Early Learning Services - Family Information

Elwyn Early Learning Services provides preschool early intervention services to eligible children, ages 3 through the age of beginners, or through the transition to school-age programming, in Philadelphia County and the city of Chester.

Welcome to the Elwyn Early Learning Services (ELS) Family Information site. Elwyn ELS provides intake services, multi-disciplinary evaluations to determine eligibility, case management, also referred to as LEA Representation, and preschool early intervention services. Families can utilize the wide array of information offered on this portion of our website to learn more about Elwyn Early Learning Services, preschool early intervention processes and procedures, developmental norms and access necessary contact information.

Show More

NEW – 2022 Early Intervention Family Survey

Realice la Encuesta familiar de intervención temprana siguiendo este enlace o escaneando el código QR en su teléfono o tableta.

How to Make a Preschool Early Intervention Referral

How to Make a Preschool Early Intervention Referral

Welcome to the Elwyn Early Learning Services (ELS) "How to Make a Preschool Early Intervention Referral eTraining" brought to you by the Elwyn Early Learning Services Professional Development Team.

Click Here to watch our video.

What to Expect

What to Expect

  • Call Elwyn Early Learning Services (ELS) at 215-222-8054 to refer for Preschool Early Intervention.
  • Intake Coordinators are available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Intake Coordinators gather demographic information and ask about the concerns you have with your child’s development. This call typically takes about 10 minutes.
  • After reviewing your concerns, you can request that the multidisciplinary evaluation (MDE) be scheduled. The Intake Coordinator will schedule while on the call with you. To ensure a time that will work best, have your calendar available. MDE time slots are available Monday through Thursday in both the morning and the afternoon.
  • Intake Coordinators will review the paperwork that you will receive in the mail. It will be mailed within 10 days. Please let us know if this paperwork is not received.
  • Included in the mailing is the Permission to Evaluate (PTE). This form gives you the option of moving forward with the MDE as proposed. Elwyn Early Learning Services cannot proceed until the signed Permission to Evaluate is received. The options will be outlined; check the appropriate box and return the document, as quickly as possible. An envelope will be provided.
  • We cannot move to STEP 2 without your signature giving consent on the Permission to Evaluate.
  • At the time of the scheduled evaluation, a team of multi-disciplinary evaluators will assess all areas of your child’s development to determine if your child is in need of special education services. These areas include medical, vision, and hearing history, communication, knowledge and learning, physical, social-emotional, and adaptive development.
  • Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive a written Evaluation Report (ER) in the mail that details your child’s strengths and needs, and any delays they may be experiencing in their development. The report will be sent to you within 60 days of Elwyn’s receipt of the signed Permission to Evaluate.
  • A member of the evaluation team will contact you to review the Evaluation Report if your child is not eligible for Preschool Early Intervention (Special Education).
  • If the evaluation shows that your child is displaying delays in their development, a Local Education Agency representative (LEA Rep) will be assigned. The Local Education Agency Rep will call you to review the Evaluation Report and schedule an Individualized Education Plan meeting within 30 days of the date the Evaluation Report was sent to you.
  • Parents play a vital role as a member of the Individualized Education Plan team. Your input is valued and necessary to create the most appropriate plan to meet your child’s needs.
  • At the Individualized Education Plan meeting, a plan for the next year will be created with goals for your child to assist them in their development. At the end of the Individualized Education Plan meeting, the Local Education Agency Rep will present you with a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP), which details the discussion and recommendations for your child’s educational placement.
  • You have specific rights regarding the Notice of Recommended Educational Placement that will be explained before the Local Education Agency Rep asks you to sign it. You have the option to approve or not approve the placement recommended. This will also be explained.
  • Elwyn Early Learning Services cannot provide Early Intervention services without your approval. Therefore, STEP 4 cannot begin until we have received the Notice of Recommended Educational Placement with your signature stating that you approve.
  • The delivery of Early Intervention services must begin within 14 days of the Individualized Education Plan meeting, if a signed approved Notice of Recommended Educational Placement is received, unless your child is transitioning from Infant Toddler Early Intervention (ITEI), in which case services will begin on your child’s 3rd birthday.


We have prepared our information for What to Expect in Spanish and Mandarin.


Watch Me Grow

Watch Me Grow

Every child grows and learns new skills at his or her own pace. Children can vary in skills and development. You know your child better than anyone else. If you have concerns about your child’s development, early intervention can help. Check out the “Watch Me Grow” publication for early intervention information, as well as a brief overview of developmental norms.

COVID-19 Information

Family Resource Center

Family Resource Center

The Family Resource Center is a supplemental support program created for Elwyn Early Learning Services (ELS) families and caregivers, designed to offer guidance and support with a wide array of local resources. Through the FRC, you can find city-wide resources and other information to successfully navigate community activities, special needs  programs or services, parent training, and early childhood programming.

Being a caregiver, whether a parent, grandparent or guardian, is challenging and supporting a child with special needs adds another layer of complexity. Elwyn ELS Social Work Interns are available to support Preschool Early Intervention families in locating and making connections to necessary community-based resources.

Resources and support programs include:

  • Benefits (medical assistance, SSI, etc.)
  • Community activities & recreation Domestic Violence
  • Early Education Centers (prek, head start, child care)
  • Employment/Job training
  • Food Insecurity
  • Housing/Homeless
  • Marginalized groups support (LGBTQIA, refugee, etc.)
  • Parent to Parent Program/Parenting
  • Utilities/Shut-off notice

If interested, please talk to your child’s evaluation team or LEA Representative, so they can assist with a referral to the Family Resource Center.

