Frequently Asked Questions

TEIS is a voluntary education program that supports young children with disabilities or developmental delays find services and support. The TEIS program helps children AND their families navigate all the resources available for a child to reach their optimal development. The program is governed by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

You can complete a referral form by visiting our website or calling (800) 852-7157

Families, doctors or anyone who may be concerned about a child’s development can contact TEIS with questions or to make a referral.

Early intervention plans focus on helping children become more social, independent and reach their optimal development. Many children who are involved with early intervention are ready to start kindergarten with minimal or no special education supports.

Children benefit when their families have support. A family’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) team can help them understand their child’s needs, while providing guidance on how to support their children, while they reach their goals!

Your local TEIS office will ask an evaluator to set up a developmental evaluation.

TEIS is completely voluntary. However, early intervention is proven to help children reach their optimal development.

Talking with your child’s doctor during regular check-ups is helpful, as well as talking with TEIS staff.

A child may have a developmental delay if they are far behind other children their age in one or more of the five major skill areas:

  • Motor (crawling, walking, using their hands to play)
  • Communication (babbling, indicating wants and needs, talking)
  • Cognitive (thinking skills including making choices and problem solving)
  • Social (playing near or with other children or adults)
  • Adaptive (taking care of one’s needs)

Children diagnosed with certain disabilities or children whose test results show a significant delay in developmental areas may be eligible. Information from the child’s doctor, as well as the results of a developmental evaluation, will determine if a child meets the eligibility criteria.

TEIS has established a system of payment policy that is committed to not creating a financial hardship for families. It is the right of every infant and toddler to receive an eligibility evaluation and service coordination at no cost.

If services are recommended, the service coordinator will discuss utilizing the child’s private insurance. The system of payment policy may also utilize TennCare (Medicaid) and other government benefits to pay for services.

After a child becomes eligible for the program you will participate in an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) with TEIS staff members. A plan will be developed for services and support to ensure your child reaches their optimal development.

The TEIS service coordinator will help prepare the family by setting up a transition meeting up to nine months before a child’s third birthday. The coordinator will discuss progress, goal achievement and what services and programs are available to the family as the child grows older.

Every child must first be determined eligible for TEIS before any service decisions are made. If your child is not eligible for TEIS, your service coordinator and doctor can discuss alternative options that may utilize your child’s health plan.

Refer a child to TEIS

You may make a referral to TEIS by completing our online referral form or by calling (800) 852-7157. The referral form can also be found in the MyTN app, available on your app store.


Please be prepared to provide the child’s name, date of birth, county of residence, parent information (if someone other than the parent calls), and reason for referral.