An Update on the Eligibility Criteria for Infant and Child Development Program Referrals

A message from the Infant & Child Development Program at the Region of Waterloo, Public Health and Emergency Services

Hello CYPT Members:

We are writing to provide you with information on the changes to the Infant and Child Development Program (ICDP) service delivery. Specifically, the eligibility criteria for referrals.

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services developed new program guidelines for all ICDPs across Ontario and changed the eligibility criteria, based on a provincial Baseline Assessment conducted in 2016. These changes to programming will be in effect as of June 2020.


ICDP continues to be a family-centered early intervention program that helps families when there may be questions or concerns about a child’s development. We offer a range of services depending on the child’s needs and family’s preferences. Services may include information on early childhood development, developmental screening, suggestions to encourage development as well as linkages to other services.

 What does this mean?

The criteria for children eligible for the ICDP program has changed. Children eligible to participate and be referred to the program must meet the following criteria:

  • Child is identified with a developmental delay or a developmental delay is suspected
  • Child resides in Waterloo Region
  • Child’s age ranges from birth to school entry and who has not yet entered into either a licensed child care program or elementary school
    • Prenatal referrals may be considered for risks with an established prognosis of developmental delay
  • Child may exhibit concerns related to diagnosed medical conditions or to a history of prenatal, perinatal, neonatal and/or early development events that may have increased the probability of developmental delay, or raised a concern of developmental delay
  • Child whose development may be affected by psychosocial or environmental factors, only if those factors are combined with other developmental concerns


What are some examples of developmental delays and suspected developmental delays?

Some examples of developmental delays that children may have that require a referral to the ICDP program include, but are not limited to:

  • Down Syndrome
  • Chromosome anomalies (muscular dystrophy)
  • Metabolic disorders (toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus)
    • Child with an autism (ASD) diagnosis will be linked to services provided by Ontario Autism Program
    • Child with a speech-language only delay will be linked to treatment services provided by KidsAbility


Some examples of suspected developmental delays that children may have that require a referral to the ICDP program include:

  • Child’s medical history and/or condition(s) has evidence of a strong probability for a developmental delay (examples, brain injury, brain anomalies, gestation under 30 weeks, muscle tone, vision/hearing impairment, prenatal substance exposure)
  • Parent is concerned about a child’s motor, play, social or communication skills

Does this change the referral process?

The referral process will remain unchanged at this time. If you have a family or child you are referring to our program, please continue to email ( or fax (519-883-4428) your referral information and we will review as usual.  Contact our office if you would like a copy of our referral form. An online version of the form will be available soon on our website.


When will these eligibility changes take effect?

Changes to the eligibility of children being referred to our program take effect immediately. Children referred prior to these changes will be transitioned or referred to the appropriate supports in the community if they no longer meet our program’s criteria.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes and what they mean for your clients, please email or call us at the number provided below.

Thank you,

Bonnie Holmes
Manager, Infant & Child Development Program
Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
Phone: (519) 575-4400 Ext. 2223