The Transition of Children

  from

  The New York State Department of Health

  Early Intervention Program

to

  The State Education Department

 Preschool Special Education Program or

 Other Early Childhood Services

  February 2005 
 


Table of Contents

I.  Purpose And Background

        Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

        New York State’s Administration of IDEA

            Early Intervention Program

            Preschool Special Education Program and Services

II.  Programmatic Eligibility for Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education

        Early Intervention Program

        Preschool Special Education Program and Services

III.  Age Eligibility for Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education

        Early Intervention Program

        Preschool Special Education

       Children Referred to the EIP when Age-Eligible for Preschool Special Education

IV.  Transition Procedures

        Transition Planning for All Children

Transition Planning For Children for Whom a Referral to Programs under Section 4410 of  the Education Law is Not Thought to Be Appropriate

Transition Planning for Children Potentially Eligible for Preschool Special Education Services Under Section 4410 of the Education Law

Deciding Whether the CPSE Should be Notified of the Child’s Potential Transition and A Transition Conference Should Be scheduled

              Notice Requirements and Timeframes for the Transition Conference

              Purposes and Content of the Transition Conference

              Procedures to Refer the Child to the Committee on Preschool Special Education

              CPSE Evaluation Process

IEPs and IFSPs for Children Found Eligible for Preschool special education programs and services remaining in the EIP Beyond their Third Birthday

        CPSE Progress Reports and The Annual Review

V.  Transition for Children in Foster Care

VI.  Other Programs and Resources for Children and Their Families

Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

Office of Mental Health

Office of Children and Family Services

Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities

Commission on Quality of Care for Persons with Disabilities

Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC)

State Education Department

State Education Department Early Childhood Direction Centers

                Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Associates

Department Of Health

Other Community Resources

VII.  Frequently asked Questions and Answers on Transition

Age Eligibility

Notification And Referral

Transition Conference

Transition Plan

CPSE Evaluation Process

Transition From the EIP to Preschool Special Education Programs and Services

Appendix A - Comparison of EI and Preschool Special Education

Appendix B - Early Childhood Direction Centers

Appendix C - Child Care Resource and Referral Centers

Appendix D - Roles and Responsibilities in the Transition Process To Preschool Special Education Programs and Services

Appendix E - Summary of Parent Consents for the Transition Process and Sample Parent Consent Forms

Appendix F – Eligibility and Transition Dates

Appendix G - Sample Transition Notice

Appendix H - State Education Department Regional Associates

Appendix I - Transition Roles and Responsibilities for Children in Foster Care

Appendix J - Developmental Disabilities Services Offices (DDSOs)

Appendix K - Other Programs and Resources for Young Children and Their Families

Special Education Training and Resource Centers (SETRCs)

Bilingual Special Education Resources Network

Resources For Children With Vision Impairments/Hearing Loss

TRAID Project, NYS Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities

Head Start and Early Head Start

Parent Supports

Parent to Parent of New York State

Appendix L - Common Abbreviations for Transition Terms

Appendix M - Relevant Sections of Public Health Law

Appendix N - Section 69-4.20 Early Intervention Regulations

Appendix O - Excerpts from Part 200 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education


I.  Purpose And Background

This memorandum provides guidance on the transition of children from the Early Intervention Program (EIP) to preschool special education programs and services, other state service delivery systems, or other early childhood services available to support children and their families.  To ensure the transition process is successful for families, it is important that parents and professionals understand the requirements for transition and the services available in their communities for young children with, and without, disabilities.

The memorandum:

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA is the federal law that authorizes both the EIP and preschool special education programs and services.  Requirements for the EIP are under Part C, and preschool special education programs and services are under Part B of IDEA.  IDEA requires states to designate a lead agency responsible for administration and oversight of the EIP and requires the state education agency to oversee Part B special education services for children ages three through twenty-one years. 

The Part C EIP is optional to states.  States participating in the EIP, including New York, must provide for a comprehensive, statewide, interagency, multidisciplinary early intervention system for eligible infants and toddlers with special needs and their families.

Under Part B of IDEA, all states must provide for a free appropriate public education (FAPE)[1] for children with disabilities ages three through twenty-one years.  Parts C and B of IDEA have specific requirements for the transition of children from the EIP to preschool special education programs and services.  In addition, Part C requires that all children exiting the EIP have a transition plan to assist them and their families in transitioning from EIP services to other early childhood services as appropriate.

It is also important to note that, unlike general education for children and youth which is mandatory beginning at age five years, participation in both the Early Intervention Program and preschool special education programs and services is voluntary to families.  


New York State’s Administration of IDEA

Early Intervention Program

In New York State, the lead agency for the Early Intervention Program (EIP) is the Department of Health (NYSDOH).  As lead agency, NYSDOH is responsible for the general administration of the EIP.  In addition, Public Health Law requires the chief elected official of each municipality to designate an Early Intervention Official (EIO)[2] who is responsible for the local administration of the EIP.  The EIO is responsible for ensuring that children ages birth through two years who are at risk for or have a suspected disability are identified and referred to the EIP.  Primary referral sources, including health care providers, social service providers, child care providers, providers of EIP services, and a range of professionals involved in caring for young children, are required to refer children at risk for or suspected of having a disability to the EIP, unless the parent objects to a referral.  For children at risk, the EIP coordinates screening and tracking to ensure that children are referred for EIP services if they experience developmental delay or disability. 

For children with a suspected developmental delay or disability, the EIO must designate an initial service coordinator to assist the family in obtaining an evaluation for their child.  The EIO is also responsible for ensuring an individualized family service plan (IFSP) is developed for all children who are evaluated and found eligible for EIP services, and services included in the IFSP are provided.  Services provided under the EIP are designed to meet the developmental needs of children and the needs of families related to enhancing their children’s development.  Eligible children and their families select an ongoing service coordinator and receive the services included in their IFSPs.  There are no out-of-pocket costs to families for participation in, or services provided by, the EIP. 

Preschool Special Education Program and Services

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) administers, through local school districts, preschool special education programs and services for preschool students with disabilities, ages 3 to 5 years of age.  The board of education (BOE) or trustees of each school district are required, by regulation (Part 200.2(a)), to identify all students with disabilities who reside in the school district and establish a register of children who are entitled to attend public schools in the district or to attend a preschool program during the next school year.  In addition, various people can refer a child to the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), such as the parent, doctor, judicial officer, designated person in a public agency, or someone from an Early Childhood Direction Center, an approved preschool program or the EIP.  There are specific requirements for referral of children from the EIP to the CPSE, which will be discussed in detail in this guidance memorandum.

Individual child evaluations to determine eligibility are conducted, and the CPSE, including the parent(s) of the child, develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for eligible children, outlining the special education programs and services to address the child's needs. 

It is important for families to understand the differences between the EIP and preschool special education.  The EIP:

The EIP includes a requirement to provide a service coordinator to each family and to ensure that services are provided year round.  

