WHAT IS PART C
Part C, formerly Part H, of IDEA is a discretionary program which
awards grants to states to provide early intervention services to
infants and toddlers (birth to age 3) who have disabilities, including
developmental delays, and their families. In order for a state to
participate in the program it must assure that early intervention
will be available to every eligible child and his/her family. Each
state defines developmental delay and may choose to serve infants
and toddlers at risk of developing disabilities. The governor designates
a lead agency - usually health and human services or education -
which receives the grant and administers the program. The Governor
also appoints an Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC), which includes
parents of young children with disabilities, to advise and assist
the lead agency. Unlike Part B, services are not necessarily free.
Agencies are allowed to charge for services on a sliding scale.
Currently, all states participate in Part C.
DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY UNDER PART C
A multi-disciplinary team made up of family members and two or
more qualified professionals evaluate the child’s performance
in physical, motor, sensory, cognitive, communication, social-emotional,
and adaptive development. If a child is found eligible for early
intervention services, an Individual Family Service Plan is developed.
THE INDIVIDUAL FAMILY SERVICE PLAN
The process of developing the Individualized Family Service Plan
(IFSP) is similar to that of developing an IEP in that the child’s
needs and services are determined on an individual basis. However,
in addition to the related services provided in Part B, the IFSP
also includes family support services, nutrition services, and case
management. An IFSP must contain information about:
- The infant's or toddler's present levels of physical, cognitive,
communication, social or emotional, and adaptive development.
- The family's resources, priorities and concerns relating to
enhancing the development of the infant or toddler.
- The major outcomes expected to be achieved for the infant or
toddler and his or her family, as well as criteria for determining
progress made toward such outcomes. Any revisions of either outcomes
or services to achieve them must also be included.
- The specific early intervention services necessary to meet the
unique needs of the infant or toddler and the family, including
the frequency, intensity and method of delivery.
- The natural environments in which the early intervention services
will be provided, including a justification of the extent, if
any, to which the services will not be provided.
- The date the services will begin and their anticipated duration.
- The identification of the service coordinator, from the profession
most immediately relevant to the infant's or toddler's family's
needs, who will be responsible for the coordination and implementation
of the plan with the other agencies and persons.
- The steps to be taken to support the transition of the toddler
with a disability to preschool or other appropriate services.
THE SERVICE COORDINATOR
The service coordinator helps the family get the services and supports
that the child needs, as described on the IFSP until the child turns
three or until he or she no longer needs early intervention. The
service coordinator also provides knowledge of the law, of community
resources and will help connect the family with other parents. Service
coordination is free to families and should include:
- Providing verbal and written information in the family's native
- Coordinating the performance of evaluations and assessments.
- Facilitating and participating in the development, review and
evaluation of the IFSP, assuring that the family's priorities
are being addressed.
- Identifying and facilitating the delivery of appropriate and
available supports, services, resources and advocacy services.
- Coordinating with medical and health providers when needed.
- Initiating transition planning when the child is two and a half
TRANSITION FROM PART C TO PART B:
A child who is served under Part C is not necessarily eligible
for services under Part B of IDEA. If a child is found to be ineligible
for services under Part B, the parents may use the mediation or
due process procedures under Part B to challenge that decision.
Even if a child is found eligible for services under Part B, a school
district is not necessarily required to continue to provide the
same services identified in a child's IFSP under Part C. School
districts are free to conduct an initial evaluation of the child
and convene an IEP meeting to design the IEP from scratch, provided
the district adheres to the generally applicable time frames for