Preschool Special Education

 111 Westfall Road, Room 928
Rochester, NY 14620
 Phone: 585 753-5437
 Fax: 585 753-5272

 Roxana Inscho
Special Children's Services Administrator

Picture of kids with cupcakesReferrals for Preschool Special Education

Preschool Special Education referrals are being accepted and evaluations continue to be made available.  If your child is preschool age and you have concerns about their motor, language or learning needs you can request to have a formal evaluation.  Contact your local school district and ask to speak with the Committee on Preschool Special Education Chairperson.

School District Committee of Preschool
Special Education (CPSE Chairpersons) (PDF)

Picture of kidsPicture of mother and childOverview of Preschool Special Education

Evaluations and specially planned individual or group services or programs are provided to eligible children, ages 3–5, who have a disability that affects their learning. Funding for these special education programs and services is provided by New York State and the Monroe County Department of Public Health. These services are available at no cost to parents.

If a child received Early Intervention (EI) services as an infant or toddler and wishes to be considered for special education services when they turn 3 years of age, the family’s EI Service Coordinator will assist with transition planning and making a referral to the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). If a family who did not participate in Early Intervention has questions about the development of their preschool-age child (3–5 years), they can make a referral directly to the chairperson of their school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education.  The CPSE chairperson will assist them in completing the referral process.

When a child is referred to the CPSE, the parent is given a list of approved agencies from which they can select an available agency to provide a preschool special education evaluation. After an approved evaluator is selected and the parent signs a consent form, the child will be evaluated at no cost to the family. A copy of the evaluation report, including a summary of the evaluation, will be provided to the parent and to the CPSE chariperson. A meeting will be scheduled with the CPSE to talk about the evaluation results. The CPSE meeting is attended by the parent, teachers, a school district representative, and a representative of the evaluation team.  Parents are able to invite others to join them at their child’s CPSE meeting.   If the child is found to be eligible for preschool services, the CPSE will recommend programs or services to meet the child’s individual needs and the location where those services will be provided. The Committee will produce a document known as an Individual Education Plan (IEP) outlining the services selected to support the child’s development.

Transportation to Center Based Programs

Most Preschool services are provided to the child in their regular preschool setting (child care, UPK or home). Sometimes the CPSE determines that a Special Education classroom is the best location to support the child’s development.  Parents whose children are enrolled in Preschool Special Education classrooms can be reimbursed for driving their child to school.  Busing is also available if necessary.   For more information please see the link below:

Parent Transportation Flyer - English (PDF)

Parent Transportation Flyer - Spanish (PDF)

Terms and Abbreviations

There are common terms and abbreviations used in the Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education systems. Knowing what they mean is important for any parent with a child receiving EI or PSE services.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    This is legislation that bans discrimination against children and adults with disabilities and requires that reasonable accommodation be made for any person with a disability.
  • Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
    This committee makes decisions about services for children with disabilities between the ages of three and five years of age. The committee is chaired by a local school district administrator. The committee members, including the child’s parents and early childhood teacher (if applicable).  They consider eligibility using a formal evaluation as a base.
  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
    If it is determined that a child qualifies for Preschool Special Education service, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed. This is the plan that sets out the goals and objectives for a preschooler with a disability and specifies what services will be provided to the child, where they will occur, how often and who will provide them.
  • Committee on Special Education (CSE)
    If the child is to be considered for Special Education in Kindergarten as they become school age (5), with parental permission they can be evaluated.  The results of the evaluation are presented to the local school district Committee on Special Education (CSE).  It is at the CSE meeting that the nature of any Special Education Supports will be determined. 
  • Early Intervention Program (EI). Guided by Federal and State Law, this program serves children with disabilities under the age of three years. In New York State, the Department of Health administers the program and each County Health Department is responsible for local administration. This program has many components and funds some services for the infant or toddler with disabilities as well as his or her family.
  • Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
    If the child qualifies for services in the Early Intervention program (birth to three), an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed with goals and objectives. Early Intervention services allows the child to be served in his or her “natural environment.” This may mean the child’s home, child care center, baby sitter, etc.
  • Early Intervention Service Coordinator
    Children and their families enrolled in the Early Intervention Program (EIP) have a coordinator of services. This person helps the family access an evaluation and services. They make sure things are working according to the IFSP. The Service Coordinator serves as a resource to the parent or guardian throughout their time in the Early Intervention Program.
  • Special Class in an Integrated Setting (SCIS)
    A classroom located in a natural setting that includes children with and without IEPs. A  SCIS must be approved by the State Education Department (SED) and can have no more than 12 children with disabilities.
  • Special Class (SC)
    A classroom approved by the State Education Department that serves a group of children who have all been enrolled in the class based on their Individual Education Plans (IEPs).