Preschool special education focuses on children’s educational needs, including:

Appendix A, “Comparison of Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education” highlights the key elements of each program.


II.  Programmatic Eligibility for Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education


Early Intervention Program

To be eligible for EIP services, a child must have either (1) a developmental delay consistent with the State definition of developmental delay; or, (2) a diagnosed condition with a high probability of developmental delay.

EIP regulations 10 NYCRR Section 69-4.1(g) define developmental delay as follows:

“Developmental delay means that a child has not attained developmental milestones expected for the child’s chronological age adjusted for prematurity in one or more of the following areas of development:  cognitive, physical (including vision and hearing), communication, social/emotional, or adaptive development.

A developmental delay for purposes of the EIP is a developmental delay that has been measured by qualified personnel using informed clinical opinion, appropriate diagnostic procedures and/or instruments and documented as:

EIP regulations at Section 69-4.3(e) define diagnosed conditions with a high probability of delay as:

In 1999, the NYS DOH issued guidance on diagnosed conditions with a high probability of developmental delay, including a list of conditions and their corresponding International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) codes that should be used for eligibility purposes.

Preschool Special Education Program and Services

Education Law and regulations define a preschool student with a disability as either having a disability or disorder in one or more functional areas of development (Part 200.1(mm)), or a specific condition (Part 200.1(zz)), as follows:   

A child is defined as having a disability when s/he exhibits a significant delay or disorder in one or more functional areas related to cognitive, language and communicative, adaptive, socio-emotional, or motor development which adversely affects the student’s ability to learn.  Such delay or disorder must be documented by the results of the individual evaluation which includes but is not limited to information in all functional areas obtained from a structured observation of a student’s performance and behavior, a parental interview and other individually administered assessment procedures, and, when reviewed in combination and compared to accepted milestones for child development, indicate:

A preschool child can be classified as a preschool student with a disability if he/she meets the criteria set forth in the current disability classifications in the Part 200 regulations:  

In order to be eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, children must have a significant developmental delay that adversely affects the child’s ability to learn.  A child may also be eligible if the child can be classified as having one of the above disabilities, and the disability has been shown to adversely affect the child’s ability to learn. 

NYSED has issued the “Guide for Determining Eligibility and Preschool Special Education Programs and/or Services for Preschool Students with Disabilities” to assist professionals and families in understanding eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law (available on the SED Web site, www.vewww.emsc.gov). 


III.  Age Eligibility for Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education

Early Intervention Program

Section 2541 of the Public Health Law (PHL) defines “eligible child” for the Early Intervention Program (EIP) as an infant or toddler from birth through two years of age who has a disability, except that any toddler with a disability who has been determined to be eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law and who:

This means that children in the EIP who have been determined eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law before their third birthday (e.g., the day before the child turns three years of age), and who are born during the months of January through August, can, at the option of their parents, remain in the EIP until September 1st  (e.g., through August 31st) of that same calendar year.  Children in the EIP who have been determined eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law and who are born during the months of September through December can, at the option of their parents, remain in the EIP until January 2nd  (e.g., through January 1st) of the next calendar year.

Section 2541 also provides that any toddler who is receiving preschool special education programs and services under Section 4410 of the Education Law cannot also be an eligible child under the EIP.

Under Public Health Law (PHL), a child’s eligibility for the EIP ends as of his or her third birthday, unless the child has been referred to the CPSE and has been found eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law before the date of his/her third birthday.  The last date the child is eligible to receive services under the EIP, unless the child has been found eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, is the day before his or her third birthday.  For a child referred to the CPSE and found eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law before the child’s third birthday, the child’s parents can choose either to transition their child to preschool special education; or, choose to have their child remain in the EIP until s/he ages out of EIP.

It is very important for parents to understand that before age three, their children must have been referred, evaluated, and found eligible by the CPSE for preschool special education programs and services, to ensure that services for their children can continue.

It is also important for parents to understand that not all children are appropriate for referral to preschool special education programs and services.  Some children make such significant progress from participating in the EIP that they will not need or be eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  Early Intervention Officials, parents, service coordinators, and service providers should review the child’s progress as s/he approaches age eligibility for preschool special education to determine whether the child may need services under Section 4410 of the Education Law; is no longer in need of services; or, would benefit from other early childhood services to maintain the developmental gains made in the EIP (see Section IV on Transition Procedures).

Preschool Special Education

Under Section 4410 of the Education Law and Part 200 regulations, children with disabilities may be determined eligible for preschool special education programs and services by their third birthday or earlier.  Part 200.1(mm)(2) defines a child as eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law as follows:

If the child’s birthday falls before July 1st, the child is eligible on January 2nd of the calendar year; otherwise, a child is eligible on July 1st of the calendar year.  A child is a preschool child with a disability through the month of August of the school year in which the child first becomes eligible to attend school.

This means that children with birth dates between January 1 and June 30 are first eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law on January 2 of the calendar year during which they turn three years old.  Children with birth dates that fall on July 1 through December 31 are first eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law on July 1 of the calendar year during which they turn three.

Children with birth dates that fall on July 1 through December 31st are first eligible for services under Section 4410 of Education Law on July 1 of the calendar year during which they turn three if they require a structured learning environment of twelve months to prevent substantial regression.  Services for other children who only need ten months of programs and/or services would begin on the September starting date of the approved preschool program. 

Children Referred to the EIP when Age-Eligible for Preschool Special Education

It is strongly recommended that primary referral sources and parents of children age two and a half or older, who may have a developmental delay or disability and are not in the EIP, contact their school district CPSE to begin the CPSE process. 

If a child is referred to the EIP when s/he is age-eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law and has a disability or developmental delay that may impact on his/her education, the EIO may recommend to the parent that s/he refer the child directly to the CPSE rather than continue with the referral to the EIP.  However, if a parent chooses to continue with the child’s referral to the EIP, the EIO must designate an initial service coordinator and the service coordinator must assist the parent in the receipt of a multidisciplinary evaluation consistent with EIP requirements.  The multidisciplinary evaluation must be completed and an IFSP must be developed within forty-five calendar days of the child’s referral.  The initial service coordinator must also explain to the parent that to ensure the child continues to receive services when s/he turns three – either through the EIP or preschool special education - the child must also be referred to the CPSE and be determined eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law by her/his third birthday.  If the child is found eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law by the child’s third birthday, the parent then has the option to transition his/her child to preschool special education programs and services, or the child may remain in the EIP until s/he ages out of EIP.

The parent must also be informed that if a child meets the eligibility criteria for the EIP but is not determined to be eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, the child’s eligibility for EIP services will end at the child’s third birthday.  The last date that services can be delivered under the child’s IFSP under these circumstances is the day before the child’s third birthday.


