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 - 1995

Chapter 2

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

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) supports efforts to provide coordinated service delivery systems for children with disabilities from birth through age 5 through several programs. The two major programs serving this population are the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part H) (from birth through age 2), and the Preschool Grants Program (Section 619 of Part B) (ages 3 through 5). A number of discretionary programs also support projects for this population. These include the Early Education Program for Children with Disabilities (EEPCD) (Section 623 of Part C) and grants for activities such as training personnel and conducting research.

Part H was created by P.L. 99-457, the Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986. Part H authorizes assistance to States to address the needs of infants and toddlers (children from birth through age 2) with disabilities and their families. The grants support a statewide comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, interagency, coordinated program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers who meet the State's Part H eligibility criteria for an infant or toddler with a disability. This includes infants and toddlers who are at risk of having a substantial developmental delay if early intervention services are not provided, if a State chooses to serve those children and their families.

In order to receive funding for 3- through 5-year-olds under Section 619 or 611, States are required to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all eligible 3- through 5-year-olds with disabilities. Federal requirements governing the Preschool Grants Program are the same as those for the Part B program. This chapter has the three main sections described below:

[Summary and Implications] [Table of Contents] [Implementation of the Part H Program]