What Does a Day in the Life of an Early Intervention Specialist Look Like?

July 8, 2021

Do you enjoy working with children? Are you energetic and creative? Self-motivated and good at time management? A career as an early intervention specialist could be a great fit for you!

We often get the question, “What exactly do early intervention specialists do?” Well, here’s some insight into what our early intervention specialists at About Play do on a daily basis and what skills they need to succeed.

What Does an Early Intervention Specialist Do Throughout a Typical Workday?

Early intervention specialists spend most of their time interpreting data to assess developmental delays, working with children and families during home visits, creating individualized education plans, and completing administrative tasks like progress reports. 

Here’s an outline of some duties early intervention specialists do on a daily basis:

Learning Plans

After assessments are completed, early intervention specialists review the data from their notes and observations, then draft an individualized educational plan (IEP). IEPs include concerns found in the assessment, developmental goals for the child, and strategies to achieve those goals through early intervention play. 

Sometimes, early intervention specialists may consult with one another to create an IEP that will provide the best results for the child. They will also call or meet with parents to review the plan.

Home Visits

Early intervention specialists travel to each child’s home or daycare for weekly or biweekly visits. Children feel most comfortable at home, so it’s where they’re able to make the most progress. This also allows the early intervention specialist to involve childrens’ families in the process, and to support them with any tools and strategies. 

During these visits, early interventionists work on the childrens’ individualized developmental needs through playing games and their everyday routines and activities. Sometimes they’ll be one-on-one with the child, and other times they’ll bring the families in too.

Administrative Work

Early intervention specialists do a lot of administrative work (it’s less scary than it sounds, we promise!). After each home visit, they complete a progress report, detailing any new observations and documenting services provided into online systems.

They also draft new IFSPs with the families and other specialists on the child’s team, make phone calls to parents, make phone calls to any other specialists children may see (speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, etc.), and complete any other client-based or government program-based paperwork.

Other Resources

Another critical part of an early intervention specialist’s job is to support families. Every day, they look for other community resources that the children on their caseload or their families could benefit from. These could include referrals to other specialists, programs, or events. In doing so, they may need to file more paperwork, create a list, or coordinate through phone calls.

Skills You Need to Succeed as an Early Intervention Specialist

In order to fulfill those daily responsibilities, there are a few key skills we look for in early intervention specialists at About Play:

  • Passion - You like working with children and helping them grow.
  • Creativity - You develop unique strategies and make learning fun.
  • Energy - You have the physical and mental energy to work with children ages 0-6 every day.
  • Self-motivation - You are independent and have an intrinsic drive to do your best work. 
  • Organization - You can handle your own caseload and make your own schedule.
  • Time Management - You can complete your paperwork on time and make the most of every minute spent with a child.
  • Collaboration - You can offer support and work with children, families, other specialists, and coworkers.

Additionally, early intervention specialists usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field like education, social work, or psychology.

A day in the life of an early interventionist is a busy, but rewarding one! If you think a career as an early intervention specialist might be right for you, we encourage you to visit the About Play careers page. And if you think you and your child might benefit from support with an early intervention specialist, we hope you'll give us a call or contact us online today. We're here to help!

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