IV.  Transition Procedures

Transition Planning for All Children

A transition plan must be developed for all children exiting the EIP, whether the child will be transitioning to programs and services under Section 4410 of the Education Law or to other early childhood services and supports.  It is very important to begin planning for transition as early as possible to ensure a successful transition for the child and family.  It is also important for parents, service coordinators, providers, and public officials to work together to:

If a child has made such significant progress in the EIP that the child and family do not require any type of continuing services, the IFSP should include the steps that will be taken to discharge the child and family from the EIP.
 

Transition Planning For Children for Whom a Referral to Programs under Section 4410 of the Education Law is Not Thought to Be Appropriate  

Transition planning for children for whom a referral to preschool special education programs and services is not thought to be appropriate should begin at the IFSP meeting within six months prior to the child’s third birthday, or earlier, if local procedures require that transition planning for these children begin at an earlier time.  The transition plan must include steps to ensure the transition is completed by the time the child exits the EIP before his/her third birthday (when the child is no longer age eligible for the EIP).  The last date for services under the IFSP must be the day before the child’s third birthday.

The service coordinator is responsible for assisting the parent in identifying, locating, and accessing other early childhood and supportive services that may be needed by the child and family.  The service coordinator may refer the family to the Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC) or to the Child Care Resource and Referral Program (CCRR), which may assist the family in accessing child care services.  Lists of the ECDCs and CCRRs are included in Appendix B and Appendix C.
 

Transition Planning for Children Potentially Eligible for Preschool Special Education Services Under Section 4410 of the Education Law

There are specific requirements in State and federal law for actions that Early Intervention Officials (EIOs) and school district officials must take for toddlers in the EIP and approaching their third birthday, who may be potentially eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  Many children in the EIP, particularly those with diagnosed conditions with a high probability of developmental delay or a substantial developmental delay may meet the eligibility criteria for preschool special education programs and services (see “Programmatic Eligibility” above).  The definitions of developmental delay for purposes of preschool special education programs and services eligibility and for EIP eligibility are similar (see “Programmatic Eligibility” above); however, the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) must determine the extent to which the developmental delay will affect the child’s ability to learn to decide whether a child is eligible for preschool special education programs and services.  Appendix D contains a chart describing the roles and responsibilities of public officials, professionals, and parents in the transition process.

 

Deciding Whether the CPSE Should be Notified of the Child’s Potential Transition and A Transition Conference Should Be scheduled

Early Intervention Officials have explicit responsibility in the PHL for notifying school districts, with parental consent, of children’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law and for arranging transition conferences for these children and their families.  Children who make significant progress in EI may not need special education services, and a referral to the CPSE may not be appropriate.

All parents have the right to refer their children to the school district in which they reside for an evaluation for special education programs and services.  In addition, service providers and other referral sources designated under the Education Law can directly refer a child who may be in need of special education programs and services to the child’s school district.

As the child approaches the age at which s/he is first eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, the EIO, service coordinator, service providers, and parent(s) should review the progress made by the child.  The following should be considered in deciding whether it is appropriate to refer a child in the Early Intervention Program for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law:

Notice Requirements and Timeframes for the Transition Conference

Under Section 2548 of the PHL and Section 69-4.20(b) of EIP regulations, the EIO is required, with parental consent, to notify the school district in which a child resides of the child’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law at least 120 days before the child is first eligible for these services.  In addition, the EIO must, with parental consent, arrange for a transition conference among the EIO, service coordinator, parent, and the chair (or her/his designee) of the CPSE at least 90 days before the child is first eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, or the child’s third birthday, whichever is first.  If the child is already receiving, or may need additional services from another state agency (for example, if a child is in an Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) waiver program or may be eligible for services under OMRDD) it may be appropriate to invite representatives of that agency, with the parent’s consent. 

EIOs must obtain parental consent for the notice to the CPSE of the child’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, convening of the transition conference, and referral to the school district in writing and ensure these consents and all actions related to transition are documented in the child’s record.  It is recommended that the EIO send the referral to the CPSE with a return receipt requested. 

 If the EIO does not ensure that the school district is notified of the child’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, and a referral is not made to the CPSE within the required timeframes to ensure an eligibility determination is rendered by the CPSE before the child’s third birthday, the parent(s) has due process rights under the EIP.  The child should continue to receive the services included in the most recent IFSP until all due process proceedings are completed.  However, there are no due process rights for parents under the EIP if parents do not consent in a timely fashion to a referral to the CPSE by the EIO and do not provide timely consent to the CPSE to evaluate the child.  Appendix E provides a chart with required parent consents related to the transition process and sample consent forms for key events in the transition process.

In managing the notice and transition conference requirements at the municipal level, it is permissible for the EIO to group children by the months in which their birth dates occur, as long as notices are sent and transition conferences are convened within the required timeframes.  The chart in Appendix F describes eligibility and transition dates.

Under Section 4410 of the Education Law, the chair of the CPSE, or his or her designee, must participate in transition conferences arranged by the EIO for children potentially eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  The notice to the school district should request the CPSE chair or designee to participate in the conference, and should include information about the date, time, and location of the conference.  The CPSE chair or designee should also be informed that s/he may participate in the conference by telephone if s/he is unable to participate in person.

Purposes and Content of the Transition Conference

The purposes of the transition conference are to decide whether the child should be referred to preschool special education programs and services under Section 4410 of the Education Law; review program options available to the child and family; and, develop a transition plan.  There may be some circumstances under which a child is referred to the CPSE prior to the convening of a transition conference.  The parent must be provided with the opportunity to participate in a transition conference even if the child has already been referred for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.

As part of this discussion, parents should be informed about the following:

Parents have a key role in the transition of their children from the EIP to preschool special education.  It is important that parents take an active role in transitioning their children from the Early Intervention Program to preschool special education programs and services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  The transition conference is an important opportunity for parents to learn about all available options and participate in the transition process.  However, if parents choose not to participate in the transition conference, the EIO should notify the parent in writing of all of the above information that would otherwise be discussed at the transition conference.  A sample notice is included in Appendix G.  

Procedures to Refer the Child to the Committee on Preschool Special Education

A referral to CPSE is a written statement asking the school district to evaluate the child to determine if he or she needs special education services.  Various people can make a referral to the CPSE including the parent, a doctor, a judicial officer, a designated person in a public agency or someone from an Early Childhood Direction Center, an approved preschool program or the EIP.  Once the referral has been made, parental consent is required for the child to be evaluated.

If a determination is made at the transition conference to refer the child to the CPSE, and the parent consents to the referral, the EIO must refer the child in writing to the chairperson of the CPSE in the school district in which the child resides.  If the parent does not participate in the transition conference, the EIO is still responsible for referring the child to the CPSE, with parental consent, if the EIO believes the child is potentially eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  The referral must specify the extent to which the child has received EIP services prior to the referral.

