First Connections - Arkansas Infant and Toddler Program

​What is First Connections?

The First Connections Program is a statewide system of services to assist infants and toddlers and their families.  Children grow, learn, and develop at different rates and in different ways.  Just as children are all individuals, families also have different abilities and needs.  The First Connections Program works with families on a individualized basis to assist in locating and coordination services and assistance to enhance not only the child’s abilities but those of the family to assist their child.

The First Connections Program is authorized and funded through Part C of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.  The Department of Human Services (DHS) is the Lead Agency for the Program.  The Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) is the division within DHS, which has administrative responsibility for implementation of the program.       

Who can be a part of the program?

Children ages birth to thirty-six months who:
  • Have a developmental delay in one or more areas of development.  This delay must be 25% or more of their chronological age.
  • Have a medical diagnosis that has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay.


What can the program do to help?

The program helps locate, coordinate, and fund an array of 16 services to assist the child in developing to his or her fullest potential. 

These include:


The program also provides supportive services to families to assist them in understanding their child’s developmental abilities and helping to assist their child in developing.  Services provided through the First Connections Program are:

  • Free to eligible infants & Toddlers and their families
  • Voluntary on the part of the family
  • Provided by qualified professionals who meet state licensing requirements

Who do I call?

The First Connections Program maintains a Toll Free family help and information line at 1-800-643-8258 which any family or citizen may access.  A referral to the program may be made by anyone.  First Connections staff are ready to assist with calls and will contact a referred family to offer assistance and an overview of the program.

 Related Information

 The following documents information support the First Connections Program.

Click Title for Link Type
2013 Part C Annual State Application PDF ​
2004 Part C Regulations (Currently in place) PDF ​
2012 Proposed EI Policy and Procedures PDF ​
Grant Annual Application FFY 2012 (02-14-12) DOC ​
2011 Part C Regulations (Implemented July 1, 2012) PDF​
DDS Child Outcomes for Providers Survey | Opens in New Window WEB
First Connections Annual Performance Report | 2008 PDF
First Connections Provider Annual Report Cards ​LINK
Early Intervention Parent Survey (0-3 Years) | Opens in New Window ​WEB
First Connections State Performance Plan 2005-2010 ​PDF
Part B - Early Childhood Services Description ​PDF
First Connections Comprehensive Data System Frequently Asked Questions​​​ ​PDF
2013 First Connections Spring Newsletter​​​​ ​PDF
2013 First Connections Winter Newsletter​​​​ ​PDF
2012 First Connections Fall Newsletter​​​ ​PDF
2012 First Connections Spring Newsletter​​​ ​PDF
2012 First Connections Summer Newsletter​​​ ​PDF


Part C Application

The following documents pertain to Part C.

Click Title for Link Type
Annual State Application FFY 2014 (02-13-2014).pdfAnnual State Application FFY 2014 (02-13-2014).pdf
Cover Letter PDF
Revised Cover Letter PDF
Part C Application​ PDF​
DDS Policy - Page 43 PDF​
DDS Policy - Page 44 ​PDF
Surrogate Parent Assignment Procedure Change ​PDF
DDS Resolution Process ​PDF
Mediation Process ​PDF
Procedural Safeguards ​PDF
Program and Service Components of Arkansas ​PDF
Part C Application - 10/12/2007​ PDF​
Transition Process Guideline ​PDF
Special Education - Transition Reporting​ ​PDF
Transition 2 Process ​PDF
Certification Policy for Non-Center-Based Services PDF​
Certification Standards for Early Intervention Services ​PDF
Description of Service Changes Application ​PDF
By Laws | Effective 03/01/2003 ​PDF
Part C Application 2011 PDF​