What is Early Childhood Intervention?

What is Early Childhood Intervention?

Early childhood intervention involves the identification and effective provision of early support to children and young people experiencing developmental delays or other disabilities hindering their development.

Effective early intervention aims to stop problems from happening or to fight them off when they happen to prevent them from causing more harm. In addition, it seeks to promote the entire set of individual strengths and skills that ready a child for adult life.

Early intervention can assume multiple forms ranging from home visiting programs to support helpless parents to school-centered programs to enhance children’s interaction skills to mentoring programs for young people who can be easily lured to participate in unlawful activities.

Although some believe that early intervention may have a tremendous impact when rendered during the early years of child life, expert-backed evidence demonstrates that successful interventions can enhance children’s life prospects at any stage between childhood and adolescence.

How does it work?

Early childhood intervention is aimed at combating risk factors and boosting the protective factors in children’s life.

We are well informed of the risk factors that can derail children’s development, reduce future economic and social chances, and further the prospects of physical and mental problems, participation in unlawful activities, substance abuse, or exploitation or abuse in the future. These factors exist at various levels in a child’s environment.

Protective factors are traits or conditions of persons, families, societies, and communities that can contain these risks and improve the health and welfare of children and families. In many instances, the risk and protective factors are closely related though different. For instance, poor parental mental health may obstruct a child’s healthy development. But, on the other hand, good parental mental health may offer a protective factor over other unhealthy outcomes, like behavior issues or weak academic attainment.

These risk factors are hard to determine or predict at a personal level: they cannot pinpoint the exact child or young person who will need support. Instead, they assist us in recognizing children who are prone to risks and who may need additional help. Studies have revealed that early intervention is more effective when availed to young people on the criteria of pre-identified risks.

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Learn about eligibility for early childhood intervention here