A CPSE chairperson who receives a referral must immediately notify the parent by telephone or in writing that a referral has been received and request consent for evaluation of the child.  The parent’s consent to the evaluation by the CPSE must be in writing and must be returned by the parent to the CPSE.  In order to avoid unnecessary disruption of programs and services, it is important for parents to respond as quickly as possible with written consent to evaluate their children, to ensure an eligibility determination can be made by the CPSE before the children’s third birthday.

Once written parental consent to evaluate a child has been received, the CPSE must assure that the process to determine a child’s eligibility and need for special education programs and services is initiated and completed in time for children to begin receiving services on the third birthday or the first date of eligibility, whichever comes first.

If the parent does not provide consent for an individual preschool evaluation, the CPSE is required to follow-up with the parent to ensure that the parent has received and understands the request for consent.  The parent should be advised by the CPSE and service coordinator that if parental consent is not given within sufficient time for an evaluation and eligibility determination by the CPSE before the child’s third birthday, the child and family’s participation in the EIP will end on the child’s third birthday and a transition plan will be developed, which may include referral to other services (e.g., Head Start, other early childhood services).

CPSE Evaluation Process

 After a child is referred for an evaluation for special education, the parent will be asked to give written consent to have the child evaluated by an approved evaluator selected by the parent.  The parent will also receive a copy of the Procedural Safeguard Notice, which provides a full explanation of their rights under IDEA, from the CPSE chair or his or her designee.  Within 30 school days of receiving the parent's consent for the child's evaluation, the CPSE must be convened at a mutually convenient time and place, to review the evaluation results and to develop a recommendation regarding the preschool child's eligibility for special education programs and services.  Eligibility is determined consistent with Section 200.1(mm) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  For more information on eligibility determinations and parental rights, go to the “Guide for Determining Eligibility and Preschool Special Education Programs and/or Services for Preschool Students with Disabilities” (available on the SED Web site, www.p12.nysed.gov).

It is important that the child’s parent understand that s/he is a member of the school district CPSE for his or her child.  Parents have a significant role in the evaluation of the child, in the CPSE's discussion regarding eligibility for preschool special education, and in planning and developing the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP).  Parents may share information regarding the child's developmental, health, and family history as well as the child's strengths, needs, likes, dislikes, and typical behavior related to self-care, language and communication, motor skills, and social interaction with peers and adults.

It is important to note that part or all of the evaluations performed under the EIP can be provided to the CPSE with parent consent and can be used by the CPSE in making a determination as to whether a child is eligible for preschool special education programs and services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  The CPSE may determine that the evaluation is sufficient to make an eligibility determination or may require additional evaluations. 

If the CPSE determines that a child is not eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, the child’s eligibility for the EIP will end the day before the child’s third birthday and a transition plan to other appropriate early childhood and supportive services will be developed.  If parents disagree, or if the CPSE does not make a recommendation in a timely way, they should discuss their concerns with the CPSE.  In addition parents or school districts may contact their Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Offices for clarification and technical assistance (see Appendix H for contact information).  If it is not possible to resolve disagreements informally, mediation may be used to work out differences in a timely way.  Parents also have the right to request an impartial hearing in writing to the BOE.  The decision made by the impartial hearing officer (IHO) is final, unless the parents or the school district ask for a review of the decision by a State Review Officer. 

Until all proceedings have been completed, pendency for the child is an approved preschool special education program and/or services agreed to by the CPSE and the parents, appropriate to meet the needs of the child (Section 200.16(g)(3)(iv) of the Regulations of the Commissioner).  In the event that the CPSE and the parents cannot agree, the IHO will determine the child’s pendency placement.  A child who has received Early Intervention Services and is now of preschool age may, during hearings and appeals, receive special education in the same program as the early intervention program only if that program is also an approved preschool program.

If parents believe that their school districts have violated procedures under State or federal special education laws and regulations, they may submit a written complaint to the New York State Education Department, Coordinator, Statewide Education Quality Assurance (see Appendix H).  Complaints are investigated and determinations are made within sixty calendar days of receipt, unless exceptional circumstances exist with respect to the specific complaint.

If a child is found eligible for preschool special education programs and services, the parent must be informed that the child may transition to preschool special education programs and services; or, remain in the EIP on and past their third birthday until the child ages out.  When the child transitions to preschool special education programs and services in his or her IEP, the CPSE is responsible for arranging for the provider(s) to deliver the preschool special education programs and services for the child.

IEPs and IFSPs for Children Found Eligible for Preschool special education programs and services remaining in the EIP Beyond their Third Birthday

If the CPSE determines that the preschool child has a disability, the committee must recommend appropriate special education services and/or programs and develop an individualized education program (IEP) for the child in accordance with State and federal laws and regulations.  An IEP must be developed for all children determined to be eligible for preschool special education programs and services, regardless of whether the parent elects to have the child transition to services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, or remain in the EIP on and after the child’s third birthday.  The CPSE must indicate on the IEP the date for initiation of special education programs and services, based on the agreement reached by the CPSE and the date the child is first eligible for preschool special education. 

In developing the IEP, the CPSE may consider a number of special education programs or services to meet the child's individual needs.  The recommendation for special education services must be implemented with consideration given to the least restrictive environment.  The four educational environments are listed below, in order from least to most restrictive:

Prior to recommending special education services in a setting that includes only preschool children with disabilities, the committee shall first consider providing special education services in a setting where age-appropriate peers without disabilities are typically found.  Provision of special education services in a setting with no regular contact with age-appropriate peers without disabilities must be documented on the child’s IEP and shall only be considered when the nature or severity of the child’s disability is such that education in a less restrictive environment, with the use of supplementary aids and services, cannot be satisfactorily achieved. 

In the CPSE process, parents have the right to express a preference for services that must be considered by the CPSE.  However, the CPSE, based on the consensus of the members, must recommend appropriate programs and services for each eligible child.  If the CPSE recommends different programs and services than the parents requested, the CPSE recommendation must indicate the parent's preference, and the reason why the CPSE made a different recommendation.  Parents must also be given information about their due process rights to receive information about the actions that the CPSE will take, as well as ways that parents can challenge the CPSE recommendation.

At the time the IEP is developed, the CPSE (which includes a professional designated by the EIO charged with responsibility for the child transitioning from the EIP) must explain the following to the child’s parent:

Upon receipt of the recommendation of the CPSE, the board of education must arrange for the child to receive the recommended special education programs and services beginning with the July, September, or January starting date for the approved program.  However, if the recommendation of the CPSE is made less than 30 school days prior to, or after the July, September, or January starting date, the services must be provided no later than 30 school days from the recommendation.  To avoid a gap in services for those children who will continue in the EIP on and past their third birthday, the BOE must arrange for the child to receive programs and services on the date recommended by the CPSE.

