All CFDP programs provide supportive services to parents of children with disabilities. Head Start and Early Head Start reserve 10% of their total enrollment specifically to serve children with disabilities.
Head Start and Early Head Start staff work with local school districts to develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for preschool children and Individual Family Service Plans (IFSPs) for children under 3 years of age. These plans comply with requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act. In everyday teaching, IEPs and IFSPs are tools used to plan appropriate learning activities for children with special needs.
Head Start makes sure that environments are accessible to children with disabilities and comply with requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
Head Start educates parents on the special education system, available resources, and supports parents to advocate for services in order to promote the best educational outcomes for their child.
All children receive sensory, developmental, and social-emotional screenings within 45 days of enrollment. Any concerns about a child’s health or development that could interfere with their learning are referred for further follow-up. Early detection of developmental issues and prompt intervention affords children the best possible developmental and educational outcomes.
Lessons are individualized for all children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start. Teachers adapt activities, curriculum, and the learning environment to allow each child to be fully included in the classroom setting. Child development staff in collaboration with parents, develop individualized objectives that support the goals identified in the IEP or IFSP.
Head Start works with local school districts to ensure that Individual Education Plans are in place so that children with disabilities make a smooth transition to kindergarten or other appropriate placement.