The U.S. Department of Education today released the final regulations for the early intervention program under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These final regulations will help improve services and outcomes for America's infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
Part C is a $436 million program administered by states that serves infants and toddlers through age 2 with developmental delays or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays.
The final Part C regulations incorporate provisions in the 2004 amendments to Part C of the IDEA. Additionally, the final regulations provide states with flexibility in some areas, while ensuring state accountability to improve results and providing needed services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The regulations focus on measuring and improving outcomes for the approximately 350,000 children served by the Part C program with the goal of ensuring that such children are ready for preschool and kindergarten.
"As everyone who works in education understands, one of the most important things we can offer children is a high-quality early learning experience that prepares them for kindergarten," said U. S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. "This is true for all childrenbut it's especially important for infants and toddlers with disabilities to have access to high-quality early intervention services that prepare them to successfully transition to preschool and kindergarten. The Part C regulations will support the Education Department's commitment to the goal of preparing more children with high needs with a strong foundation for success in school and beyond." The Part C regulations are posted on the department's website at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/news.html. The regulations should be published in the Federal Register in the next couple of weeks.
Today, the department is also releasing a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the IDEA Part B regulations. Changes are being proposed to the regulations regarding when a state or local educational agency seeks to use a child's or parent's public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) to pay for Part B services. These proposed amendments to the Part B regulations would ensure the protection of the rights of parents and children and ensure that children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) while addressing concerns raised by State educational agencies and local educational agencies regarding the burdens imposed by the current regulation. The Part B notice of proposed rulemaking is posted at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/news.html. The notice of proposed rulemaking is expected to be published in the Federal Register on the same date as the Part C regulations.