Early Intervention Guides for Special Education Administrators: Ensuring All Infants and Toddlers Have Equitable Access

Guides to identify possible developmental delay or disability as early as possible

Early Intervention Guides for Special Education Administrators: Ensuring All Infants and Toddlers Have Equitable Access

The U.S. Department of Education envisions that all infants and toddlers with delays or disabilities receive high-quality early intervention services and supports to meet their individualized needs. To achieve this vision, State and local agencies must have a comprehensive system in place to promptly and equitably identify and evaluate eligible infants and toddlers for IDEA Part C early intervention services.

However, data shows that many eligible infants and toddlers are not receiving early intervention services, particularly those from historically underserved groups such as infants and toddlers of color, those from low-income families, rural communities, and those whose first language is not English.

To support State efforts in implementing an equitable and comprehensive system, the federal interagency workgroup identified key guiding principles that promote access to services for all families regardless of race, ethnicity, language, socio-economic status, gender identification, and location.

These principles include promoting the earliest possible identification of developmental delay or disability, using data and evidence to inform policies and practices, valuing family voice, using culturally and linguistically responsive practices, considering the individualized needs of each infant and toddler within the context of their family and community, and promoting ongoing interagency collaboration.

Access an assistance guide for administrators to ensure efficient referral and screening for infants and toddlers as proposed by the department here.

In an effort to ensure equitable access to services provided under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the US Department of Education (ED) has released a document and implementation technical assistance guides. These resources provide guiding principles, specific strategies, and highlight resources and best practices to ensure that families have access to the necessary services.

The intended audience for this information includes IDEA Part C coordinators, early childhood program administrators, healthcare providers, families, policymakers, and other individuals or organizations dedicated to improving outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities. For more information, please visit the US Department of Education website.