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Birth to 3 Program: Federal Indicators

Indicators are 11 essential elements (indicators) of early intervention (Birth to 3) that support implementation of high-quality Birth to 3 Programs. Each state is required to track and report annual results for each of the 11 indicators to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

Indicator 1: Timely Services

Indicator 1, Timely Receipt of Services, is a compliance indicator with a target of 100%. Each state defines what constitutes timely services. The indicator refers to the percentage of children for whom all services are timely, not the percentage of services that are timely; if one or more of the services for a child are not delivered within the defined timeline, then the child would not be counted in the percentage of children receiving timely services.

Indicator 2: Natural Environments

Indicator 2 documents the extent to which early intervention services are provided in natural environments. “Natural environments” are settings that are either home-based or community-based. Settings that would not be considered natural environments include hospitals, residential schools, and separate programs for children with delays or developmental disabilities. This summary of Indicator 2 is based on a review of federal fiscal year (FFY) 2012 annual performance reports (APRs) for 56 states. For the purposes of this report, the term “state” is used for both states and territories.

Indicator 3: Infant and Toddler Outcomes

Prepared by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA):

Indicator 3 is the percent of infants and toddlers with individualized family service plans (IFSPs) who demonstrate improved:

  • Outcome 1: Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships).
  • Outcome 2: Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication).
  • Outcome 3: Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

For this indicator, states report data on two summary statements for each of the three outcomes identified above. The child outcomes summary statements are:

  • Summary Statement 1: Of those children who entered the program below age expectations in each outcome, the percent who substantially increased their rate of growth by the time they turned three years of age or exited the program. In other words, how many children changed growth trajectories during their time in the program.
  • Summary Statement 2: The percent of children who were functioning within age expectations in each outcome by the time they turned three years of age or exited the program. In other words, how many children were functioning like same-aged peers when they left the program.

Forms related to child outcomes:

Additional information on child outcomes:

Indicator 4: Family Outcomes

Indicator 4 measures the percent of families participating in Birth to 3 who report that early intervention services have helped the family:

  • Know their rights.

  • Effectively communicate their children's needs.

  • Help their children develop and learn.

Indicators 5 and 6: Child Find

Child Find is defined as the methods and procedures each county uses to identify infants and toddlers potentially eligible for the Birth to 3 Program. Activities may include public awareness activities, outreach programs, screening programs, and other collaborative efforts throughout the community.

  • Indicator 5: Tracks children eligible for Birth to 3 between the ages of 0 to 12 months of age.

  • Indicator 6: Tracks all children eligible for Birth to 3.

Additional information on Child Find: The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.

Indicator 7: Timely IFSPs

Indicator 7 is a compliance indicator with a target of 100%. Indicator 7 measures the percentage of Birth to 3 eligible infants and toddlers for whom an evaluation and assessment and an initial IFSP meeting were conducted within a 45-calendar day timeline. The 45 days begins the day in which the referral was received.

Indicator 8: Transition

Indicator 8 is a compliance indicator with a performance target of 100%. This indicator tracks the percent of all children exiting Birth to 3 who received timely transition planning to support the child's transition to preschool and other appropriate community services by their third birthday including:

  • IFSPs with transition steps and services.

  • Notification to the local education agency (LEA), if potentially eligible for Part B.

  • Transition planning conference, if potentially eligible for Part B.

More transition information can be found on the Department of Public Instruction website.

Indicator 9: Timely Completion of Findings of Noncompliance

Indicator 9 has a required target of 100%. It is used to determine whether the state's "general supervision system (including monitoring, complaints, hearings, etc.) identifies and corrects noncompliance as soon as possible but in no case later than one year from identification." This indicator is measured as the "Percent of noncompliance corrected within one year of identification."

Indicator 10: Mediations Resulting in Written Agreements

Indicator 10 is a performance indicator that documents the percentage of mediations resulting in written mediation agreements. As with Indicator 9, states are required to report any activity relating to Indicator C10, though they are not required to set or meet a performance target if fewer than 10 mediations are held in a single year.

Indicator 11: State Systemic Improvement Plan

Indicator 11 is a new indicator as of FFY 2013 and required states to develop a State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). The SSIP is a comprehensive, ambitious, yet achievable multiyear plan for improving results for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Baseline data for this indicator was established by each state, expressed as a percentage, aligned with the State-Identified Measurable Result(s) (SIMR) for infants and toddlers and their families. Measurable and rigorous targets, expressed as percentages, were also established by the state.

Last revised January 3, 2023