The early years of a child’s life are critical. During the infant and toddler years, children’s bodies and brains grow quickly. Some children and families face special challenges and extra help does make a difference. In Eagle River & Chugiak, on Elmendorf and Fort Rich and in Cordova, FOCUS is the agency that works in respectful partnerships with families in offering Infant Learning services.
The State of Alaska recognizes the challenges and rewards of living and working with young children with disabilities. We (Alaska’s families, teachers, therapists, medical professionals and administrators) share the goal of maximized development for all children, especially those experiencing disabilities. We also recognize the importance of early diagnosis and services.
The Alaska statewide Early Intervention / Infant Learning Program (EI/ILP) assures that infant learning services are available for families with children under three years of age throughout Alaska. Early intervention services are federally regulated by the Individuals with Dis abilities Education Act (IDEA). This federal law was first passed in 1986, offering some funding for states to evaluate and then serve children they determined eligible for early intervention services. In Alaska EI/ILP is housed in the Department of Health and Social Services, in the Office of Children Services.