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(1.88) Are school districts responsible for special education services for three to five- year-old children?

(1.88) Are school districts responsible for special education services for three to five- year-old children?

Yes. Under California law, all school districts have a mandate to provide special education and related services for all eligible children between the ages of three-to five-years, inclusive. [Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 56001(b) & 56440(c).]

If a child is already receiving “early intervention” or “Early Start” services from the district, the district must ensure that she experiences a smooth and effective transition to preschool programs. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1437(a)(9); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56426.9(a).] It must also ensure than an IEP has been developed and is being implemented by the time of the child’s third birthday. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.124(b); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56426.9(b).] If a child turns three during the summer months, the IEP team must determine the date when IEP services will begin. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56426.9(d).] The district must participate in transition planning conferences arranged by the regional center. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1437(a)(9); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56426.9(c).] See Chapter 12, Information on Early Intervention Services.