Early Start Program

CHILDREN BIRTH TO THREE WITH DISABILITIES

The Mendocino County Early Start Program is offered through the Redwood Coast Regional Center (RCRC) and the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE). RCRC offers early intervention to families whose children may be at risk for developmental delays or who have significant developmental delay. MCOE provides early intervention (EI) services to children with significant developmental delay and/or hearing, orthopedic, or vision impairment.

Parents and families know their children best. The Early Start Program is here to support families to make sure their children are reaching their developmental milestones. If you or your pediatrician have concerns about your child’s development, the Early Start Program is here to help.

REFERRALS

If you are concerned about your child’s development the first step is to have your child referred for an evaluation. Anyone can make a referral to the Early Start Program. A child can qualify for the Early Start program if they have a 33% delay in one or more areas of development, have an established risk for developmental delay, or are high risk by having two or more high risk factors, such as: prematurity of less than 32 weeks, central nervous center infection, or other identified high risk factors during the first three years of life.

During the evaluation, a child’s fine and gross motor, communication, learning, social, and emotional development are evaluated. Once this process is completed and if your child is found eligible for Early Start Services, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed for your child and family.

HOW ARE SERVICES HELPFUL?

  • Developmental assessments help identify strength and needs for children
  • Programs are developed to promote a child’s growth and development
  • Family service plans are developed to address family concerns, priorities, and resources
  • Families receive support from both professionals and other parents
  • Support in planning for transition to preschool
  • Assistance is available at no cost to families

EARLY START’S FAMILY-CENTERED GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  • Supporting Families
  • Respecting personal beliefs and family values
  • Being partners in decision making
  • Making child and family relationships a priority
  • Listening to family concerns
  • Having choices
  • Being acknowledged as their child’s greatest resource
  • Providing quality information and support

CONFIDENTIALITY – All services are held in the strictest of confidence. With parent written permission, information is shared only with the agencies who will be working with the child and family. For more information or to make a referral, contact:

REDWOOD COST REGIONAL CENTER

1116 Airport Park Blvd.
Ukiah, CA 95482
Phone: (707) 462-3832
Fax: (707) 462-3314

MENDOCINO COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

2240 Old River Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
Phone: (707) 467-5181

MENDOCINO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

1220 S. Dora Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Phone: (707) 472-2600

STAFF

Inland Office

Erika Gatlin, Teacher

Special Education

Phone: (707) 467-3479

Email: egatlin@mcoe.us

Margie Lopez, Instructional Paraprofessional

Special Education

Phone: (707) 467-5181

Email: mlopez@mcoe.us

Coast Office

Marissa Montalvo, Teacher

Early Start - Coast

Phone: (707) 964-7249

Email: mmontalvo@mcoe.us

Marina Ellis, Teacher

Early Start - Coast

Phone: (707) 964-7249

Email: marinae@mcoe.us

Julie Peterson, Instructional Paraprofessional

Early Start Program - Coast

Phone: (707) 964-7249

Email: jpeterson@mcoe.us

Michelle Morris, Instructional Paraprofessional

Early Start - Coast

Phone: (707) 964-7249

Email: mmorris@mcoe.us