2.21.2008

Differences between Part C and Part B

When your child is getting ready to move from early intervention services to preschool services, it is helpful to understand the differences between the two programs.  The following chart gives a basic overview of the differences.
A Comparison of the IDEA Part C and Part B
Early Intervention Program
IDEA—Part C
Preschool Special Education Program
IDEA—Part B
Agency
Lead Agency designated by State
State Dept. of Education
Ages of Children Served
Children, ages birth to three years of age
Children, ages three through twenty-one years
Eligibility Criteria—State MUST serve
Early intervention services must be provided to:
·      Children experiencing developmental delay, or
·      Children with a condition that is highly likely to result in developmental delay
. . . AND by reason thereof, need early intervention.
Special education must be provided to children who fit 1 or more of the following categories of disability:
  • Mental retardation,
  • A hearing impairment (including deafness),
  • A speech or  language impairment,
  • A visual impairment (including blindness),
  • A serious emotional disturbance (referred to in this part as emotional disturbance),
  • An orthopedic impairment,
  • Autism,
  • Traumatic brain injury,
  • An other health impairment,
  • A specific learning disability,
  • Deaf-blindness, or
  • Multiple disabilities
. . . AND by reason thereof, need special education.
Eligibility Criteria—State MAY choose to serve
Early Intervention services may (at the option of the state) be extended to:
·      Children who are at-risk of developmental delay.
Special education may (at the option of the state) be extended to:
·      Children age 3-9 (or some part of that age group) who experience developmental delay
Individualized Plans
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Available Services
Early intervention services for child and family to meet the developmental needs of the child and increase the family’s ability to meet the needs of their child (examples listed in regulations).
Special education and related services determined appropriate to meet the educational needs of the child (examples of services listed in statute), and allow the child—to the maximum extent possible—to participate in the general education curriculum.
Family Involvement
·      Participation on all teams making decisions about the child’s individualized plan for services
·      Receive services to improve the family’s ability to meet the needs of their child with a disability
·      Participation on all teams making decisions about the child’s individualized plan for services
Location for Services
Natural Environment—to the maximum extent appropriate, the child is served in environments that are normal or natural for a child of that age (including the home and integrated child care settings).
Least Restrictive Environment—to the maximum extent appropriate, the child receives services and participates in the general curriculum, non-academic, and extra-curricular activities alongside peers without disabilities.
Costs for Services
States may charge for services (e.g. sliding scale), but must  ensure no one does not receive services because of inability to pay.
All services must be provided for free.


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