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FAQs-rev-0821

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August 4, 2021

The Bureau of EI has worked with stakeholders to determine how to best provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the best available information, in-person services can occur. Specifically, in-person services may occur if you and your EI providers/service coordinator are comfortable. You may also opt for live video visits. Below, we provide some questions and answers about EI services.

How do I decide whether to receive in-person EI services?

You will have a conversation with your service coordinator and EI providers to determine whether to receive in-person services or live video visits. Your service coordinator will document your preferences.  

What should I consider when deciding whether to receive in-person EI services?

It is up to you to determine whether you feel comfortable receiving in-person EI services; it also depends on the comfort level of your EI provider. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • If you have been receiving live video visits (LVV) and/or phone consultations and they have been effective, you may continue those visits and/or consultations instead of switching to in-person EI services.
  • Consider the best ways to minimize risk for your family. Providers may or may not have been vaccinated. Also, consider social distancing efforts for in-person EI services (see Having Safe In-Person Early Intervention Visits).

What is the process for requesting in-person EI services and meetings?

If you request in-person EI services, the service coordinator and your EI provider(s) will work with you to develop a plan to meet your needs and minimize risk. You can request an in-person meeting (e.g,.an IFSP or transition meeting) or you can conduct the meeting by phone or LVV.

Can I alternate between in-person EI services, LVVs, and phone consultations?

Yes, your team may use a variety of ways to support your family.

Can EI services be provided in a childcare setting?

EI services can be provided in a childcare setting when it is safe and based on agreement by the family, EI provider, and childcare provider. Also, if possible, live video visits and phone consultations may be provided in childcare settings.

What are the safety precautions for in-person EI services?

Several precautions need to occur for safe in-person EI visits. These precautions are to be used even if individuals have been vaccinated. EI providers will maintain social distancing practices.. Specifically:

  • During in-person, indoor visits, masks must be worn by EI providers and families.
  • Individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days cannot participate in in-person services.
  • Unvaccinated persons, including children, exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days may not participate in in-person visits.
  • The provider should conduct a screening for risk before the EI visit. See https://eitp.education.illinois.edu/Files/COVID19/ReEntryChecklists.pdf
  • Visits may be held outside or in a community setting (e.g., on a porch, in the yard, at a park).
  • Masks are not required for children under age 2. Masks are only required, as tolerated, for children older than 2. Unless medically or physically unable, masks are required for family members and EI providers. If you refuse a mask, the service coordinator and/or EI provider may choose not to provide in-person services. However, masks may not be needed if the EI visit is outside and physical distancing can be maintained.
  • High-touch areas should be sanitized before and after the visit.
  • All EI providers, service coordinators, and families should conduct effective hand-washing before, during (as needed), and after visits.

Whose responsibility is it to provide me with a mask?

It is your responsibility to find and wear a mask during the visit. See the state’s Guidance on the Use of Masks by the General Public for resources on how to make your own mask or to access a mask.

What if I have questions or concerns about the EI Program?

As the parent of a child receiving services, you have rights. Your rights are in The Illinois Early Intervention Program: A Guide for Families and explained more in this booklet about infant/toddler and family rights under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act in the state’s EI system. You can always contact your service coordinator for additional assistance.

You may have several questions about the EI program. The Clearinghouse website is a good place to find the most recent early intervention information for families. Questions you have may include, “What do I do if LVVs have not been offered to me?” or “Because of COVID-19, what do I do if my child did not receive EI services for an extended period and I am interested in compensatory services?” Answers to these questions are individualized based on your family’s needs. For answers to these questions, you may contact your service coordinator and, if appropriate, revise your IFSP.

If your concern has not been resolved, you may consider sharing your concern with the CFC manager and/or parent liaison. If the concern cannot be resolved at that level, you may consider filing a state complaint and/or contacting the Parent Training and Information Center (see Family Resource Center on Disabilities and Family Matters below) for assistance. Notably, the Parent Training and Information Center may provide resources to help you file a complaint.

You may also have questions about the transition to school services. For example, you may wonder “What do I do if my transition meeting has not been scheduled?” At no cost, you can talk to other parents about your rights at either of the Parent Training and Information Centers listed below:

You may also contact EITP and StarNet for resources, workshops, and trainings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Resuming In-Person Early Intervention (EI) Visits