Who We Are
The Child Development Center (CDC) is a program of the Community Development Center, a non-profit agency, and is dedicated to providing early intervention services to families of children ages birth to three years old with developmental delay or disability. The Bedford County CDC was founded in 1972. In subsequent years, the program expanded services to Marshall, Lincoln, Giles, Coffee, Franklin and Moore Counties of Middle Tennessee. The CDC is licensed by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Early Intervention services thorough the CDC are provided under the Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS).
All Early Interventionists at the CDC are degreed and participate in ongoing training to ensure quality services which are based on federally recognized best practices.
Approximately 450 infants and toddlers with developmentally delays and/or disabilities receive early intervention services through the CDC each year. Under the guidelines of the TEIS, the CDC also provides developmental assessments for children ages birth to three years old. Assessments are available within the seven county service area, plus Lawrence and Wayne counties.
CDC also provides developmental screenings for children ages birth to three years old upon request. Screenings can be scheduled on an individual basis or for a group of children, such as at a child care program. Parent consent and input are required.
What is Early Intervention?
The principles of Early Intervention are to:
- Support families in promoting their child’s optimal development
- Facilitate the child’s participation in family and community activities.
- Encourage the active participation of families in the intervention by imbedding strategies into family routines.
Early intervention in Tennessee focuses not only on the child, but primarily on the family or caregiver. The family is present and involved in every aspect of the intervention as Early Interventionists (EI) from the CDC help families to discover ways to support their child’s development through everyday routines and activities. Together, the EI and family work as a team to develop a plan and activities for addressing developmental goals established by the family. Progress toward goals and strategies are assessed every six months to ensure services are meeting the needs of the family and child.
CDC staff assist families enrolled in the program to locate and access resources within their community and the State. The early intervention program is part of an interagency community. By establishing a cooperative and collaborative atmosphere with other agencies, the CDC is better able to address the needs of this young population and their families. The CDC works closely with their local health care providers, Head Start programs, health departments, the Department of Human Services and the local school systems.
Early Intervention services at the CDC are available without cost to the families. Major funding to the program is provided through a contract with the Tennessee Early Intervention System.
Other sources of funding include United Way, city and county governments, civic clubs, community of faith, local business and industries, and individual contributions. Contributions made to a CDC early intervention program support families within the County where the funds were received or designated for use.
Each county of early intervention services engages in fundraising activities to secure the remaining funds necessary to operate each program.
The majority of referrals made to the program are received from physicians, although anyone with a concern for a child's developmental skills may contact the agency.
All referrals received through the CDC are forwarded to the Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS). The child’s development will then be evaluated by TEIS to determine eligibility for services. Six areas of a child's development are examined: communication, cognitive, fine & gross motor, personal/social and adaptive (self-help skills). A forty percent delay in one of these areas, or twenty-five percent in two areas will qualify a child for TEIS and CDC services.
A qualifying disability or determined degree of prematurity may automatically qualify a child for early intervention services.
Each Early Intervention program is governed by an individual local Advisory Board. The Boards provide financial oversight to their respective program, advocate for the CDC within the community, and assists to maintain an overall healthy agency. These Advisory Boards, which meet bi-monthly, provide information and recommendations to the Governing Board of the Community Development Center. The CDC services are monitored by the Tennessee Early Intervention System and licensed under the Department of Intellectual and developmental Disabilities (DIDD).
Parent and Board surveys are conducted on an annual basis to ensure that the highest quality of service is being maintained throughout the Early Intervention programs of the CDC.