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Child Find and Early Childhood Special Education
New information about preschool special education services and universal preschool (UPK)
- Special Education and Universal Preschool in Colorado
- CDE Standards for Placement of Preschoolers with IEPs in Educational Programs - January 2023
- FAQ: Special Education and Universal Preschool in Colorado (PDF) - January 2023
- Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) - Between The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Early Childhood For Preschool Special Education Services In Accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004, the Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA), and Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program Act - February 2023
Joint messages from CDEC and CDE will provide periodic updates on issues related to the implementation of UPK Colorado and serving students with disabilities within the new preschool system.
Archive of Colorado Universal Preschool Updates
Submit an application for UPK Colorado at the CDEC website for the 2023-2024 school year - this link will be taking you away from the CDE webpages.
Child Find for Children ages 3 through 5 years old
Every school district or Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) has professionals trained to evaluate young children’s development including cognitive functioning, motor skills, hearing and vision, speech and language and social emotional development. This service is referred to as Child Find.
The purpose of the child find process in preschool is to determine whether a child has a need for special education services.
Early Childhood Special Education
Early childhood special education is a state and federal mandated program for three- and four-year-old children who meet state eligibility criteria for special education and are experiencing challenges in their learning and development. A child is eligible if they have a significant delay in one or more areas of development, such as learning, speaking or playing.
Eligible children are entitled to a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. This means that the required preschool services are to be provided in an inclusive setting at no cost to parents.
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If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit at ESSU@cde.state.co.us. Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.