CPSE Progress Reports and The Annual Review

When parents and the CPSE develop a child's IEP, they must decide how and when the parent(s) will be informed of the child's progress.  Once a child transitions to preschool special education programs and services, progress reports must be provided at least as often as they are for non-disabled children in a regular education program in their school district.  Progress can be reported by regular telephone calls from the child’s teacher or service provider, notes and comments in a shared notebook or formal progress reports, which tell how the child is progressing toward IEP goals, and whether the child is expected to meet the goals on the IEP by the date planned. 

A child's IEP must be reviewed at least once a year.  If needed, parents, the school district CPSE, or the preschool program provider may also ask for a meeting at any time during the school year to discuss a child's progress or review a child's program. 


V.  Transition for Children in Foster Care


All of the transition procedures described above apply to children in foster care who are in the Early Intervention Program (EIP).  However, for children in foster care, the local social services commissioner responsible for the child must be involved in the transition planning process (i.e., the local social services commissioner who has the care and custody or custody and guardianship of the child).  The local social services commissioner should be invited to participate in the review of IFSP to determine whether the child needs a referral for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, and, if applicable, should be invited to participate the child’s transition conference.

It is also important to note that children in foster care may, under certain circumstances, require the appointment of a surrogate parent by the EIO or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).  If the EIO has appointed a surrogate parent for a child in foster care, it is possible that the CPSE will continue to have this surrogate parent represent the child, or there may be a need for the CPSE to appoint a different surrogate parent for purposes of services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  If a surrogate parent is appointed by either the EIO or the CPSE, the surrogate parent is accorded all the rights and responsibilities of the child’s parent for purposes of the Early Intervention Program and preschool special education programs and services.

Appendix I includes information about the roles and responsibilities of Early Intervention Officials, service coordinators, local Department of Social Services caseworkers, and the CPSE in the transition process for children in the EIP who are also in the foster care system.  The Department of Health and Office of Children and Family Services jointly developed a protocol for children in foster care and the EIP, which is available on the Department’s Web site (http://www.health.state.ny.us).


VI.  Other Programs and Resources for Children and Their Families


In addition to the Early Intervention Program (EIP) and preschool special education programs and services, there are a number of programs administered by other State agencies that are helpful to children with special needs and their families.  It is important for all professionals working with young children and their families to be informed about and help families access services available through other State agencies.  Although this is particularly important when children are transitioning from the EIP to other services, it is also important for families and service coordinators to be aware of and access these other service delivery systems as needs emerge while children are receiving services from the EIP.  These include:

Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

The Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) operates 13 Developmental Disabilities Services Offices (DDSOs) responsible for arranging and planning for the care, treatment, habilitation, and rehabilitation services to individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (such as autism, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, Down syndrome, and children with multiple disabilities). In partnership with consumers, families, staff, private providers, and local governments, the DDSOs provide person-centered assistance to improve the quality of life of individuals and their families through the provision of housing, employment, and family support services. The list of DDSOs, including addresses and telephone numbers, can be found in Appendix J.  For more information visit the OMRDD Web site at http://www.omr.state.ny.us.

Office of Mental Health

The Office of Mental Health (OMH) is responsible for developing plans, programs, and services for the care, treatment, rehabilitation, education and training of individuals with mental illness.  OMH provides direct services at nineteen adult, six children's and three forensic psychiatric centers and provides fund allocation and certification of non-State-operated mental health programs.  Visit the OMH Web site at http://www.omh.state.ny.us.  For questions about mental health services, to find a mental health service provider, or to make a complaint, call the OMH customer relations at 1-800-597-8481.

Office of Children and Family Services

The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) provides operational support and policy direction to local social services districts and youth bureaus across the State and is responsible for the operation of 48 statewide residential and day placement facilities for youth.  Programs and services provided through OCFS include child and adult protective, child welfare, domestic violence, pregnancy prevention, family services, youth development and delinquency prevention, juvenile justice, and after care programs.  For general information contact (518) 473-7793 or visit the OCFS Web site at http://www.dfa.state.ny.us.  For information about other programs for children, call 1-800-345-KIDS.

Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped

Located within the Office of Children and Family Services, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) is responsible for the administration of programs and services to legally blind individuals to enhance independence and facilitate opportunities to participate in the community.  CBVH provides a range of services for individuals who are legally blind through the independent living and vocational rehabilitation provisions of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, as well as through programs serving children and older individuals who are blind.  For information about CBVH, call (866) 871-3000.

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) administers a comprehensive program of prevention, intervention, and treatment services for per­sons addicted to alcohol and other drugs.  OASAS plans, develops and regulates the State's system of alcoholism and substance abuse treatment agencies; operates 13 Alcoholism Treatment Centers; licenses and regulates local, community-based providers of inpatient, outpatient and residential services; and monitors programs to ensure quality of care and compliance with State and national standards.  For more information visit the OASAS Web site at http://www.oasas.state.ny.usThe telephone number for public information and publications is (518) 485-1768.  The telephone number for information and referrals is 1-800-522-5353.

Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities

The Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities (OAPwD) is a systems advocacy agency for people with disabilities.  Its primary mission is to ensure that people with disabilities have every opportunity to be productive and participating citizens through: full access to emerging technology; access to up-to-date, comprehensive information on and referral to programs and services available to people with disabilities and their families; and, implementation of progressive legislation protecting the equal rights of people with disabilities.  For information about OAPwD, call (800) 522-4369 or (518) 473-6005, (voice, TTY and Spanish call (518) 473-4129), electronic BBS call (800) 943-2323 or refer to the OAPwD Web site at www.advoc4disabled.state.ny.us

Commission on Quality of Care for Persons with Disabilities

The Commission on Quality of Care's Advocacy Services Bureau coordinates a statewide protection and advocacy program for people with disabilities and their families.  The Bureau offers training programs to help parents understand special education laws and regulations.  These programs are co-sponsored by local groups.  For information, call 1-800-624-4143, or visit the Commission’s Web site at http://www.cqc@state.ny.us

Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC)

The New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council is a federally funded state agency working under the direction of the Governor.  The DDPC is responsible for developing new ways to improve the delivery of services and supports to New Yorkers with developmental disabilities and their families.  For information, call TDD/TTY: 1-800-395-3372 Voice: 518-486-7505, or visit the DDPC Web site at  ddpc@ddpc.state.ny.us

State Education Department

State Education Department Early Childhood Direction Centers

The Early Childhood Direction Centers (ECDCs) provide information about programs and services for young children, ages birth through five, who have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities and help families obtain services for their children.  For information about the ECDC in your region, refer to VESID’s Web site at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/techassist/ecdcA list of ECDCs is included in Appendix B.

Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Associates

The Regional Associates conduct Quality Assurance Reviews of public and private special education programs to determine compliance with federal and State special education laws and regulations.  They also provide technical assistance to parents, school district personnel, and special education programs; and, investigate complaints alleging a public or private special education program’s noncompliance with federal or state law or regulation pertaining to the education of students with disabilities.  For information about the Regional Associate for your region, refer to VESID’s Web site at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/quality/qaoffices.htm.  A list of Regional Associates for each region is attached in Appendix H.

Department Of Health

In addition to the EIP, the Department of Health is responsible for a wide range of programs and services to promote and protect the health of children and adults residing in New York State.  Examples of other programs and services for children and families include the Child Health Plus insurance program, maternal and child health services funded under the Title V block grant (including services for children with special health care needs), universal newborn hearing screening, vaccination information materials, school-based health centers, and the Women Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.  For more information about the Department of Health, visit the Department’s Web site at www.health.state.ny.us.  For information regarding the Early Intervention Program call (518) 473-7016 or email to eip@health.state.ny.us.

Other Community Resources

There are also a variety of community resources that are helpful to all young children and their families.  It is important for all professionals working with young children and their families to be informed about and help families access services available through other community resources.  Although this is particularly important when children are transitioning from the EIP to other services, it is also important for families and service coordinators to be aware of and access these other service delivery systems as needs emerge while children are receiving services from the Early Intervention Program.  Appendix K includes a listing of other important community resources for young children and their families.


VII.  Frequently asked Questions and Answers on Transition

Age Eligibility

  1. Question:  Can a child be age-eligible for the Early Intervention Program (EIP) and special education services under Section 4410 of the Education Law at the same time?

Answer:  Yes.  Under IDEA and New York State Public Health and Education Law, there is overlapping age-eligibility for the EIP and preschool special education programs and services for children over the age of two years.  This is to ensure that children do not experience a gap in services when transitioning from the EIP to preschool special education programs and services; and, to ensure that children have access to a free appropriate public education by their third birthday. However, under PHL, a child who is receiving services under Section 4410 of Education Law cannot be an eligible child under the EIP.

Under Public Health Law (PHL), children are age-eligible for the EIP from birth through two years of age, unless the child has been determined eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law before the child’s third birthday.  If a child is determined eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law before his or her third birthday, the parent may choose to have the child continue to receive EIP services until he/she ages out, or transition the child to preschool special education programs and services. 

The specific date when a child is first eligible for preschool special education programs and services depends upon the month during which a child is born.

  1. Question:  If a child currently receiving EI services is in the process of receiving an evaluation under Section 4410 and turns three, may the child continue to receive EI services on and after his/her third birthday?

Answer:  No.  The amended Public Health Law is explicit.  A child who is not determined eligible for Section 4410 programs and/or services before his/her third birthday may not continue to receive EI services after his/her third birthday.  Please refer to page 16 for information on parents’ due process rights under the Education Law.

  1. Question:  If the CPSE does not determine that a child is eligible before his or her third birthday, and then the CPSE determines the child eligible for special education programs and services after the child has already turned three years of age, can the child return to the EIP and resume the services included in his or her previous IFSP?  Alternatively, if a child exits the EIP while eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law is pending, and the child is subsequently found eligible for these services, can the child re-enter the EIP and continue in the EIP until s/he is no longer age-eligible?

Answer:  No.  If the child turns three years of age, and the CPSE has not rendered a determination as to whether the child is eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, the child’s eligibility for the EIP ends at his or her third birthday.  In this case, it is recommended that the concern be discussed with the CPSE or directed to the appropriate Special Education Quality Assurance Office (see Appendix H).  The child may not re-enter the EIP at or after his or her third birthday.  Similarly, if a child exits the EIP while eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law is pending, and the child is subsequently found eligible for these services after the child’s third birthday, the child cannot re-enter the EIP. 

As always, to address areas of disagreement, or when the CPSE has not acted within the required timeframes, under Education Law, parents may pursue their due process rights to mediation, an impartial hearing, or a sixty-day State complaint (see page 16).

  1. Question:  What should the Early Intervention Official (EIO) do if a child is referred to the EIP when s/he is age-eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law?

Answer:  If a child is referred to the EIP when s/he is age eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, the EIO should recommend to the parent that the child be referred directly to the CPSE of the school district in which the family resides.  However, if a parent chooses to continue with the referral to the EIP, an initial service coordinator must be assigned and the service coordinator must assist the parent in the receipt of a multidisciplinary evaluation for the child consistent with the EIP requirements.  The parent should be informed that the transition process must also be initiated, including notice to the school district, arranging for a transition conference and evaluation of the child by the CPSE to determine the child’s eligibility for services under Section 4410 of Education Law.  The parent should be informed that if the child is not referred, evaluated, and found eligible for preschool special education programs and services before the child’s third birthday, the child’s eligibility for the EIP will end when the child turns three years old.
 

Notification And Referral

  1. Question:  Can the notification to the CPSE of a child’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law also serve as the referral to the CPSE?

Answer:  There is nothing in Public Health or Education Law to prohibit the notification of a child’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law from also serving as the referral, as long as the notice is clearly identified as a referral and the notice includes all the information required by the CPSE to be considered a referral.

  1. Question:  Must a school district/CPSE accept all referrals of age-eligible children?

Answer:  Yes.  Under the Education Law, the CPSE is required to accept and act upon referrals of age-eligible children.  This includes requesting consent to evaluate the child, follow-up with parents who do not provide consent to ensure they understand the request, and completing an eligibility determination and, if appropriate, an IEP within required timeframes.

  1. Question:  Is it each county’s responsibility to establish a policy regarding the specific age for children to be referred to the CPSE?

Answer:  No.  Each county and New York City must adhere to the requirements in Public Health and Education Law regarding age-eligibility requirements and the timeframes for notice to the school district, convening of a transition conference, and eligibility determinations.  However, counties may develop procedures consistent with State laws and regulations and Department of Health and State Education Department policies.

  1. Question:  Must the Early Intervention Official (EIO) notify school districts and arrange transition conferences EXACTLY 120 days and 90 days, respectively, prior to the child’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law?

Answer:  No.  EIP regulations require the notice be AT LEAST 120 days prior to the child’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law; and, the transition conference to be convened AT LEAST 90 days prior to a child’s potential eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law or the child’s third birthday, whichever is first.  To manage notice and transition conferences at the municipal level, it is permissible for the EIO to notify school districts and arrange for transition conferences during the month or quarter in which a child’s birth date falls, as long as the notice is sent and the transition conference is convened within the timeframes required in regulations and within sufficient time for the CPSE to render an eligibility determination before the child’s third birthday.

  1. Question:  At what age must the school district CPSE accept a referral for preschool special education?

Answer:  In order for a child to receive preschool special education by their third birthday or on the first day of their eligibility for preschool special education (whichever comes first), the referral must be accepted in time to allow the CPSE to provide a recommendation to the board of education within thirty school days of receipt of written consent by the parent for the individual evaluation of the child. 

