be reviewed according to current approval standards and procedures. To be approved, individuals must have two years of experience providing professional services to children with disabilities under the age of 4 ½ within the last five years. Applicants who do not have the two years experience needed for approval cannot receive approval as an individual provider of EI services.

The Department routinely notifies individual applicants of their approval status and instructs them to present the original copies of their approval letters to the agencies and municipalities with which they will contract. Provider agencies should request and retain on file copies of the letter of approval from evaluators, service coordinators or service providers under contract. These letters are subject to review by the Department, its contractor IPRO or municipalities.

Your assistance in ensuring that your agency maintains compliance with State and local requirements for the continued provision of EI services is essential. Applications for approval, EIP regulations, memoranda and guidance, and training information are available on our Early Intervention Program website.

If you have any questions, please contact Diana Plunkett of my staff at (518) 473-7016.


Bradley Hutton, M.P.H.
Bureau of Early Intervention


  • M. Adeigbo
  • D. Plunkett