Child Find

FDLRS Child Find, in coordination with the school districts, locates children who are potentially eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and links them with needed services.

Child Find services help to promote general public awareness of programs and services available for young children who have or are at risk of developing disabilities. Service coordination for diagnostic screening, placement, training, and support is also provided.

To obtain a screening appointment:

  1. Call the Child Find secretary, at (863) 535-6486.
  2. They will gather information about the child from the caller (name, birth date, address, parental information, how to contact the family, and developmental concerns).
  3. If the referral does not come directly from the parent or guardian, the appropriate individual will be contacted to complete the referral.
  4. A screening appointment—date, time, and location—will be assigned as soon as the information is complete.

Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Developmental Screenings Announced

To better serve our communities, professionals from the early childhood community are coming together to provide developmental screenings for children, from newborns to the age of 5. The screenings will begin the process to determine if your child is eligible for services that may be helpful in increasing their success upon entering school. Screenings for vision, hearing, speech, language, behavior, and overall development will be provided by appointment. Screenings locations and dates are provided coming soon. 

Frequently asked screening questions  |  Preguntas Frecuentes acerca de la Prueba de Detección del Desarrollo

The Road through Child Find (Hardee) | The Road through Child Find (Polk) | El Camino a Traves de Child Find

Sampling of Services offered by Child Find:

  • Child Find Awareness/Outreach
  • Child Find Service Coordination
  • CHRIS Database
  • Developmental Screenings
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Early Childhood Screening Coordination
  • Early Learning Coalition
  • Interagency Collaboration
  • Part C to B Transition Facilitation, Resources,
    Professional Development, Technical Assistance
  • Pre-K ESE Coordination and Meeting/Support
  • Resource and Referral
  • Support BDI Implementation
  • Technical Assistance

Child Find assists with identifying children with special needs who are currently not enrolled in school. We provide vision, hearing, speech and developmental screenings for children from 3-5 years of age who are suspected of having a disability.

We are searching for children with special needs who are not in school. Our search effort is to locate children in two different age groups:

  • Preschool children from 3 to 5 years of age who may need special help when they attend school.
  • School-age children five (5) through twenty-one (21) years of age, who have never attended school due to special needs.

Child Find screens preschoolers who may have special needs, so that schools can better plan for future educational programs. We can screen your child’s vision, hearing, speech and developmental skills.

Contact Child Find if you think your child might need special help. Polk County residents should call (863) 535-6486 and Hardee County residents should call (863) 773-2600 ext. 258.

For children under 3 years of age, please call USF Early Steps Program at (866) 549-1740. Early Steps serves Florida’s infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months who have developmental delays or a condition that places them at risk for developmental delays. Visit the Early Steps website.



Deborah Quaintance, Child Find Specialist, Polk County
Cookie Sanders, Child Find Specialist, Hardee County