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Teaching Positions in Early Intervention

To be a Special Instructor or Early Interventionist in New York State you must have one of the following NYS teacher certifications. Follow the links to learn more about each certification.

The following are the recognized NYS Teacher Certifications applicable to Early Intervention:

  • Teacher of Students with Disabilities (Birth-2)
    [prior to 2004: Teacher of Special Education]
  • Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities
    [prior to 2004: Teacher of Speech and Hearing Handicapped]
  • Teacher of Blind and Partially Sighted
    [prior to 2004: Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired]
  • Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    [prior to 2004: Teacher of Deaf and Hearing Impaired]

Teaching in the Early Intervention Program:

Who are the children an early interventionist works with?

  • Provides services to eligible children are age birth through 2 who are identified with a developmental delay or diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that has a high probability of developmental delay. Children are eligible for EI until their third birthday.

What does an early interventionist do?

  • A special instructor utilizes the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) which structures appropriate learning and developmental goals and supports for the child and family.
  • The IFSP is created by the child’s parent(s) or guardian, Early Intervention Official, service coordinator, and evaluator. The IFSP is based on the results of the child’s evaluation, which identifies specific areas of need. The IFSP is reviewed every 6 months and evaluations are completed annually.
  • The IFSP identifies developmental and learning goals for the child to work towards through services such as health services, speech and feeding therapy, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or special instruction.
  • Special instruction often incorporates play based techniques to support the child’s continued learning of skills, particularly in the areas of cognitive and social development.
  • All service providers collaborate with the family with to share information and teach strategies to support the child’s on-going and continual development.

Where does an early interventionist work?

  • Provides services in community settings
  • The EI provider often travels to the child’s home, a caregiver’s home, or to child care centers in order to work with the child.
  • In general, an EI provider creates their own daily schedule depending on how many children are on their case load and length of service for each child.

What are additional skills and qualities required of an early interventionist?

  • It is essential to have strong organizational skills, to be flexible in nature, and to have an energetic and engaging personality.
  • Effective communications skills, as work is collaborative with parents, family and child care providers or teachers
  • Coordinate with the team of multidisciplinary service professionals working with the same family
  • Contribute to documenting the child’s progress.

How do I become a teacher in Early Intervention?

There are two methods in which to provide early intervention services:

  1. Become an approved independent contractor by NYS DOH; or
  2. Be hired as an employee of an approved Early Intervention Agency. View a listing of approved Early Intervention Agencies in NYC

Steps to become an Independent Contractor/Provider of EIP Services:

  • Must complete application for individual approval from the New York State Department of Health
  • Must have 1600 hours of experience working with children (birth to age five)
  • Must be licensed/certified in a qualified profession as indicated on application, teacher certifications include the following:
    • Teacher of Students with Disabilities (Birth - 2) (Prior to 2004 revisions, Teacher of Special Education)
    • Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities ( Prior to 2004 revisions, Teacher of Speech and Hearing Handicapped)
    • Teacher of Blind and Partially Sighted (Prior to 2004 revisions, Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired)
    • Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (prior to 2004 revisions, Teacher of Dead and Hearing Impaired)

Steps to become and employee of an approved EI agency:

  • Utilize the NYC DOHMH Early Intervention Provider Directory to learn which agencies provide EI services, research the agencies that fit the criteria you are seeking in employment, and to explore possible job openings
  • If you are employed by an agency, you do not need to complete the Application for Individual Approval
  • If you do not have 1600 hours of experience, it is recommended to become an employee of an agency to accrue experience hours

For more information:

The Bureau of Early Intervention is easily accessible via email: bei@health.state.ny.us

For assistance completing individual approval application, call:
EI Provider Approval Unit (518) 473-7061, press 1

NYS Department of Health Early Intervention Program Website:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Early Intervention Website