At the heart of our Children’s Services is our Early Intervention (EI) program.

The Arc of Shelby County’s Early Intervention program is a coordinated, family-focused system of resources, supports and services for infants and toddlers birth to age 3 years with a 25% delay in cognitive, communicative, physical, adaptive, or social/emotional development. The program may also be available to children under the age of three with a diagnosis or a condition that likely will result in a delay in development. The Arc of Shelby County is the largest provider of Early Intervention services solely in Shelby County.

Our approach supports families in finding the best opportunities to promote their child’s growth and development. The Early Intervention team of professionals, which includes service coordinators, special instructors, and speech, occupational and physical therapists, is there to support parents/caregivers with understanding typical development and how their child is likely to develop based on factors which include a medical diagnosis or delay.

How parents/caregivers interact with their child while feeding, diapering, playing, and cuddling, will have the greatest impact on how a child develops and learns. Early Intervention services equip parents/caregivers with these skills. Services are provided in the child’s natural environment, including the home, daycare, local playgrounds and parks, grandparents’ homes, and are focused around the daily activities and routines of the family.

Early Intervention services are provided free of charge to families.

We Believe

  • Families play the primary role in the care and well-being of their child
  • Children learn from nurturing relationships
  • Family interaction is the foundation upon which development is based
  • Services to families should build upon their strengths and take place in a natural environment
  • Every child has the right to develop and reach their potential regardless of the challenges they may face
Does My Child Need Early Intervention Services?


The Arc of Shelby County is a member of the Alabama Early Intervention System, a program of Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services. Referrals to Early Intervention are accepted directly from parents, childcare providers, physicians, and others. Call The Arc of Shelby County at 205-664-9313 to make a referral, download our Referral Form, or you may contact the Alabama Child Find toll-free number 1-800-543-3098. For information on other resources, you may access the Central Resource Directory of the Alabama Early Intervention System.

For more information about the Children’s Program contact Jenny Terrell at

Early Intervention Services are supported by a grant from the Alabama Department of
Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/The Children’s Trust Fund