Preschool special education provides specially planned individual or group instructional services or programs for eligible children, from ages 3 - 5 years, who have a disability that affects their learning. These services are funded by local municipalities as well as by state funds and are provided at no cost to the family.
A referral can be made to your local school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). If your child is receiving Early Intervention services, your service coordinator will assist you with transition planning and making a referral to your local school district’s CPSE office. If your child did not receive Early Intervention services but you have concerns about your child’s development such as talking, moving around, thinking or learning or is facing physical or behavioral challenges, you may contact your local school district’s CPSE to make a referral.
When your child is referred to the CPSE, you will be asked to choose an evaluation agency from a list of agencies approved by the State Education Department. A determination of eligibility will be made at the CPSE meeting where the evaluations are reviewed. If your child is found to be eligible, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be written stating your child’s strengths, needs, goals, and appropriate services. Services may include:
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Physical Therapy (PT)
Special Class (class with only children with disabilities)
Special Class in an Integrated Setting (a class with preschool students with and without disabilities)