Transition to Kindergarten

Transition to Kindergarten

Overview of Process/What to Expect:

In the year prior to your child’s transition, your IEP team will discuss and prepare for the upcoming transition by developing goals and objectives to support your child and your family with this process and will develop a transition plan in your child’s IEP.

Complete the Intent to Register (ITR) Form

By completing the Intent to Register (ITR) form, you are documenting your intention to register your child in the School District of Philadelphia or a local Charter School. The ITR form outlines the options families have when it comes to Transition to Kindergarten. Once this form is completed, the School District of Philadelphia or Charter School begins the process to determine whether your child will continue to be eligible for special education services and if so, will collaborate with you on the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Upon receipt of the ITR Form indicating your choice to register for Kindergarten, Elwyn Early Learning Services (ELS) will share educational documents with the School District of Philadelphia or Charter School.

By December 21st of your child’s transition year, you will receive formal notification regarding your child’s pending transition to school-age programming and the availability of upcoming transition meetings.

Register for Kindergarten

Follow the School District of Philadelphia Kindergarten Registration link below to access full registration details.

School District of Philadelphia, Kindergarten Registration Sitehttps://www.philasd.org/studentplacement/services/kindergarten-registration/

School District of Philadelphia, Transition to School-Age Support Site: 2022 Early Intervention Transition (google.com)

PDE Early Intervention Transition Overview: https://www.education.pa.gov/Policy-Funding/BECS/Purdons/Pages/EITransitionPreschool.aspx

Contact Information

Early Learning Services (ELS) Contact Information

Philadelphia Main Phone Number & Intake Referral Line: (215) 222-8054
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

City of Chester Main Phone Number & Intake Referral Line: (610) 872-4590
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

*For children currently receiving Preschool Early Intervention services through Elwyn ELS, the best line of contact for individual student questions or concerns is your child’s LEA Representative.
*If you are having difficulty reaching your child’s LEA Representative, please use the appropriate Main Phone Number above or the regional email addresses below and our team will gladly assist you.

ELS North-East:

ELS Northwest-Central:

ELS South-West:

ELS City of Chester:

Click Here to download a PDF version of our regional map

Early Childhood Education & Early Childhood Special Education Programs

Early Childhood Education & Early Childhood Special Education Programs

The research is clear – giving children a strong start and fostering positive early childhood experiences is key to a healthy & successful future! The city of Philadelphia offers many public Early Childhood Education (ECE) program options, including Head Start, Pre-K Counts and PHL Pre-K classrooms. There are also a wide array of private ECE programs available to families across the city. If you need assistance locating an ECE program, you can utilize the Great Philly Schools website to explore various programs in your area: https://greatphillyschools.org/s/.

For some children with disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs might be a better fit. ECSE programs are also available across the city and enrollment is an IEP team decision based on a child’s needs. If you are interested in an ECSE program for your child, please reach out to your child’s LEA representative to discuss further.

Elwyn West, 5548 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pa
Programs: Early Childhood Special Education Center

Elwyn South, 1930 S. Broad St, Philadelphia, Pa
Programs: Early Childhood Special Education Center

ELS- Falls Center, 3300 Henry Ave, Philadelphia, Pa
Programs: Private Academic School, Early Childhood Special Education Center

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Temple University’s Families First program:

Temple University’s Families First program, through the Institute on Disabilities, is a free parent empowerment training and support program dedicated to families receiving early intervention in Philadelphia. All families receiving early intervention services in Philadelphia are welcome to access the free training and networking opportunities that Families First has to offer! This program is partially funded by Elwyn ELS.

Temple Institute on Disabilities & Families First

The PEAL Center, Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership:

The PEAL Center serves Pennsylvania families who have children with disabilities and/or special health care needs from birth to age 26. PEAL also educates self-advocates and youth on self-advocacy, self-determination, and leadership development. https://www.pealcenter.org/

Vision for Equality:

Located in Philadelphia, assists and empowers people with disabilities and their families to seek quality and satisfaction in their lives as well as equal access to supports and services. https://www.visionforequality.org/

HUNE is a not-for-profit organization that provides free bilingual English and Spanish training, technical assistance and individual assistance to families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and to professionals who work with children. https://www.huneinc.org/

Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania:
n Pennsylvania, the Parent to Parent program is based on the philosophy that parents of children and adults with disabilities or special needs can be helped by other parents who have traveled the road before them. The model is a one-to-one match between an experienced, mentor parent, called a peer support parent and a parent seeking individualized support from another parent who has been there. http://www.parenttoparent.org/

Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA):
The information on this page is geared to help families connect with other families and get more involved in shaping Early Intervention services at the local and statewide levels.  Also included are some key resources that may be of interest as you support your child’s learning and development and begin to navigate and understand the Early Intervention and Early Childhood programs in Pennsylvania. http://www.eita-pa.org/families/

  • The best part of my job is having fun with the consumer. I can teach them about science, art, cooking, music, and more.
    Thuy Nelson

    Thuy Nelson

    Program Instructor, CA
You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. To ensure security, performance, and full functionality, please upgrade to an up-to-date browser.