Early Intervention (EI) services are made available through the NYS Department of Health for infants and toddlers up to the age of three years old. At three, a child may no longer need services or may transition to the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). The CPSE is funded by the NYS Department of Education for children three to five years old. The evaluation and services for which a child may be eligible are at no cost to the parent.
You have the right to choose an evaluation site from a list of State Education Department approved evaluation sites. If there is a second language spoken in your home, your child should receive a bilingual evaluation.
The CPSE must hold an IEP meeting, within 60 calendar days from the date you signed consent, to discuss the evaluation results and to determine eligibility for CPSE services. This meeting must take place prior to your child’s third birthday. If the meeting does not take place, EI services will end the day before your child turns three. Additionally, if the CPSE holds the meeting and determines that your child is not eligible for preschool special education services, your child’s EI services will end the day before your child turns three. If your child’s third birthday is drawing near and your child’s evaluation site has not completed the evaluations or the CPSE has not scheduled an IEP meeting, you should call your EI service coordinator or the Staten Island EI director. If the evaluation and the meeting are not held before your child turns three, EI services will end the day before your child’s third birthday.
If you do not agree with recommendations made by the CPSE at your child’s IEP meeting, you have the right to exercise your due process and ask for mediation and/or an impartial hearing. For example, at the IEP meeting you may provide a list of reasons why you believe your child needs a special education class to make progress, even though the CPSE does not agree. You should have a discussion about this disagreement at the meeting. At the end of the meeting, your CPSE administrator will provide you with a form that lists all your child’s services. You should write an explanation on the form about your disagreement with the CPSE’s recommendations.
If your child is eligible for services through the CPSE, parents may choose either- (1) for their child to remain in early intervention until the mandated exit date, or (2) begin receiving preschool special education services on their 1st eligibility date. When a child turns three between January 1st and June 30th, they must exit EI by August 31st. If a parent opts for an early transition from EI, they can begin CPSE services as early as January 2nd. When a child turns three between July 1st and August 31st, they must exit EI by August 31st. If a parent opts for an early transition from EI, they may begin CPSE services as early as July 1st. When a child turns three between September 1st and December 31st, they must exit EI by December 31st, but may begin CPSE as early as July 1st. Although this is a personal choice, we strongly encourage you to transition your child in September of the school year. There is often a wait list for services, particularly center-based programs, in the middle of the school year. Additionally, it is a nice transition for all children to start the school year with their peers to learn the classroom routines and make friendships.
Provided by The Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC), a free, confidential information and referral service funded by the NYS Department of Education and managed by Staten Island University Hospital. Please call 718-226-6670 for more information.