The Role of DDA for Ages Birth to 3 and Beyond

Early Childhood Transition

The Role of the Developmental Disabilities Administration for Ages Birth to Three and Beyond

If your family member is enrolled in Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT), the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) plays an important role in their early intervention services and beyond.

When your child is enrolled in ESIT, they may be DDA eligible up until age 4, when an application must be made to re-apply. In fact, the specialized therapies and educational services you child and family receives with the help of your Family Resources Coordinator (FRC) are paid, in part, through DDA funds.

Becoming DDA eligible allows your 0-3 provider to access DDA funding for your family member’s services.

Even if you have private insurance, funding through DDA is part of the publicly funded services provided by most early intervention providers. For some children with medically intensive needs, additional services may also be available such as in-home nursing services.

Did You Know?
In Washington State, eligibility criteria for DDA and the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program are the same for children ages birth to three.

What to expect before your child turns 4:

  • Six months before your child’s 4th birthday you will receive notice that their eligibility will expire at age four. Call the number provided on the notice to request a reapplication packet and to get information about the process.
  • Once your family member’s completed DDA application is received, you will receive a letter called a Planned Action Notice (PAN). The PAN notifies you of DDA’s decision, the rules that were used to make that decision, and the appeal process if you disagree with the decision. If your child continues to be eligible, the PAN will have information about how to contact DDA to request services. Please call the number listed on the letter or visit to submit the request on-line.
  • Timing is important! Be sure to request a reapplication packet far enough in advance to allow DDA time to complete your child’s reapplication.

Why Re-Apply to DDA at Age 4?

  • Some children get DDA services right away. No waiting.
  • DDA clients receive useful information even if they are not enrolled in paid services.
  • DDA eligibility may open doors to other programs, such as the DD Endowment Trust Fund.
  • Even if your family member does not need DDA services, being a client of DDA saves time in the event circumstances change and your child needs more support than you can provide.
  • By becoming eligible and requesting services, you help give the state a clearer picture of needs so that it can plan for services and funding.

DDA Services Include:

  • Respite
  • Personal Care
  • OT/PT/Speech & Hearing
  • Home & Vehicle Modifications
  • Skilled nursing
  • Short-term Emergency Services
  • Supported employment and in-home support (for adults)

Printable Bulletin – English (PDF) 

Printable Bulletin – Chinese (PDF) 

Printable Bulletin – Russian (PDF)

Printable Bulletin – Spanish (PDF)


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