Setting Up School Support

Team members who will help you plan your child's early intervention

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that your school system provide support for you and your baby. Part C of this Act discusses the assistance that is available for babies (infants to 3 years) and their families. Your state has guidelines to help school districts provide services when you need them.

Service Coordinator

  • Available to you and your child through IDEA
  • Works with you to find the right professionals to meet your needs
  • Helps choose your early intervention team

You are an Advocate

As your child's advocate, YOU will be the most important member of the team. You can let your services coordinator know your preferences. You will attend Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meetings to ensure the educational plan for your baby and your family meets your needs.

IFSPs and IEPs

Important documents that plan education

It sounds like alphabet soup but these two documents are important for your child's education.

The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

  • An IFSP is required by IDEA Part C
  • This plan is for your entire family, not just your baby

Your team of professionals helps develop a plan based on your family's strengths and needs.

  • Professionals consider the needs of families – making decisions with them, not for them.
  • Professionals are committed to respecting families and their choices – every family is different, and their beliefs & values are important

The team will conduct some assessments with you and your baby and describe current levels of development and any areas of need.  This is like a starting point – the road map for what we want to work on starts here.

  • Your priorities and identified needs as a family
  • Specific goals for what you and the team want to accomplish in early intervention
  • Mention of which agency will cover the costs of services
  • Mention of who will be your service coordinator
  • A plan for transitioning from birth to three to preschool services

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

  • Required by IDEA Part B
  • Guides the goals and educational plan for children at age 3 and through school

When your child is ready for preschool, you will already know how to work with a team of professionals. As a result of your child's IEP, you will be able to advocate for your child as he or she grows up and continues to learn and develop and measure their success.

The IEP will contain:

  • Your child's current speech and language development – this helps the team identify next steps so that you can reach your goals with your child
  • Annual goals, including short-term objectives that will be taken to help achieve goals
  • Specific educational needs: For example, if your child needs an FM system for preschool, it will be stated in the IEP
  • Information about the child's educational placement: the type of preschool classroom the child will attend and plans for transitions to kindergarten
  • Specific timelines and locations: where and how often the services will be provided 

More IFSP and IEP resources

Making a Plan for Your Child-IFSP Considerations for Your Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Part C: Eligibility Considerations- for Infants & Toddlers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing