Bridge Program

To schedule a screening for the Bridge Program, please contact Aster Berhane, Bridge Service Coordinator, at or 206-325-8477.

In 2018, the King County Developmental Disabilities & Early Childhood Supports Division (DDECS) partnered with Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) to launch a new offering for children birth through four years of age called the Seattle Developmental Bridge Program.

For a child with special needs, the effectiveness of Early Support Services has been clearly proven: children with developmental delays and disabilities make improvements in their functional daily living skills, parents increase their knowledge and confidence to address their child’s special needs, and school systems save millions of dollars over their educational lifetime.

Ideally, families with concerns about their child’s development would access services early on, but there are circumstances where this is not possible. Some children’s delays could be mild/go undiagnosed until later; there might be a language/cultural barrier; or the family might be facing sociological instability such as homelessness.

This gap in care was identified by providers, particularly for children with late referrals for services (between ages 34 – 47 months) and those whose continuity of care was impacted by the Seattle Public School system’s summer break, which is the next step for children transitioning out of ESIT services at age three. Thus, the Seattle Developmental Bridge Program was launched to address these service gaps.

Boyer is proud to be the program’s “Host Site,” meaning all families new to services receive their initial screening by our team and are connected to the proper support and resources to respond to families’ immediate needs. Thanks to funding through the Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax, the services are delivered at no cost to families living in the City of Seattle and provide necessary resources to families to help create a solid foundation that will help ensure success in school and life.

Anticipated Program Impact:

  • By bridging the gap between Early Services and a child’s next connection to the Seattle Preschool Program, Seattle Public Schools, or another community provider, they will be better prepared for a strong start to kindergarten.
  • By providing immediate support and connections to resources, families and caregivers will have the tools they need to be their child’s best advocate.

Family Testimonials:

“I have worked with other organizations, but I never felt or get the genuine support I got form the Bridge team. I am so grateful for all your help and support. I will miss having you as [my child’s] team.”

“The Bridge program helped us have enough time to determine the next steps in supporting our daughter’s social-emotional development. At the time she turned 3 we were already starting to feel much more confident, but the last few meetings both let us feel like we got to a really good place and helped us determine our options moving forward. We are so, so grateful to have had access to this service.”

“We are very happy about you and the bridge program in general. People we met are very nice, very kind and very helpful. [My child] loves his OT!  – we met only few times but [my child] made huge improvements! He is more confident and is able to try new things now. OT gave us amazing advices to help our daily life. Our life is so much smoother!!  Thank so much to OT and the bridge team!!!”

Would you like to make an investment in this critical program? Please contact Ellen Kuo, chief development officer, at (206) 325-8477 or email