  1. Question:  What information must be included in the referral to the CPSE?

Answer:  The referral to the CPSE must be made in writing and must include the following information: the name of and contact information for the child and the child’s parent or person in parental relation; the reasons for the referral, including, with parent consent, any records upon which the referral is based that may be in the possession of the person submitting the referral; a written description of the child’s participation in EIP services; and, the extent of parental contact or involvement prior to the referral.
 

Transition Conference

  1. Question:  Should a transition conference be arranged for all children exiting the EIP?

Answer:  A transition conference should only be arranged, with parental consent, for children potentially eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  Please refer to pages 10 and 11 for criteria to be considered in identifying these children.

  1. Question:  Who must participate in the transition conference?

Answer:  The EIO is responsible for convening the transition conference with the parent, service coordinator, and chair of the CPSE or his or her designee.

  1. Question:  Is the CPSE chairperson or a designee required to participate in the transition conference to review the child’s program options?

Answer:  Yes.  Pursuant to Section 4410(3)(f) of the Education Law, the Chairperson of the CPSE of the local school district in which the child resides or his or her designee must participate in the conference.

  1. Question:  Who else should participate in the transition conference?

Answer:  With the parent’s consent, representatives of other service delivery systems, with whom the child and family are currently involved or from whom the child may need services (such as OMRDD or OCFS) should be invited to participate in the transition conference.

  1. Question:  Can required participants in the transition conference participate by telephone conference call?

Answer:  Yes.  The transition conference must be convened in a location that is mutually convenient to the participants.  It is permissible for participants to participate in the conference by telephone.

  1. Question:  What is the role of the CPSE chairperson or the designee at the transition conference?

Answer:  The CPSE Chairperson or the Chairperson’s designee must participate in the conference with the parent(s) and the EI Service Coordinator to support the child’s potential transition to preschool special education and to ensure that the parent is fully informed of the special education or other early childhood program options, including but not limited to nursery school, day care or Head Start programs.  The CPSE Chairperson can provide information and respond to the parent(s) questions or concerns regarding the CPSE process including children’s eligibility for services, timelines from referral to provision of preschool special education programs and services, and/or the provision of transportation services for the child.

  1. Question:  Can the Early Intervention Official (EIO) be the CPSE chairperson’s designee?

Answer:  No.  The EIO cannot act as the designee of the CPSE chairperson.  Since the EIO represents the county at the transition conference and at meetings of the CPSE, the EIO cannot be designated to serve in this role as a representative of the school district.  Qualifications for the designee of the CPSE Chairperson at the transition conference are not established by state law or regulation.  It is appropriate for a member of the CPSE (Section 200.3(a)(2) Regulations of the Commissioner) who is knowledgeable about the transition process and is experienced in reviewing the needs of children transitioning from early intervention to represent the child’s school district as the appointed designee of the CPSE Chairperson.
 

Transition Plan

  1. Question:  Is a transition plan required for all children exiting the EIP, or only those children who will transition to services under Section 4410 of the Education Law?

Answer:  Yes.  A transition plan must be developed for all children exiting the EIP, regardless of whether the child is transitioning to services under Section 4410 of the Education Law or to other early childhood and supportive services.  However, the CPSE chairperson or his or her designee only participates in transition planning for children potentially eligible for preschool special education programs and services.

  1. Question:  When should the transition planning process begin?

Answer:  Because children are in the EIP for a short time, it is appropriate to begin transition planning as early as possible.  For children potentially eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, transition planning must be initiated in accordance with requirements in PHL in this document.  For children for whom a referral to the CPSE is not appropriate, a transition plan should be developed at the IFSP meeting within six months prior to the child’s third birthday.

  1. Question:  If a parent does not wish to have and does not consent to a transition conference, but does consent to notification and referral to the school district and to an evaluation by the CPSE, when is the transition plan developed and who is responsible for development of the plan?

Answer:  If the parent does not wish to have and does not consent to a transition conference, transition planning should begin at the IFSP meeting closest to the date when the EIO is required to notify the school district of the child’s potential transition.  Transition planning should continue in any subsequent meetings (e.g., the first meeting of the CPSE) that include discussions about the child’s transition to services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  The transition plan, when completed, is incorporated into the IFSP with parental consent.

  1. Question:  What are the required components of the transition plan?

Answer:  The transition plan must include procedures to prepare the child and family for changes in service delivery, including steps to help the child adjust to and function in a new setting or with a new service provider; and, procedures to prepare program staff or individual qualified personnel who will be providing services to the child to facilitate the smooth transition.  With parent consent, the transition plan should be incorporated into the IFSP.


CPSE Evaluation Process

  1. Question:  If a child is currently receiving EI services and has recently been evaluated in the EI system, what is the process and time frame for the decision to be made as to which specific evaluation components the approved preschool evaluator must complete?

Answer:  A CPSE Chairperson who receives a referral must immediately notify the child’s parent(s) that a referral has been received and must request consent for evaluation of the preschool student.  In addition, with the consent of the parents, approved evaluators and committees must be provided with the most recent evaluation report for a child in transition from early intervention programs.  Nothing prohibits an approved evaluator or the CPSE from reviewing other assessments or evaluations to determine if those assessments fulfill the requirements of State law and regulations for determining eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  As part of an initial evaluation, if appropriate, and as part of any reevaluation, a group that includes the CPSE and other qualified professionals, must review existing evaluation data on the student including evaluations and information provided by the student’s parents, current classroom-based assessments and observations, and observations by teachers and related service providers.  The group may conduct its review without a meeting.  On the basis of that review and input from the student’s parents, the CPSE and other qualified professionals, must identify what additional assessment data are needed.  Discussion about existing EI evaluations should be part of the transition conference.  The CPSE must complete its evaluation of the child and provide a recommendation to the board of education within 30 school days of receipt of the parental consent for evaluation.

Parents have the right to choose which records and reports, if any, are transmitted to the CPSE.  Parents have the right to sign either a general release or selective release, which specifies by name or category those individuals to whom information may be disclosed.

  1. Question:  Who is responsible for transmitting appropriate evaluations, assessments, IFSPs, and other pertinent records from the Early Intervention Program to the CPSE?

Answer:  The service coordinator is responsible for reviewing information concerning the transition procedure with the parent and obtaining parental consent for the transfer of appropriate records, including evaluations, assessments, IFSPs, and other pertinent records.  Parents should be encouraged to share appropriate records with the CPSE, since the purpose of this requirement is to reduce the need for unnecessary or duplicative evaluations of the child.  However, a parent is not required to consent to the release of some or all of these reports.

  1. Question:  Is the Early Intervention Official (EIO) required to attend the initial and subsequent CPSE meetings for a child transitioning from the EIP to preschool special education programs and services?

Answer:  There is no requirement in Public Health Law (PHL) or regulation that an EIO attend CPSE meetings for children transitioning from the EIP to preschool special education programs and services.  The EIO is responsible for convening the transition conference, with parental consent.  If the transition conference is combined with the first meeting of the CPSE, the EIO must attend this combined meeting.  The EIO does have a responsibility to ensure a smooth transition for children receiving EIP services to preschool or other appropriate services. 

