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(13.3) Are all school districts responsible for full implementation of services for 3- to 5- year-old children?

(13.3) Are all school districts responsible for full implementation of services for 3- to 5- year-old children?

Yes.  Under California law, all school districts have a mandate to provide special education and 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 individual education program [IEP] has been developed and is being implemented by the time of the child’s 3rd birthday. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56426.9(b); 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Sec. 300.124(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.