When Should You Refer a Child Through BabyNet?

September 15, 2022

In South Carolina, statewide early intervention services are available for babies and toddlers with developmental delays (or health conditions associated with developmental delays). This interagency early intervention system is called BabyNet. 

Do you want to know when to refer a child to BabyNet? We’re here to help. 

What is BabyNet?

BabyNet is South Carolina’s interagency early intervention system. It assists infants and toddlers under three years old with developmental conditions or delays. 

BabyNet will evaluate a child's developmental progress at no cost to the family. If the child qualifies for early intervention, BabyNet will provide all the necessary services, resources, and information to receive the best possible care.

BabyNet services are supported by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C program, which aims to help children with developmental delays and their families. 

BabyNet is a fantastic resource and helps families in South Carolina every day. But like any other health concern, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do and how you can help. This blog will help you understand when to refer a child to BabyNet.

Signs a Child Might Have a Developmental Delay

When signs indicate that a child might have a developmental delay, contacting BabyNet needs to be considered. If you’re wondering what these signs look like, here are some examples:

  • Learning slower than other children the same age
  • Developing slower than other children the same age
  • Difficulty with communication or socialization with others
  • Lower than average IQ test scores
  • Significant delays with rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking
  • Difficulty with talking or not talking at all
  • Inability to connect actions with consequences
  • Difficulty with problem-solving
  • Difficulty with logical thinking
  • Trouble learning in school
  • Inability to do everyday tasks (getting dressed, using the restroom, etc.)

Important Note: Signs and symptoms of developmental delays vary from child to child. Children grow and develop at their own rate – and that's okay. It is when significant issues begin to appear that action should be taken. Also, sometimes signs are seen during infancy, but in some cases, they might not be noticeable until later in life.

When To Refer a Child To BabyNet

To protect children and provide them with the best care possible, laws are in place for BabyNet referrals. 

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act states that “infants and toddlers birth to three will be referred to the state’s early intervention system no more than two working days after the child has been identified.” 

Essentially, if someone is confident that a child is eligible for BabyNet, they have two working days to report it – it’s the law. 

From there, BabyNet has 45 days to comply with a request. If it’s determined that the child qualifies, work will begin with an early interventionist. 

Who Can Refer a Child To Babynet?

Parents can refer a child to BabyNet and don't need confirmation from a professional. Aside from the parental figures or guardians, anyone who interacts with the child professionally has the right to refer them to BabyNet. This includes:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • School personnel
  • Daycare providers
  • Friends and family members

Applying to BabyNet

The referral process to apply for BabyNet is free. You can fill out an online application, call the Central Referral Team, or fill out the form by hand and mail it in. 

When applying for BabyNet, the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Social Needs will need specific information. Be sure to have:

  • Information regarding the child’s date of birth and social security number
  • Medical records
  • Other records or assessments indicating risk for the child’s developmental disability

About Play Is Here To Help

Whether you're a caretaker, parent, teacher, or relative, it's always best to refer a child to BabyNet as soon as you notice potential signs of a developmental delay. Early intervention services are most effective the sooner they are implemented. If you have questions about the referral process or are looking for a qualified early interventionist near you, get in touch with the About Play team. We'd be more than happy to help.

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