What Does an Early Intervention Specialist Do?

An early intervention specialist assesses children ages 0-6 for developmental delays or disabilities that may cause them to fall behind in certain areas of life. This is usually done through play in a one-on-one setting within the family’s home. They plan strategies that help children learn and grow in areas where they are struggling.

They typically focus on developmental delays that include:

  • Physical and motor development skills.
  • Cognitive skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Social and emotional skills.
  • Adaptive skills.

How to Start Your Early Intervention Specialist Journey

To join this amazing group of early intervention specialist you need:


Earn a bachelor’s degree in any of the following:

  • Early childhood education.
  • Special education child development.
  • Or similar.


Obtain a master’s degree in early childhood education or child development.


Obtain at least 480 hours of supervised experience in an early childhood setting. This can be obtained through internships, practicums, or employment in a licensed child care center or preschool.

Associations to Support You

Scholarships & Grants

You may be eligible for a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Michigan scholarship if you:

  • Work in a licensed, tribal, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), or Developmental Kindergarten (DK) setting directly with children.
  • Are pursuing a CDA, MiYDA, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, including ZN Endorsement (Early Childhood General and Special Education – Birth to Kindergarten), and ZO Endorsement (Lower Elementary Education – Pre-K to 3rd Grade) when combined with the ZN Endorsement.
  • Earn no more than $19.60/hour if pursuing a CDA, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree coursework.
  • Work in a program willing to sponsor you on scholarship or are employed in a stipend scholarship-approved program.


  • July 1st for Fall Semester.
  • October 1st for Winter/Spring Semester.
  • March 1st for Spring/Summer.

Michigan Reconnect is a scholarship program that pays you to attend your in-district community college tuition free or pays up to the in-district rate if you attend a community college where you’re considered out-of-district. Applicants must be 25 years old to apply.

Ensures all eligible Detroit residents have a tuition-free path to a degree. The student should check with the school to ensure their degree is pell-eligible. This scholarship cannot cover programs that are not Pell-eligible. Detroit Promise funding is not competitive; every student who registers and meets the requirements will receive funding if their college determines they have an eligible funding gap.

Need help paying for college? Fill out the FAFSA – Federal Student Aid – form each year in October, and you may qualify for loans to help cover college tuition.

Free College Opportunities

Options for High School Students include Dual Enrollment & Early Middle College

Dual Enrollment Allows students to earn college credit (up to 10 courses) while in High School at no cost between 9th-12th grade. The classes that students are eligible for must not be offered by the high school or PSA and must lead towards postsecondary credit, accreditation, certification, and/or licensing. 

How to apply – Students are to talk with their high school advisor on eligibility, application, deadlines, and college course options.

Early Middle College (EMC) is a Michigan Department of Education approved five-year program of study.

EMCs work closely with certain colleges to provide students with an opportunity earn a high school diploma and one or more of the following:

  • 60 transferable college credits.
  • An associate degree.
  • A professional certification.
  • The Michigan Early Middle College Association (MEMCA) technical certificate.
  • Participation in a registered apprenticeship.

Michigan List of EMC’s

Volunteer to Gain More Experience!

Get hands-on experience and find a classroom near you that is in need of a volunteer!

Job Shadowing

To participate in a job shadow, reach out to a school district and request to job shadow an early intervention specialist for a day.

Each school district has its own policy when it comes to job shadowing, but you may need a state ID or a driver’s license to participate.

College Program Information

Click a point on the map to find degree programs, scholarships, grants, and organizations to join!

In a circular frame: A young white woman with short red hair and glasses stands in a classroom. She wears a blue cardigan and a necklace, and is speaking.

Occupational Therapist Story Tellers

Below are videos highlighting Occupational Therapist throughout Michigan.
Find out why they love the profession.

Sign Language’s Impact in Classrooms

Mona Shores Public Schools

Lydia Hansen shares her love for this exciting career and the benefits it brings to her own life and to the children in the classroom.

join the success

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from Michigan Sign Language Interpreters

A young white woman with short red hair and glasses stands in a classroom. She wears a blue cardigan and a necklace, and is speaking. In the bottom left corner is a blue box with white text in it that reads "Lydia Hansen".

Questions About Your Educator Journey?