On April 11th the Office of Early Childhood and the State Department of Education released a joint memo to address the need to coordinate services for children who attend child care programs and receive support services (Birth to Three Services, Special Education Services, Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP). As a former program director myself, this came as welcome news as this has been an issue for at least the 25+ years I have been involved in afterschool and summer programs.
According to the memo under the Special Education Services section:
“A child who attends a child care program may have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) implemented by the school district. The specialized instruction and related services provided as a result of the IEP might be offered at a district location or at the child care program by school district personnel. The Planning and Placement Team (PPT), which includes the family, makes decisions regarding the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for the provision of services. At the invitation of the family, child care professionals are encouraged to provide input to the PPT, and when possible, attend the meeting.”
The memo discusses several recommendations in coordinating services and steps programs and school districts can take to better align supports provided for children. While there is much work to be done, this memo is promising as it is a joint statement from the Office of Early Childhood and State Department of Education that encourages partnership and collaboration in order to provide continuity of services to best support the needs of children.