Families & Communities (3 - 8 Years of Age):
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Section 619 is intended to help states ensure that all preschool‐aged children (3 through 5 years of age) with disabilities receive special education and related services. State education agencies (SEAs) receive this funding, and through them, local education agencies (LEAs) and educational service agencies are eligible for grants under this program.
Part B Section 619 programs, also known as Early Childhood Special Education programs, are responsible for providing Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for children 3 to 5 years of age, except for those children identified with Birth Mandate classifications. In Delaware, children identified under Birth Mandate classifications, which includes Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Hearing Impairment and Visual Impairment including Blindness, are eligible for Section 619 programs beginning at birth. The Department of Education, Office of Early Learning is responsible for overseeing the implementation of these programs.
Early Childhood Special Education services address the needs of children with various disabilities or developmental delays. Studies show that children who receive intervention are more likely to graduate high school and become contributing members of society. Ninety percent of a child’s brain is developed by age five, therefore children need to begin services as early as possible.