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Early Education Programs

​​​​​ Early Education Programs 

Families of young children, ages birth to 5 years experiencing developmental delays or disability as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (, may access

For Infants and Toddlers
The California Early Start Program serves infants/toddlers and their families that may exhibit developmental delays or the existence of an established risk factor associated with potential disability under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C. Regional Center of Orange County has primary responsibility for finding and serving children age birth to 36 months eligible under the California Early Start Program in collaboration with Local Education Agencies (LEAs).  An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed with a focus on supporting the parents/guardians in optimizing their child's development. Special services and support through these local agencies:


​Under Early Start, all LEAs serve infants and toddlers with solely low incidence disabilities who are not eligible for Regional Center services.  Solely low incidence disabilities include hearing, vision, and severe orthopedic impairments, or a combination of these conditions.  Some LEAs provide early education for Regional Center eligible children based on funding from the state.  Families receiving services from these programs may also be "dually eligible" for Regional Center services.

To make a referral of an infant or toddler suspected of developmental delay or disability contact Regional Center of Orange County at 714-796-5254.

Click here for more information: 

Regional Center of Orange County

For Children Over 3 Years Old

LEAs provide free special education services to eligible children to meet their educational needs under federal IDEA, Part B and state regulations.  Special education services focus on both the developmental needs of the child and readiness for school with parent's partnership in the process.  These services are child-centered and are individualized depending on the intensity of needs.  Program options may include special day class, inclusive preschool services, and individual or small group therapies, based on an Individualized Educational Program (IEP).  All public education services including assessment for eligibility are free.  Parents concerned about their child's development should request in writing an evaluation by their local school district of residence. 

Click here to find your local School District:  Orange County School Districts

California Dept. of Education, Special Education

For further information contact Janice Howver, Coordinator at​​ or 714.327.1077.