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The Early Stages evaluation centers will be closed from March 16-April 24 to follow the DCPS modified schedule in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). However, our staff are still available, and we will continue our regular work with children and families as much as possible until we fully reopen on April 27. Please read our full guidance on what work will continue and what work will be rescheduled. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to our continued work with you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Young girl in class
Young girl in class

As you may know, Chancellor Ferebee recently announced a modified schedule for all DCPS schools to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). All DCPS schools will be closed March 16 – March 31.

The Early Stages evaluation centers will also be closed during this time. However, our staff are still available, and we will continue our regular work with children and families as much as possible until we fully reopen on April 1. Please read our full guidance on what work will continue and what work will be rescheduled. We understand the inconvenience this may cause for you, and we will do everything we can to expedite rescheduled appointments. We look forward to our continued work with you. 

 

When should I call Early Stages?

If you are concerned about how your child is walking, talking, playing, learning, or behaving, don’t wait to see if they will grow out of it. The experts at our family-friendly center will work with you to identify your child’s strengths as well as areas where they might need extra help. The first five years of a child’s life are the most important to their development. The earlier a child receives services, the more likely it is that their needs will be reduced or even eliminated as they get older.

What services can Early Stages provide?

All children referred to Early Stages receive a developmental screening. If necessary, your child will receive a more in-depth evaluation and services. Some of the services that Early Stages can recommend include specialized instruction, speech/language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological services, and behavioral support services.

What happens if my child needs an evaluation?

Your family is assigned to a Family Care team member, who will walk you through our process from start to finish. They will contact you before the evaluation to make sure you understand the process and what will happen. On the day of your visit, your child will work with a team of specialists who will use play activities to evaluate your child. They will take the time to help your child feel comfortable and you will be able to watch the entire evaluation.

Who decides what services my child will receive?

You and members of the evaluation staff will make all decisions together as a team. You may also invite other people you want involved. This team determines what services your child may need and the right school site at which to receive them. Your Family Care team member will work with the placement specialist to determine which school will best support your child’s needs and make sure all the paperwork gets to the school.

Where are the Early Stages Centers?

The Early Stages Center at Walker Jones Education Campus is located at 1125 New Jersey Avenue NW. The 96 bus stops right in front, and the nearest Metrorail stops are Union Station on the red line and Mt. Vernon Square-7th Street Convention Center on the green and yellow lines. Free 3 hour street parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Early Stages Center at Minnesota Avenue is located at 4058 Minnesota Avenue NE. The center is right next to the Minnesota Avenue Metrorail station on the orange line, which is served by several bus routes. Parking is available in the neighborhood and in the Metro parking lot (this requires a SmarTrip card).

How does a family get started with Early Stages?

  1. You can contact the center directly.
  2. A child care provider, teacher, doctor, or other professional who knows your child may contact the center with a concern. In these cases, we will contact you. We can only begin the process with your permission.

What is the best way to contact Early Stages?

The best way is the way that is easiest for you!

If your child is younger than 2 years 8 months, please contact Strong Start, the DC Early Intervention Program, at (202) 727-3665.

 

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