Posted in DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information

CDS: Part B (ages 3 – 5)

Special Education services under Part B include: evaluations, development of individualized education plan, special instruction, identifications/eligibility, behavior consultation, and physical/speech and occupational therapies.

What is the referral and evaluation process like for Part B?

  • For children age 3 to school age 5, CDS has 45 days from the date it receives signed permission from the parent/guardian to: complete the initial evaluations; meet with parents to determine eligibility; and develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  • Parental consent is not required for referral, but is required for screening, evaluations and services.
  • Part B evaluations must include formal assessment, parent input and an observation of the child with their typically developing peers in an educational setting whenever possible.
  • By law, the evaluation should take many factors into account and be culturally sensitive.

Eligibility for Part B services?

Eligibility for CDS services becomes more involved if the child is 3 or older. There are 3 main questions that must all be answered “yes” for the child to be eligible for special education and related services:

  1. Does the child meet eligibility based on the listed categories of disability or developmental delay?

14 different categories of disability: autism, deafness, developmental delay (3-5 or kindergarten), emotional disturbances, hearing impairment, mental retardation, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, multiple disabilities, speech and language problems, specific learning disability, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment including blindness.

2. Does the disability or developmental delay have an adverse effect on educational performance?

3.  Does the child need special education and related services to progress in the general school curriculum or early education with typically developing peers?

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, reviews the evaluation report to determine if the child meets the criteria and if so, what services are most appropriate.

All children determined eligible will be provided an appropriate education and related services at no cost to the family.

Type of Service plan?

For children age 3 and older an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. The IEP identifies the child’s strength and needs; parental/guardian concerns about the child; and results of evaluations on the academic developmental functioning of the child. The IEP includes measurable academic functional goals which must be aligned with Maine’s Early Learning Developmental Standards. The IEP includes opportunities for services and education to be provided in the least restrictive environment.

Our last post in this series on CDS will cover Transitioning from Part C to Part B.


FCCAM works to unify, promote and strengthen quality professional family child care in Maine. We understand the critical role of child care providers in the lives of children and families. Through collaboration with other organizations we work to increase awareness of our profession and the value of a strong child care system to Maine's diverse communities.