Section 4410(a)(2) of the Education Law requires that “the appropriately licensed or certified professional designated by the agency that has been charged with the responsibility for the preschool child pursuant to applicable federal laws relating to early intervention services shall attend all meetings of the committee conducted prior to the child’s initial receipt of services pursuant to this section.”   This professional may be the municipal EIO, service coordinator, or a professional from the agency that has knowledge of the child’s status, services received, and progress.   

Transition From the EIP to Preschool Special Education Programs and Services

  1. Question: What happens when a child currently receiving EIP services is eligible for preschool special education programs and services, but continues in the EIP and makes significant progress so that the Early Intervention Official (EIO) believes the child may not require preschool programs and services?

Answer:  The CPSE, and not the EIO, is responsible for determining whether a re-evaluation is necessary to determine the child’s eligibility for preschool special education programs and services.  If the EIO has reason to believe that the eligible child has made significant progress, the EIO should work with the service coordinator in securing parental consent to forward additional records such as recent assessments and progress notes to the CPSE.  The EIO should ensure that the service coordinator transmits additional records to the CPSE.

  1. Question:  If a child receives services in community or home-based settings under the EIP, can s/he continue to receive services in these settings when s/he transitions to services under Section 4410 of the Education Law? 

Answer:  Yes.  The continuum of services available under Section 4410 of the Education Law includes services in community and home-based settings and on-site at approved provider locations, if recommended by the CPSE.

  1. Question:  Can a child continue to receive services from their EIP provider when s/he transitions to services under Section 4410 of the Education Law? 

Answer:  Only if the Early Intervention provider(s) is also approved to provide services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.

  1. Question:  Are service coordination services provided to families under Section 4410 of the Education Law?

Answer: No.  There is no requirement under the Education Law to provide service coordination services to children and families eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  However, when a child’s IEP includes two or more related services only, the board of education must designate one of the service providers to coordinate the provision of services.  If the IEP includes special education itinerant services (SEIT) and one or more related services, the SEIT provider is responsible for the coordination of services.

  1. Question:  How can families find out about the programs and services available under Section 4410 of the Education Law?

Answer:  There are a number of ways families can access information about services available under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  Service coordinators are responsible for informing families about the transition process, including programs and service options available under Section 4410 of the Education Law and for linking families to services in the community needed by the child that are not available under the EIP or under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  In addition, an important purpose of the transition conference is to review program and service options available to the child and family when the child transitions to preschool special education.  The State Education Department’s publication, Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3-21:  A Parent’s Guide, is also an important source of information for families.  Parents may also be referred to the Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC) serving the county in which the family resides (see Appendix B).

  1. Question:  Are parents required to provide information about private insurance to the CPSE?

Answer:  No.  There is no requirement for use of private insurance for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  There is a requirement that insurance information be provided to the Early Intervention Official for purposes of reimbursement of EIP services.

  1. Question:  If the CPSE determines that a child currently in the EIP is eligible for 4410 programs and services, what date does the CPSE recommend to the board of education for the initiation of services?

Answer:  At the time that the CPSE meets to find the child eligible for preschool special education, the CPSE and parent(s) should discuss and agree upon the timeframe for transition.  The specific date of initiating the child’s preschool special education program and services will depend upon whether the parent elects to have the child continue in the Early Intervention Program or to transition the child to services under Section 4410 of the Education Law.  The CPSE must indicate on the IEP the date for initiation of special education, based on the agreement reached by the CPSE and the child’s first date of eligibility for preschool special education.  The IFSP should be modified to include the last date of EIP services, which should be based on the date when preschool special education services will begin.

  1. Question:  If a parent chooses to have the child remain in the EIP until s/he is no longer age-eligible for the EIP, does the EIP have to provide additional services included in the IEP (if any) that are not considered EIP services and not included in the child’s IFSP?

Answer:  No.  The EIP is only responsible for providing the EIP services included in the child’s IFSP.  If the parent wishes the child to receive additional services included in the child’s IEP, the parent must transition the child to preschool special education programs and services included in the child’s IEP.

  1. Question:  A child who was never in the EIP is referred to and evaluated by the CPSE.  The CPSE finds the child eligible for preschool special education programs and services and develops an IEP.  Services in the IEP are not delivered in a timely manner.  Under these circumstances, can the child be referred to the EIP, if s/he is still age eligible for the EIP?

Answer:  No.  If a child is determined eligible for preschool special education programs and services, and the programs and services are not provided in a timely manner, the parent may follow procedures outlined on pages 15 and 16 related to resolving concerns with the CPSE process.   

  1. Question:  If the CPSE, with parent consent, reviews the child’s EIP evaluation(s) and assessment(s) and determines additional evaluations and/or assessment data (e.g., physical examination, psychological evaluation) is required by the CPSE to determine eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, are such evaluations paid for under the EIP under DOH, or preschool special education under NYSED?

Answer:  Any additional evaluations and/or assessment data required by the CPSE to determine eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law are the fiscal responsibility of the county/NYC Department of Education.

  1. Question:  Must all required members of the CPSE be present to determine whether a child who is in the EIP and who is turning 3 is eligible for preschool special education programs and services? 

Answer:  Yes.  In order for the eligibility determination to be valid, all required members of the CPSE must participate in the CPSE meeting where eligibility is determined and the IEP is developed.  Please refer to pages 15 - 17 of this document for detailed requirements for the CPSE evaluation, eligibility, and IEP process.

  1. Question:  Must all the components of the IEP required under Part 200 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be developed at the time a child is determined eligible for preschool special education programs and services?

Answer:  Yes.  An IEP, which includes all required components, must be completed at the time the child is found eligible for preschool special education programs and services.  In addition, the CPSE is responsible for explaining to the parent(s) the differences between the IEP and the IFSP (see pages 16 through 18 of this document for procedures that should be followed).

  1. Question:  Should a child over age 3, who is initially found eligible for preschool special education programs and services, and whose parent(s) have decided the child should remain in the EIP, be discharged from the EIP, if the CPSE re-evaluates the child and finds the child not eligible?  

Answer:  Yes.  Only those children who are eligible for preschool special education programs and services can remain in the EIP beyond their third birthday.  If the child’s eligibility status for preschool special education programs and services changes while the child is in the EIP, the child is no longer eligible to remain in the EIP and must transition out of the program. 


[1] Free appropriate public education is defined in IDEA as “special education and related services that:  (a) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction and without charge; (b) meet the standards of the State educational agency; (c) include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education in the involved State; and, (d) are provided in conformity with the individual education program that meets the requirements of §300.340 – 300.350 34 CFR Parts 300 and 303- §300.13.

[2] Throughout this document, the term “EIO” will be used to reference both Early Intervention Officials and their designees.