Read our frequently asked questions below!

If you have a question we haven’t covered, or would like additional information, please contact us.

Who is eligible for Help Me Grow?

Any family with a young child, birth through age 5, residing in Santa Barbara County. Providers, such as health care professionals, early childhood educators, childcare providers, and other community partners may also benefit from Help Me Grow services such as training on accessing community resources and support for the families they serve.

How much does Help Me Grow cost?

Help Me Grow services are free!

What is a developmental screening?

A tool used by parents and professionals to check on a child’s development. It is a short, parent-completed questionnaire with questions about things your child can and cannot do. It includes questions about your child’s communication, motor skills (like walking and running, but also using their fingers and hands), problem solving, and self-help skills.

Click here to take a screening.

How can a Help Me Grow Care Coordinator help me?

The Help Me Grow care coordinator is a specially trained professional who can answer questions about your child’s development, behavior, and learning. The care coordinator can also provide you with information about ways to promote your child’s development, help you find community resources, make referrals to programs, and provide family support.

Does Help Me Grow provide therapy or other direct services?

Help Me Grow does not provide direct services or make therapeutic recommendations. We answer questions, provide information, and connect families to useful resources, including the Survey of Wellbeing for Young Children (SWYC) screening tool, an online developmental questionnaire completed by parents.

How do I contact Help Me Grow?

Connect with us by calling or texting (805) 403-8763 or using our contact form for general questions or inquiries. To enroll in Help Me Grow services, families can complete the contact form or call us.

I’m a provider, how do I refer a family to Help Me Grow?

There are 3 ways to refer a family to Help Me Grow: 

I’m a provider, how do I learn more about Help Me Grow and developmental screening?

Help Me Grow can support the implementation of developmental screening protocols in your professional setting. We offer informational sessions, educational materials, and training opportunities. Call (805) 403-8763 or email us at HelpMeGrowSBCounty@alphasb.org for more information.

How do I talk with my child’s doctor if I have concerns about my child?

Talking with your child’s health care provider is the first step if you are concerned about your child’s development. The following tips can help: 

  • Tell your child's doctor's office, "I'm concerned about my child's development and would like to schedule an appointment." 
  • Before the appointment, make notes of your questions, concerns and include some examples to share with your child’s doctor. 
  • Complete a milestone checklist or SWYC screening available here and take the results with you to your child’s appointment. 
  • Take a friend or family member to the appointment with you to play with your child or listen as an “extra set of ears.” This will help you to focus on your questions and what the doctor says. 
  • Take notes during the appointment, and make sure all your questions are answered before you leave. 
  • Follow up on the doctor’s recommendations or referrals and call the doctor if you have any questions after the appointment. 

If your child’s doctor says, “wait and see,” but you are not comfortable with this advice, call or text Help Me Grow at (805) 403-8763 for assistance, guidance, and support.

What is California’s Early Start Program?

The Early Start program is California's early intervention program for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and their families. Early Start services are available statewide and are provided in a coordinated, family-centered system. For more information visit the website.

Are Early Start services free?

There is no cost for evaluation, assessment, and service coordination. Public or private insurance is accessed for medically necessary therapy services including speech, physical, and occupational therapies. Services that are not covered by insurance will be purchased or provided by regional centers or education agencies. An annual family program fee may be considered in some circumstances. For more information about Early Start services visit the website.

If my child is eligible for early intervention services through Early Start, does that mean they will need special education when school starts?

Many children who receive early intervention services through Early Start will not need special education services when they enter school. That’s why it’s important to act early if you have concerns about your child’s development. When a child enters preschool or kindergarten and there are concerns about development or social emotional health, an assessment will be conducted to see if the child may be eligible for special education support.

If my child is diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability, what happens next?

Resources are available to support your child AND you. You are not alone. To talk to someone about early intervention services and resources, call or text Help Me Grow Santa Barbara County at (805) 403-8763.