The Child Find program identifies children ages three through five years of age who are suspected of having a delay in development as early as possible. If a young child is not meeting typical developmental milestones, or there are concerns about the child’s growth or learning, a referral can be made to Child Find. Starting at age three, the public school system has responsibility for the Child Find process and will work with the family about their concerns, with a focus on meeting the child’s educational needs. The next steps would include collecting information from families and from previous developmental screenings, conducting a screening, and/or if the child is suspected of having an educational disability, completing an evaluation. The purpose of the process is to determine if there is an educational disability that requires special education and related services for the child to make progress in preschool. Child Find is provided at no cost to families.
Children who are not yet enrolled in Kindergarten may be referred at any time there is a concern about their development. Referrals to Child Find can be from any source, including medical providers, home visitation programs, friends and family, private and public preschools (e.g., Head Start), and community-based childcare programs. Parental consent is not required for referral. However, parent(s) involvement is required throughout the process.
For eligibility criteria on referrals for children birth to three years of age please visit Early Intervention Colorado (insert link).
Preschool children three through five years old are screened and/or evaluated as a part of the preschool special education process.
Developing a Plan
If the Child Find evaluation team, which includes the parents, has gathered enough information to determine a child's eligibility criteria for preschool special education services and meets the criteria. Then a Individual Education Program (IEP) is developed. Preschool special education services for children three through five years old are provided by local school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in inclusive preschool classrooms.