Background of Early Intervention
The goal of early intervention is to prevent or ameliorate the effect of the child’s disability when he/she later enters school. Early intervention services may be delivered in a classroom, at home, or in a combination of both settings. The duration of the program, in terms of hours per week, will vary according to the needs of each individual child and his/her family. Early intervention sites typically include regular nursery schools, child care centers, outpatient service facilities, early intervention classrooms, Head Start programs, approved private schools, and the child’s own home.
Act 212, Section 103, definitions, refers to “Mutually Agreed Upon Written Arrangements” (MAWAs). These are agreements between the Department of Education and intermediate units, school districts, or other public or private agencies that comply with the Early Intervention Standards of the Department of Education. The Department enters into agreements with intermediate units and school districts across the Commonwealth to provide services and programs for eligible young children residing within the intermediate unit catchment area, who are not enrolled in school district kindergarten programs, or in the case of a school district, eligible young children residing within the school district. Intermediate units and school districts entering an agreement must provide appropriate early intervention services for the duration of the agreement and fulfill all federal and state requirements in the appropriate statutes and regulations.