Tools of the Trade

Toddler with PlaydohThe tools you will find on this page have been posted as resources that EI practitioners and administrators may find helpful in their daily work. All of these tools have been reviewed by staff who manage this website as well as Part C staff. Practitioners and administrators are welcome to adapt and use these tools with the understanding that the tools posted here are not being endorsed as the best or only way to accomplish a specific task or activity.

If you have a helpful tool that you would like to share with your colleagues, please email it to

Check back often for great new tools of the trade!

Tools of the Trade

Tools to Use with Families & Community Partners
Wrench and Screwdriver


A Parent's Guide To Infant and Toddler Services
This letter can be used to help families understand the differences between the medical model and the developmental (i.e., early intervention) model of providing supports and services.

Assessment for Service Planning Notes Template
This template can be used to collect information during the assessment that will assist team members when reporting the results to the family according to the global child outcomes while using a functional assessment approach.

Best Practices in Early Intervention – One-Page Handout for Physicians
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
This handout can be shared with physicians and other referral sources to provide information about early intervention in natural environments.

Child Care and Early Intervention Information Package
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
This package can be used to facilitate strong partnerships between service coordinators, service providers, and child care providers. The package includes information to orient the director and child care providers to how EI works, how we collaborate in the child care setting, and their role in EI. Handouts are included for gathering information from the child care provider, summarizing EI visits and joint planning, and facilitating communication between EI service providers, child care providers, and the child’s family. The package can be accessed as a complete pdf with all components included or by clicking the links below for individual documents.

Coaching in Early Intervention
Infant & Toddler Connection of the Highlands
This handout was developed to help families understand coaching and what to expect on early intervention visits.

Daycare Provider/Teacher Interview Questionnaire
ITC of Fairfax-Falls Church
This resource was developed to be used by EI practitioners when first meeting a child care provider or preschool teacher. Information is provided about early intervention and questions are included to gather information from the provider/teacher about the child’s activities in the child care setting. The resource is also available in Spanish (see page 2).

Early Intervention & Child Care Providers – Brochure
Infant & Toddler Connection of Staunton-Waynesboro This brochure includes a description of EI and a letter to the child care provider from the EI service provider which describes how they will work together.

Early Intervention: How All the Pieces Fit Together
Tidewater Regional Coaching Group
This handout was developed by service coordinators and service providers who participate in the Tidewater Regional Coaching Group as a resource to help families understand early intervention. This handout could be shared with families at the intake or on a first intervention visit.

Explaining Early Intervention to Families & Community Partners
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
These resources are designed to help practitioners explain early intervention to families and community partners who are new to the system.

  • What is Early Intervention in Virginia? (external website)
    Virginia’s Integrated Training Collaborative
    This video features Virginia service providers, families, and administrators as they describe early intervention. Video clips and photos are also featured to help viewers understand what early intervention looks like and why it works.
  • Explaining Early Intervention: Virginia’s Statement
    Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
    This handout includes a statement that practitioners can use to explain early intervention (EI) as well as additional ideas and resources to help others understand the purpose of EI and what to expect.
  • Letter to Community Partners
    Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
    This letter, from the VA Part C Administrator, can be used to introduce community partners to the above video and provide suggestions for how they might use the video with the families they support.

The Arc of Virginia Early Intervention Resources

These advocacy and information resources were developed by the Arc of VA for use with families of young children receiving early intervention. The Arc also hosts webinars relevant to early intervention. For more info, visit

Service Coordinator Initial Visit Information
Infant & Toddler Connection of Prince William

This form is designed to help service coordinators gather information from families during the initial/intake visit.

Transfer Form
This form was developed by CoCoA Steering Committee members in collaboration with other LSMs and service coordinators. It is an optional form that is designed to help with transitioning children from one local EI system to another within Virginia.

VA Early Intervention Lingo - List of Acronyms PDF | DOC (English) PDF | DOC (Spanish)
Check out this list of acronyms used in the VA early intervention system. This list could be useful to new EI staff, referral sources, families, and other collaborative partners. Download the Word version to add local acronyms to the list for your program. This list was developed in response to suggestions from service coordinators – thanks for the great idea!

What to Expect During an Early Intervention Visit – One-Page Handout for Families (external website, pdf)
What to Expect During an Early Intervention Visit – One-Page Handout for Families (Spanish)
What to Expect During an Early Intervention Visit (with Coaching Terms) – One-Page Handout for Families (external website, pdf)
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
These handouts were designed to be shared with families to provide information about what they can expect when collaborating with service providers during EI visits.

Tools for Service Delivery
Screwdrive and Wrench


10 Tips for Managing the Frequency & Length Discussion PDF
These practical tips were suggested by participants during the web discussion, Frequency & Length of Early Intervention Services.

Age-Expected Snapshots of Development
Infant & Toddler Connection of Greater Prince William

This document provides descriptive snapshots of infant and toddler development according to the three global child outcomes. Information in this document can be used to help EI team members, including families, understand typical development during initial and ongoing assessment and service delivery.


