First Steps Providers
The following is intended to support providers in locating guidance and information within Missouri First Steps.
Guidance, Policies & Procedures
- Service Provider Manual – Information on policies and procedures for providers, including enrollment, early intervention teams (EIT), Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), progress notes, billing and mileage.
- Practice Manual - Information on referral, eligibility and IFSP activities conducted by the System Point of Entry (SPOE) or Service Coordinator.
- First Steps Service Provider Agreement - Information on the affiliation and agreement between the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and providers.
- First Steps Trainings and Resources - The Early Intervention section of the Office of Childhood provides a variety of training opportunities to First Steps providers, Service Coordinators and stakeholders. Providers and Service Coordinators are encouraged to continue to learn about and update their knowledge of First Steps. This webpage also has monthly newsletter information for First Steps providers and Service Coordinators with training opportunities, program updates, and more.
- DESE Messages – Information on program changes or updates routinely sent out by DESE. Note: Providers must have a correct email address on file in order to receive the messages. Email addresses may be updated in WebSPOE under the provider’s Account Detail within the Provider Account Management tab. Providers may also access and search archived messages within WebSPOE under Provider Account Management.
- Evidence-Based Practices – Information on the best available research and knowledge from professional experts in Early Intervention in order to provide services and achieve positive outcomes for children and families.
- Professional Practice and Liability - For questions related to a provider’s specific discipline or practice, providers should contact their licensing board or professional association. For questions related to liability, independent providers should contact their liability insurance holder or personal attorney, and agency based providers should contact their agency administrator.
- WebSPOE – The web-based child data system that contains all elements of a child’s record, including referral, evaluation, eligibility, and IFSP information. WebSPOE also contains provider authorizations, progress notes, billing, payment history and a Public Directory of all providers enrolled in First Steps.
- Modules – The Online Module Trainings were designed to provide general information about First Steps. Providers are required to complete specific modules upon enrollment and may revisit the modules at any time as a resource.
First Steps Coordinating Councils
- Missouri Early Childhood State Advisory Council (EC SAC) - On January 7, 2022, Governor Parson signed Executive Order 22-01 creating the Missouri Early Childhood State Advisory Council. With this executive order, the State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC) for the First Steps early intervention program was consolidated into the state advisory council, which membership mirrors the SICC.
- Regional Interagency Coordinating Council (RICC) - The RICC is responsible for assisting the System Point of Entry (SPOE) with local child find efforts, public awareness activities and determining the effectiveness of the First Steps system within the region. Providers may contact the SPOE offices for more information.
First Steps Program Contact Information
- System Point of Entry (SPOE) - Contact the regional SPOE Director for information on EIT expectations, concerns with a Service Coordinator’s practice, and general First Steps information.
- Service Coordinator - Contact the child’s Service Coordinator for information that is specific to a child (e.g., authorization details, upcoming IFSP meetings, IFSP attendance) or specific to an EIT (e.g., EIT meeting date and time, EIT attendance). The Service Coordinator contact information is located on the child’s IFSP or by contacting the SPOE.
- Central Finance Office (CFO) - Contact the CFO with questions about provider billing, enrollment, and WebSPOE. The CFO Help Desk can also assist with resetting WebSPOE passwords. The CFO may be reached at 866-711-2573; select extension 1 for billing, extension 2 for provider enrollment, and extension 3 for WebSPOE/Help Desk.
- DESE Regional Contacts - Contact the DESE regional staff with questions that cannot be resolved at the Service Coordinator, SPOE or CFO levels.
- DESE Compliance – Contact DESE Compliance with questions on provider monitoring activities, including hours billed per day and excessive mileage. Compliance may be reached at 573-522-0045.
All other questions and inquiries may be directed to First Steps at EarlyIntervention@dese.mo.gov or 573-522-0045.