"All children have something precious to share.
They have always been and will continue to be our most gifted teachers."
Tina Wimberley, Supervisor
Dawn Grant, Family Liaison Specialist
Early On is what Michigan and Cass County calls our program of services for qualified young children and families, birth until three years of age. The services provided by the Early On program are called early intervention. Many other states call this program their Part C program after the federal law.
Part C was passed in 1986 and became part of another federal law that we now call the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Part C of IDEA supports states in providing services for qualified young children and their families. Part C is important because it recognizes the central role families have in the lives of their children. It also recognizes that families are experts about their children. The families and professionals who wrote Part C of IDEA believe that families are just as important as professionals in deciding what kinds of supports their children may need.
Families are equal partners with professionals. This partnership needs to respond to the hopes and dreams of each member of the family. This law requires that families and professionals work together as partners to develop the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The Cass County Early On program offers services to qualified young children with special needs and their families. The agency coordinating our Early On program is the Michigan Department of Education. Many different programs and professionals in our community provide early intervention services. These might include the Department of Human Services and the State of Michigan Mental Health and Wellness Commission. Children who qualify for Early On, federal and state rules help to guarantee that your child and family get the services you need.
If you would like more information about Early On of Cass County, or to make a referral, please contact Dawn Grant at (269) 445-6245.
Visit the Early On website at 1800EarlyOn.org for additional information.