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Early Start Employment and Training Opportunities

The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is the lead agency for Early Start in collaboration with the California Department of Education (CDE). DDS contracts with 21 Regional Centers that provide services directly or through vendors at the local level to infants, toddlers, and families who are eligible for Early Start. CDE funds local educational agencies to provide early intervention services for infants and toddlers with vision, hearing, and severe orthopedic impairment. There are many rewarding employment training opportunities available in Early Start.

DDS Headquarters

DDS is responsible for administering and monitoring Early Start in California. DDS employs managerial, supervisory, and analyst staff positions that ensure statewide compliance and conduct personnel development activities and child find efforts.

Regional Centers

DDS contracts with 21 regional centers that are private nonprofit corporations located throughout California that arrange, provide, or purchase early intervention services for eligible young children and their families. Regional centers primarily employ service coordinators and early intervention specialists, to help eligible families with coordinating and accessing available services and supports. Additionally, regional centers enter into contracts with vendors offering professional services, such as speech and occupational therapy. Currently there is a high demand for speech and occupational therapists throughout California.

  • To find a regional center close to you, select the following link to the California's Early Start Central Directory of Early Intervention.
  • To find out what regional center employment opportunities are available contact the regional center directly.

Vendor Opportunities

There are many opportunities for professionals to become a vendor with the regional center to provide Early Start services. Currently, there is a need for individuals specializing in speech and occupational therapy. To find out more about vendor opportunities, contact the regional center directly.

For more information on the vendor requirements visit California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Chapter 3, Subchapter 2, Section 54300.

California Department of Education (CDE) & Local Educational Agencies (LEA)

To find more information about the employment process with CDE and the LEA begin by visiting the CDE website.

Professional Requirements

California has established best practice recommendations for personnel standards based on the highest requirement in the State and applicable to the specific occupational categories that provide early intervention services. (Professional Requirement - PDF)

Last Updated: 3/2/2018