Early Childhood CARES provides early intervention and early childhood special education services to infants, toddlers, and preschool children in Lane County, Oregon. Each year it serves over 1600 children who have developmental delays or disabilities. Established in 1992 as an outreach unit in the College of Education, Early Childhood CARES is funded by the Oregon Department of Education with state and federal dollars.
Educational services include home visits, parent-toddler groups, specialized preschools, consultation to children in community preschools and speech therapy. Staff who work for Early Childhood CARES have teaching licenses or state authorization to teach young children. They are specialists in early intervention/early childhood special education, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, behavior and autism.
Early Childhood CARES is one of nine programs in Oregon delivering services to young children and their families across the state, and is similar to programs throughout the United States. All educational services are free to eligible children and their families. Practicum experiences for students preparing to work in the early intention/early childhood special education field and volunteer opportunities are available in classrooms throughout Lane County.