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Child Find and Preschool Special Education
Child Find for Preschool Children age 3 through 5 years old
Every school district or Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) has professionals trained to evaluate young children’s development including cognitive functioning, motor skills, hearing and vision, speech and language and social emotional development. This service is referred to as Child Find.
The purpose of the child find process in preschool is to determine whether a child has a need for special education services.
Preschool Special Education
Preschool special education is a state and federal mandated program for three- and four-year-old children who meet state eligibility criteria for special education and are experiencing challenges in their learning and development. A child is eligible if they have a significant delay in one or more areas of development, such as learning, speaking or playing.
Eligible children are entitled to a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. This means that the required preschool services are to be provided in an inclusive setting at no cost to parents.