A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of All Children with Disabilities - 1996

Chapter 2

Meeting the Needs of Preschool Children and Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

Congress, as it wrote the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), understood that early intervention is effective for young children with disabilities, and through IDEA authorized several programs to establish a coordinated service delivery system for children with disabilities from birth through age 5. The Preschool Grants Program is authorized under Section 619 of Part B and requires that States and Outlying Areas provide services to children with disabilities ages 3-5. The Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (hereafter called Part H) promotes a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of children with disabilities from birth through age 2. Also, a variety of discretionary programs, including the Early Education Program for Children with Disabilities (EEPCD) (Section 623 or Part C), support projects that finance activities such as personnel preparation and research endeavors.

The Preschool Grants Program requires States and Outlying Areas to make available a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all eligible children with disabilities ages 3-5. Federal requirements governing the Part B program also apply to the Preschool Grants Program.

The Part H program was created by the passage of P.L. 99-457, the Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986, and was amended by P.L. 102-119. Part H provides funds to States and Outlying Areas to address the needs of children with disabilities from birth through age 2 and their families through "a statewide system of coordinated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, interagency programs providing appropriate early intervention services to all infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, including Indian infants and toddlers with disabilities on reservations" (20 U.S.C. §1476(a)). At the State's option, infants and toddlers who are at risk of having a substantial developmental delay if early intervention services are not provided may be served through the program.

This chapter is divided into the three main sections described below.


1 Chapter 1 was officially called Chapter 1 State Operated or Supported Programs for Handicapped Children Program (Chapter 1 Handicapped Program).
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[Summary and Implications] [Table of Contents] [Implementation of the Preschool Grants Program]