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What is KidSTART?Kidstart Logo

KidSTART is a program for children under 6 years old with complex needs in multiple areas of daily life. After an evaluation, each child and family referred to KidSTART will be recommended for services that fit their unique needs. The recommended services can be provided by KidSTART or another program in the community. These services may be delivered in individual, family or group settings.

The two components, KidSTART Mental Health Clinic (operated by Rady Children’s Chadwick Center for Children & Families) and KidSTART Center (operated by Rady Children’s Developmental Services), are integrated to allow mental health and developmental specialists to assess needs, develop collaborative treatment plans, provide unique interventions and facilitate long-term care coordination for the family.

Who provides KidSTART services?

A specialized team of professionals who come together based on the unique needs of the child and family. Members of the team can include doctors, licensed clinicians, care coordinators and family partners with real-life experience working with these services.

How is KidSTART unique?

KidSTART is funded by First 5 San Diego and County of San Diego – Health and Human Services, Behavioral Health Services; the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) program; and the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

KidSTART’s team approach to services allows us to work together to create a custom treatment plan for children with multiple needs. Intensive family support services are also provided to help families understand the unique needs of each child, access services that are needed immediately and plan for future services that may be needed as the child grows older.

Given the complexity of children’s needs, services at KidSTART can be provided for six to 18 months.

How is a child referred to KidSTART?

  • Parents can call and refer their own child.
  • With the parent’s permission, a child can be referred by a teacher, doctor, social worker or other community provider .
  • Please call 858-966-5990 to make a referral.

KidSTART won the prestigious Jackson Healthcare Program of Excellence Award. With this award, we were one of only 10 programs across the nation recognized for excellence in the areas of community impact, innovation and collaboration. Learn more.

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Forms for Your Child's Appointment

Please fill out this questionnaire and bring it with you to your child’s appointment. English | Spanish These cannot be downloaded from a mobile device.