What Is BabyNet?

What Is BabyNet?

August 3, 2021

BabyNet is South Carolina’s interagency early intervention system for children under 3 years old who may have developmental conditions or delays. The system provides these childrens’ families with the services and information they need to be the best possible caregivers. 

BabyNet is a great resource, but we know it can be a bit overwhelming for families who are new to the system. That’s why we’ve created a complete guide with everything you need to know about BabyNet. 

If you’re new to BabyNet and looking for more information, read on!

How Do I Get Access to BabyNet Services?

Getting access to BabyNet services is simpler than it sounds. If you suspect your child may have a developmental delay or a condition that could result in a developmental delay, you can apply for BabyNet Services through a referral. 

Referrals can be submitted through BabyNet’s Referral Form. The form is short, only asking for your contact information, reason for referral, and consent to obtain information regarding your child. You may also submit a referral via phone call to the BabyNet Central Referral Team at 1-866-512-8881.

It’s important to remember that parents aren’t always the first to spot delays, and therefore aren’t the only ones who can submit referrals. Anyone can refer a child for BabyNet services, including caregivers, daycare providers, doctors, or friends. 

Once a referral is made, your family will be contacted by a BabyNet Service Coordinator who will explain more about the system and determine if your child is eligible for services. If your child is found eligible, you will be able to select an early intervention provider in your area. If you select About Play as your early intervention provider, one of our team members will reach out within one week for an initial home visit.

What Is the Eligibility Criteria For BabyNet Services?

First of all, children are only eligible for BabyNet Services if they are under 3 years old. If your child is over 3 years old, you should contact South Carolina’s Department of Disabilities and Special Needs or your child’s local school district and see what other options may be available for them. 

The other criteria for eligibility is split into two categories. Your child may be eligible for BabyNet services if:

1. They have a developmental delay of 40% (2 standard deviations below the mean) in one area of development or a delay of 25% (1.5 standard deviations below the mean) in two areas of development. These delays are measured with diagnostic instruments and procedures to ensure accuracy. The areas of development analyzed include:

  • Cognitive
  • Physical
  • Communication
  • Social and/or emotional
  • Adaptive 

OR

2. They have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that is verified by a physician and has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay. This includes conditions like:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Congenital disorders and infections
  • Sensory impairments
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Nervous system development disturbance
  • Severe attachment disorders
  • Prematurity complications
  • Disorders secondary to exposure to toxic substances (e.g. fetal alcohol syndrome) 

You can view full details on BabyNet eligibility criteria on this Determination of Initial Eligibility Resource.

What Services Does BabyNet Offer?

If your child is eligible, they will receive BabyNet services specialized to their unique developmental needs. Your service coordinator will match your child’s needs with relevant professional resources available in your community. This could include (but certainly isn’t limited to) family support stipends for specialized equipment, respite services, family training and special instruction, and/or early intervention. 

Early intervention is the primary BabyNet service. When you receive early intervention services through Babynet, a professional called an early intervention specialist (also known as an early interventionist) will come to your home on a regular basis to work one-on-one with your child and improve their developmental skills. Most of the work is done through fun exercises or play activities. 

Early intervention specialists act as a support system for your child and your family, and work to prioritize activities relevant to your everyday lifestyle and routine. The amount and type of services your child receives are dependent on their needs, but the benefits of early intervention can be recognized by everyone.

What Is the Early Intervention Specialist’s Role in BabyNet Services?

The early interventionist’s role involves a few responsibilities, including:

  • Supporting parents, caregivers, and other children in your family
  • Enhancing your child’s participation in their community and early childhood experiences
  • Helping you meet the goals you set for your child’s development
  • Help your family find answers to difficult questions
What Is My Family’s Role in BabyNet Services?

In order to ensure your child is getting comprehensive services, even when the early intervention specialist is away, your family will have a few responsibilities too. These include:

  • Openly sharing your interests, priorities, needs, and questions with the early intervention specialist
  • Helping the early intervention specialist with setting goals for your child’s progress
  • Interacting with and learning from the early intervention specialist so you can support your child and help them grow between early intervention visits

How Much Can I Expect to Pay For BabyNet Services?

All children in South Carolina who meet the BabyNet eligibility criteria receive services for free, regardless of family income status. In fact, all evaluations and services provided through BabyNet and on the child’s service plan come at no cost to your family.

How is BabyNet Funded?

BabyNet is funded and regulated through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). That’s why services are available at no cost to eligible children and families. It’s also managed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Aside from funding and management, BabyNet also coordinates with other state agencies and organizations, including: 

 

If your child is eligible for BabyNet services, About Play is here to help you through the process. We provide children with all the resources they need to learn and grow, and we provide their families with the support to overcome challenges. For more information regarding BabyNet or early intervention services, give us a call or contact us online today.