IDEA 2004 Part C Regulations, Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM)

On May 9, 2007, the proposed rules for Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were published in the Federal Register in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

Part C is a $436 million program serving infants and toddlers through age 2 with developmental delays or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays. At a state's discretion, children in that age range who are at risk of having substantial developmental delays may be eligible to receive services.

The proposed regulations would implement changes made to the IDEA by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. In proposing to amend the regulations, the Department seeks to ensure that states make early intervention services available to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families in a timely and effective manner. Early identification of children in need of early intervention services and provision of those services in a timely and effective manner are critically important to ensuring the future success of infants and toddlers with disabilities.

The proposed Part C regulations would revise Part C of the IDEA to increase flexibility for, and require accountability of, states in their provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The proposed rules would restructure the current regulations to align with statutory requirements, increase state flexibility and options, provide needed clarification on complex provisions, reduce administrative burdens on states, ensure state accountability for child find and service provision, and align the IDEA Part C regulations, where practicable, with the IDEA Part B regulations, while creating a freestanding document.

Comments on the proposed Part C regulations are welcome and will be considered by the Department in its development of the final regulations. You may submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at, or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery.

In addition, OSERS is holding a series of public meetings to seek comments and suggestions on the proposed Part C regulations.

| Proposed Rules | Submitting Comments |
| Public Hearings | For Further Information |


Proposed Rules

The proposed rules would:

  • RESTRUCTURE THE CURRENT REGULATIONS to follow the order and arrangement of the statute. This organization creates a freestanding document that will be helpful to parents, lead agencies, early intervention service providers, and the public-both in reading the regulations, and in finding the direct link between a statutory requirement and the regulation related to that requirement.
  • INCREASE STATE FLEXIBILITY AND OPTIONS by incorporating new provisions from IDEA that permit mediation to be available to parents at any time-even when a due process hearing is not requested-and requiring that settlement agreements reached as a result of mediation be valid and enforceable in a court of law. States would also be given flexibility to offer parents of children ages 3 through 5 the option of continuing to receive Part C services (in lieu of providing those children a free appropriate public education under Section 619 of IDEA) and allowing states to serve those children for one, two or three years.
  • PROVIDE MUCH REQUESTED AND NEEDED CLARIFICATION ON COMPLEX PROVISIONS in such areas as the confidentiality, the use of public and private insurance to pay for Part C services and states responsibilities for children with surgically implanted devices such as cochlear implants.
  • REDUCE BURDENS ON STATES by permitting states in most cases to provide assurances rather than supporting documentation in their applications. States would be permitted to use screening in addition to evaluations to determine whether a child is suspected of having a disability.
  • ENSURE STATE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR CHILD FIND AND PROVISION OF EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES by incorporating new provisions from IDEA requiring that states have in place referral, public awareness or other child find policies for children under the age of 3 who are:

    1. involved in a substantiated case of abuse and neglect;

    2. identified as affected by illegal substance abuse, or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure;

    3. homeless;

    4. in foster care;

    5. wards of the state; and

    6. for states that choose to allow parents to continue early intervention services for children age 3 and older, children who experience a substantiated case of trauma due to exposure to family violence.

  • ALIGN THE PART C REGULATIONS, WHERE PRACTICABLE, TO THE IDEA PART B REGULATIONS by minimizing the burden for those lead agencies that are also state education agencies and encouraging a streamlined system of services for children with disabilities.

Download the NPRM:

download files HTML | PDF

Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person listed below.



Submitting Comments

Comments on the proposed regulations are welcome and will be considered in the development of the final regulations. For information on submitting comments, see the Part C Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at


We must receive your comments on or before July 23, 2007. We will hold public meetings about this NPRM. The dates, times, and places of the meetings will be published in a separate notice in the Federal Register.


Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments by fax or by e-mail. Please submit your comments only one time, in order to ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

Federal eRulemaking Portal

Go to , select "Department of Education" from the agency drop-down menu, then click "Submit." In the Docket ID column, select ED-2007-OSERS-131 to add or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

Information on using, including instructions for submitting comments, accessing documents and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's "User Tips" link.

Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery

If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address them to:

Alexa Posny
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Room 4109, Potomac Center Plaza
Washington, DC 20202-2600

Privacy Note:

The Department's policy for comments received from members of the public (including those comments submitted by mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery) is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at All submissions will be posted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal without change, including personal identifiers and contact information.

Public Hearings

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services will be holding a series of four public meetings during June 2007.

Date, location and time of Public Meetings:

Portland, Ore. Monday, June 4, 2007
Oklahoma City, Okla. Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Indianapolis, Ind. Monday, June 11, 2007
Washington, D.C. Thursday, June 14, 2007


There is no advanced registration for these public meetings, nor any cost. Registration will take place at the door. The meeting sites are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Interpreters will be available for individuals with hearing impairments.

For Further Information

For further information, contact:

Katherine Race
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Room 5145, Potomac Center Plaza
Washington, DC 20202-2600

Telephone: 202-245-6443.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay System (FRS) at:



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Last Modified: 06/01/2007