What Certifications Do I Need to Become an Early Intervention Specialist in South Carolina?

July 14, 2022

An Early Intervention Specialist (EI) helps kids with developmental delays and disabilities learn, grow, and build fulfilling lives. EIs usually use games as a way to help the child master their speech, behavior issues, and other disabilities. They also work with the families to ensure they are getting everything they need. (Check out our blog What Does a Day in the Life of an Early Intervention Specialist Look LIke? for more info about an EI's day-to-day.)

EIs in South Carolina are often assigned to children through BabyNet, the state’s early intervention service. But what exactly does it take for someone to become an early intervention specialist in South Carolina

Let's look at what certifications you need to become an early intervention specialist in South Carolina, along with a few other key qualifications to make sure you have for a successful career. 

#1. A First Aid Certification

A first aid certification can be helpful for anyone, but for an early intervention specialist, first aid is vital. Any time you're working with children, you need to know you can handle any situation. Whether it’s simply a papercut or a more serious injury, it’s important to know what to do and how to care for a child while they’re with you. 

#2. CPR Training

CPR training is equally as important as it can be the difference between life and death. Whether a child has a severe allergic reaction and stops breathing or there is another problem, CPR can save a child’s life or at least keep them stable until emergency services can arrive on the scene. 

When working with children, this basic safety knowledge is essential. 

#3. South Carolina Department Of Human Health And Services Certificate

To legally practice as an early intervention specialist in the US, you are required to meet the state's certification requirements. This may be through the Department of Education in some states but for South Carolina, it’s through the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The early intervention specialist certification process is usually done once you are employed by an early intervention company, so if you aren’t sure where to start, your employer will likely have information for you.

That being said, if you are working with children with speech or hearing difficulties, you may need more licensing or certification. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) requires speech-language pathologists and audiologists to be licensed to practice through them.

#4. Relevant Education

Having a degree in the appropriate field is also vital to a career as an early intervention specialist. It’s the thing every potential employer is going to look for.

But there isn’t only one degree that your potential employers may be looking for. There are several different majors you may have a degree in that could qualify you for a position as an early interventionist, including a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in:

  • education
  • early childhood education
  • Special education
  • social work
  • psychology
  • child psychology
  • sociology
  • family & consumer science

#5. Past Career Experience

If you’ve worked in a career that relates to the work done as an early intervention specialist, that experience can also help you become an EI as well. Skills that you take from certain careers fit well with what you’ll be doing as an EI. 

The careers that make that switch best are usually ones that include working with children (especially children ages 0-6) like:

  • teachers
  • special education teachers
  • social workers
  • psychologists
  • sociologists

But unlike these career options, as an early intervention specialist, you get to set your own hours and can have a much more flexible schedule.

#6. Passion

Passion for early education, social work, child psychology, and helping children with developmental delays and disabilities is a must-have when you’re looking to become an early intervention specialist. 

Your passion will shine through when you work with the child and their parents. It will also help when you’re tasked with coming up with new ways to make learning fun for the child and their specific situation.

While passion isn’t a certification or a skill that an employer can measure, it makes the job and the child’s experience a lot more fun, which in turn makes you more successful.

At About Play, our team is dedicated to working hard, having fun, and helping children learn and grow. If you're looking to become an early intervention specialist in South Carolina, reach out to us! We're happy to walk you through our application process, and we'd be excited to get to know you!


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