  • 45-30-90 Day Timelines XLS
  • 90-Day to 9-Month Transition Timelines XLS
  • Chronological & Adjusted Ages XLS


  • Calculating 25% Delay XLS

Checklists: Companion to Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia Practice Manual

These checklists have been developed for practitioners to use as companion tools to the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia Practice Manual. Practitioners may find these checklists useful as they learn the documentation requirements and the steps involved with each part of the Service Pathway process. These checklists may also help practitioners ensure that they have completed all Part C requirements, from intake through IFSP implementation (which also includes transition and discharge).

  • Forms and Documentation PDF | DOC
  • Intake PDF | DOC
  • Eligibility Determination PDF | DOC
  • Assessment for Service Planning PDF | DOC
  • IFSP Development PDF | DOC
  • IFSP Implementation PDF | DOC
  • Family Cost Share Practices PDF | DOC

Checklist of Family-Centered Practices and the IFSP PDF
VA’s Coaching Facilitation Guide
This checklist can be used to evaluate the use of family-centered practices and the IFSP. Service coordinators, providers, and administrators can use this tool when reviewing IFSPs to determine if these practices are present and to make suggestions for improvement.

Checklist: Key Characteristics of Well-Written IFSP Outcomes PDF
VA Integrated Training Collaborative
This checklist can be used to critique an IFSP outcome or goal by comparing it to the key characteristics of well-written outcomes which are described in this tool.

Decision Tree for Evidence Based Practices in Early Intervention
Infant & Toddler Connection of Fairfax-Falls Church

This decision tree can be used by programs and practitioners to make decisions about whether a specific strategy can be considered “evidence-based” and appropriate for use with families.

EI Process Flowcharts
These flowcharts use a decision tree and scenarios to help practitioners understand what steps to take during the early phases of the EI process.

  • Eligibility Determination, Assessment for Service Planning, and IFSP Development PDF
  • Preparing for the Annual IFSP PDF

Part C Contact Notes – Documentation that Reflects Your Visit

This four part online tutorial series addresses documentation requirements, documenting ongoing assessment, quality documentation and documenting coaching and natural learning environments for contact notes written by early intervention providers. Follow-up activities are available for each section and a facilitation guide is included for use with groups.

Performance Checklists (external site)
ECTA Center
These performance checklists are intended for practitioners (and leaders where noted) to increase their understanding and use of the DEC Recommended Practices and for self-evaluation of one’s use of the practices. Checklists are organized by the following topics:

  • Leadership
  • Assessment
  • Environment
  • Family
  • Instruction
  • Interaction
  • Teaming and Collaboration
  • Transition

Procedural Safeguards Chart
This chart was developed as part of the Kaleidoscope service coordination training and provides practitioners with information about procedural safeguard forms and processes at each in the early intervention process.

  • Procedural Safeguards Chart  PDF

Quick Reference Guides
These quik reference guides were developed to provide service coordinators and service providers with easy access to important information about VA’s early intervention process. These guides have been widely distributed across Virginia as 5x8 laminated cards. See your local system manager to request copies, or just print them out from the pdfs below. Please request permission for use or distribution outside of the Infant & Toddler Connection of VA system.

  • Adult Learning Quik Reference Guide PDF
  • Asking Good Questions PDF
  • ITC of VA Eligibility Criteria and Diagnosed Conditions PDF
  • OSEP Child Outcomes PDF
  • Procedural Safeguards and Timelines PDF
  • Want to Write a Good IFSP Outcome? PDF
  • Coaching Guide PDF
  • 7 Key Principles PDF

Summary of Charges and Fees for the Early Intervention Services System PDF
Infant & Toddler Connection of Chesapeake

This fillable form can be used to help families understand the charges and fees associated with their EI services.

Tracking Charts/Spreadsheets

These resources are designed as templates that service coordinators and others can use to track important dates, timelines, and activities during the EI process.

Using Parents’ Cell Phone Video Cameras to Capture Intervention Strategies in Action (external website)
Belkis, a PT with the I&TC of Fairfax , describes how she uses parents’ cell phone video cameras to capture recordings of intervention strategies so that families have a video of how to use the strategy when she is not in the home.

Other Tools
Screw drivre and Wrench


Apps for Intervention with Young Children
Many early intervention providers and families are finding that using iPads or other technologies with the many applications that are available very useful and motivating with young children with special needs. Here are a few great resources on using technology and apps with young children:

Apps for Early Intervention (Birth – Three) with Special Attention to Young Children with ASD, Vision Impairment and Other Disabilities DOC | PDF
Developed by VA Community of Practice in Autism (CoPA)
This handout includes links to apps for books, coloring/drawing, music, simple cause & effect, communication (AAC), social development, visual schedules, vision, ABA/Discrete Trial Training (DTT), and just for fun/special interests. iOPS tips for toddlers and other helpful links are also provided.

Apps Resources Handout DOC | PDF
Emerging Technologies: The Use of iPads in Early Childhood
Developed by VA Community of Practice in Autism (CoPA)
This handout includes links to apps for literacy, print & book awareness, pre-writing, math, science, music, social emotional development, and making choices. A long list of helpful links related to apps is also provided.

Study: Educational apps for young children growing rapidly (external website)
Study results are summarized in this brief article indicating a dramatic increase in the use of educational apps aimed at preschool and elementary students.

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