The Debbie School

The Debbie School

The Debbie Institute, a division of the Mailman Center for Child Development, is a center for early intervention research, training and service. For more than 30 years, the Debbie Institute has conducted research on problems impacting children with special needs, provided early intervention services for children and their families and provided training for university students interested in careers in special education, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and social work. Our mission is to nurture and enrich the lives of children during the critical years of early learning to create the strong foundation they need to flourish throughout life.

Children who might benefit from the services offered at the Debbie Institute are referred through the Early Steps Programs (North and South) and other community agencies.

The educational services of the Debbie School are delivered to children and families through three separate programs: the Early Education Program, the Auditory/Oral Education Program, and the Infant • Toddler • Preschool Education Program. The educational programs are coordinated by the Associate Director of Educational Services and are served by a staff of approximately 60 including a program director, administrative assistants, receptionists, teachers, classroom assistants, social worker, case manager, speech pathologists, audiologist, physical therapists, occupational therapists, part time nurse, and support personnel. Research projects are coordinated through the Associate Director of Research.

Sources of Funding

  • The Early Education Program is supported through a three party contract with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the University of Miami Debbie Institute, and the Department of Health Children’s Medical Services Early Steps (Part C) at the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development and Miami Children’s Hospital. Transportation services are partially funded through a contract with Miami-Dade Transit.
  • The Auditory/Oral Education Program is supported through a contract with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development. Miami-Dade County Public Schools provides transportation services for the children enrolled in this program.
  • The Infant Toddler Preschool Education Program and Before/Aftercare services are supported through private tuition.