Early Intervention Certificate

What is Early Intervention?

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services in Rhode Island defines Early Intervention as the following: Rhode Island’s Early Intervention Program promotes the growth and development of infants and toddlers who have a developmental disability or delay in one or more areas. Developmental disabilities or delays can affect a child’s speech, physical ability, or social skills. Children referred to the Early Intervention Program receive a comprehensive developmental evaluation to determine if they are eligible. One of the goals of Early Intervention is to provide support to families so their children can develop to their fullest potential. Services are provided in places where children usually play or take part in daily activities.

Certificate Description

The Certificate in Early Intervention (EI) prepares undergraduate students across the University to work with families of children ages birth to three who have or are at risk for developmental disabilities. Students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to successfully work with families and other health professionals to promote optimal child development and functioning in the child’s natural environment (e.g., home). Successful completion of the certificate will allow students to be deemed “qualified personnel” by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and allow EI programs to hire certificate holders as an Early Interventionist II on a provisional basis in Rhode Island. After successfully completing 1000 work hours and the initial probationary review the status of Early Interventionist II would become permanent.

Required Courses

The Certificate in Early Intervention consists of five courses for a total of 16 credits. It is also recommended that students in the certificate obtain an internship in EI. The optional internship provides the opportunity for students to apply and reflect on their skills and knowledge in an actual EI setting. Any EI internship hours will count as part of the 1000-hour requirement for permanent status.

  • HDF 306 – Infant and Toddler Development
    As the infant and young child are embedded within individual, social, and cultural systems which can include family, childcare, community, and societal systems, students in this class will examine how each of these systems is acted upon and how they act upon the other(s). Concepts from theory and research will be integrated with practice through lectures, discussions, videos, out-of-class and in-class assignments, and child observations. Contexts of development including the family and community will be explored through a cultural lens. 
    Students should be aware that a prerequisite of HDF 306 is HDF 200 (Lifespan Development I) or permission of the instructor.
  • HDF 340 – Introduction to Early Intervention.
    This course provides an orientation to Early Intervention (EI), a program that provides services to children ages birth to three who have developmental delays. Best practices utilizing a family-centered approach are emphasized. A range of disabilities and vulnerabilities from birth to three are examined. Emphasis is placed upon methods and criteria for early identification and the provision of services from referral to discharge in Early Intervention.
  • HDF 341 – Early Intervention Services Planning
    A systematic, family-centered, team approach to service delivery is emphasized. Cases are used as focal points for learning how to plan and evaluate individualized family service plans (IFSPs). Emphasis is on developing and embedding learning opportunities in everyday routines, relationships, activities, and places of the families in early intervention. Teamwork and leadership in early intervention are covered with respect to service coordination.
  • HDF 342 – Working with Families in Early Childhood
    Exploration of ways to collaborate with families in home visiting and early childhood programs. Strategies used to engage families, family-centered approaches to identify strengths and needs, and coaching are emphasized.
  • HDF 343 – Screening and Assessment in Early Intervention
    Interdisciplinary child and family assessment procedures and development of Individual Family Service Plans (IFSPs) are covered. Collaborating with families on goals and services, and developing responsive and meaningful outcomes for children birth to three and families in Early Intervention are emphasized.

How do you get the certification?

Easy! Anyone, regardless of your major at URI, can take the HDF courses that make up the certification. However, to receive the EI Certificate, students are required to apply prior to completing two out of the five mandatory courses. Failure to submit the application before reaching 40% completion of the required courses will result in the rejection of the certificate application by the Registrar’s office. Although students can still enroll in and complete all necessary courses for the certificate, they will not receive the formal certificate at graduation, nor will it be acknowledged on their transcripts if the application is not completed before the student has completed two of the required courses.

To prevent this, students are strongly advised to submit the application before finishing two of the five required courses, even if they are uncertain about completing the entire certificate program.

Upon completion of the application, students must obtain the signature of Dr. Casey McGregor, the certificate director. Then, students are required to either take the form to the College of Health Sciences Dean’s Office (101 Quinn) or email it to chs-group@uri.edu.

The application to the EI Certificate can be found here: Download Application

For questions, please consult your advisor or reach out to Dr. Casey McGregor.