The Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) (page 3)

By — Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)
Updated on Jul 26, 2007

Evaluate Early Intervention to Ensure Quality

Both ongoing and periodic evaluations are essential to any early intervention program. An evaluation may focus on a child's progress toward obtaining desired outcomes and upon the quality of the intervention program itself. Ongoing monitoring of the child's progress requires keeping records in a systematic manner in order to answer such critical questions as 

  • To what extent and at what rate is the child making progress toward attaining outcomes? 
  • Are the selected intervention strategies and activities promoting gains in development? 
  • Do changes need to be made in the intervention plan? 

Periodically reviewing the IFSP provides a means of sharing results about the child's progress and integrating these results into the plan. Part C of IDEA requires that the IFSP be evaluated and revised annually and that periodic reviews be conducted at least every six months (or sooner if requested by the family). This ongoing process provides a continual support to the family and child as they realize their own strengths and resources to help their child learn. 


Brown, W., Thurman, S.K., & Pearl, L.F. (1993). Family centered early intervention with infants and toddlers: innovative cross-disciplinary approaches. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. 

Division for Early Childhood. (1993). DEC recommended practices: Indicators of quality in programs for infants and young children with special needs and their families. Reston, VA: The Council for Exceptional Children. 

Lerner, J.W., Lowenthal, B., and Egar, R. (1998). Preschool children with special needs. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 

Zhang, C. & Bennett, T. (2000). The IFSP/IEP process: Do recommended practices address culturally and linguistically diverse families? (CLAS Technical Report #10). Champaign, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Early Childhood Research Institute on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. 

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