About Us

Toddler smiling on bed

Our Mission

UF North Central Early Steps (UF NCES) collaborates with diverse families and caregivers to build upon their strengths by offering culturally informed coordination, equitable supports, and inclusive resources to promote children’s learning, development, and participation in society through everyday activities and routines.

Our Team

Our team is comprised of outstanding faculty, early interventionists / infant toddler developmental specialists, service coordinators, and administrative staff.

Our Program Director

Program Director, Sharon Hennessy, welcomes you to our program.


Who We Serve

North Central Early Steps serves the following counties:

  • Alachua
  • Columbia
  • Dixie
  • Gilchrist
  • Hamilton
  • Lafayette
  • Levy
  • Marion
  • Suwannee
  • Union
Map of Florida

Key Principles

  • Infants and toddlers learn best through everyday experiences and interactions with familiar people in familiar contexts
  • All families, with the necessary supports and resources, can enhance their children’s learning and development
  • Our primary role is to work with and support family members and caregivers in children’s lives
  • Our process is dynamic and individualized to reflect each child’s and family member’s preferences, learning styles, and cultural beliefs
  • The needs and priorities of children and families are the basis of functional and measurable Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) outcomes
  • Approaches to support children and families are founded on evidence-based practices, best available research, and relevant laws and regulations

National Outcomes

UF NCES’ mission and key principles support the following national outcomes for children and families:

Family Outcomes

As a result of individualized supports and services families will:

  • Know their rights
  • Effectively communicate their child’s needs
  • Help their child develop and learn

Child Outcomes

Children will demonstrate improved:

  • Positive social-emotional skills and social relationships
  • Acquisition of knowledge of skills including language and communication
  • Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs

Adapted by the WV Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council from original work of the national OSEP TA Community of Practice –Part C Settings – Workgroup on Principles and Practices in Natural Environments, 2008.