Birth to 3 Program: Program Eligibility

The Wisconsin Birth to 3 Program serves families with children under the age of 3 who have delays or disabilities. An evaluation by your local county Birth to 3 Program will determine if the child is eligible for the program.

Who do I contact?

You can contact your local county Birth to 3 Program to learn more about the program, what it does, and how it can help. They will help you understand if the program is right for your family, and answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in learning more, contact your county.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility is based on one of the following:

  • A developmental delay of at least 25% in one or more areas of development (see below)
  • A physician-diagnosed condition with a high probability of developmental delay
  • Atypical (unusual) development that negatively affects the child’s overall development

The team that evaluates the child includes:

  • You (the parent or caregiver)
  • A service coordinator
  • Other professionals trained in child development

The child’s growth and learning is always changing and evolving, so the evaluation will only measure your child’s abilities at a point in time to determine eligibility. Together, the team will assess the child’s strengths, abilities, and needs.

Throughout the evaluation, you are involved as the parent or caregiver of the child. Your knowledge about the skills or abilities of the child, their health history, and general development will help determine if the child is eligible for the Birth to 3 Program. Your culture, beliefs, routines, and needs will also help the team understand the child.

What are the areas of development?

Every child learns and grows at their own pace, but there are general milestones every child should meet as they develop how they play, learn, speak, act, and move. You will meet with a team to discuss your child’s areas of development, including how they:

  • Learn (cognitive development)
  • Move, see, and hear (physical/motor development)
  • Communicate and understand others' communication (speech and language development)
  • Respond to and relate with others (social and emotional development)
  • Eat, dress, and care for daily living needs (adaptive development)

Learn more about developmental milestones and resources for parents and caregivers.

An adult reads to a toddler.

Last Revised: March 5, 2021