Early Childhood

Services to Promote Growth and Development

Heartland AEA’s early childhood services focus primarily on early intervention — a system of coordinated services that promotes a child’s age-appropriate growth and development and supports families during the critical early years. Beginning a partnership between families and professionals at this early stage helps children, families and the community as a whole.

Heartland AEA staff work collaboratively with community partners to determine the needs of children, families and childcare providers and to develop plans to address those needs in the home and other natural settings.

Services Within the Community

  •  Coaching, collaborating, consulting and supporting children, families, teachers and childcare providers on evidence-based practices and appropriate expectations for children’s development.
  •  Providing professional development and serving as a resource for general early childhood education for children ages 3 through 5 in order to support the educational needs of children.

Services Within School Districts

  • Coaching, collaborating and consulting to provide interventions and supports that are designed to enhance the development of children. To the maximum extent appropriate, services will be provided in early childhood settings with typically developing peers.
  • Facilitating transitions for students ages 3-5 into early childhood programs.
  • Providing consultation, collaboration and coaching with community partners and families.

If You Think Your Child Needs Assistance

If you feel your child may have an intellectual, physical, communication, behavioral or emotional disability and needs assistance, click the button below or call the Heartland AEA regional office that serves the school district in which your child resides to make a referral. Heartland AEA staff members who serve your school district will then be in contact with you to discuss your concerns.

Early Childhood Referral Form

Please note that if your child resides in the Des Moines Public School district, he/she would receive services from DMPS rather than from Heartland AEA. If your child resides in the Des Moines district:

Call (515) 242-8213 or complete the DMPS Intake Form

More Information

For additional information about early childhood services, visit:

Iowa Department of Education

Early Childhood