Moving from IFSP to IEP

Children who are identified prior to age three receive services from the BCITP through an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). As those children approach their third birthday, the service coordinator helps the family explore preschool options. If the child continues to qualify for services under the guidelines for children over three, the family may choose to remain on the IFSP or transfer to an Individualized Education Program (IEP). (If the child is not found eligible, the service coordinator will help the family identify resources in their community to continue to support the child’s development). If the family opts to extend the IFSP, the transition to the IEP will occur the school year that starts after the child’s fourth birthday (or at any time before that the family chooses). Whenever the transition occurs, the service coordinator and other providers work with the family to create a “transition plan” describing the activities and services needed to ensure a smooth transition, including conducting and sharing assessments, exploring service options with family, and preparing the child and family for the new setting.

Who receives services? A child is eligible for services if the child demonstrates a 25% delay in any area of development; exhibits “atypical” development; or has a diagnosed condition or disability. A child may receive services until the beginning of the school year following a child’s fourth birthday. A child is eligible for services if there is a 25% delay in development; exhibits “atypical” development; or is diagnosed with an educational disability that interferes with the child’s learning.
Families of children receiving Infants and Toddlers Services who are eligible for preschool special education services at age three may choose whether to continue with Infants and Toddlers or transition to preschool special education services.
What types of services might the child receive? The child may receive specialized instruction, speech language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, psychological counseling or behavior support, and/or audiology services, which may be offered individually or in a group setting with same age peers. The child may receive special education services as well as related services, including speech language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or other related services including assistive technology supports.
Where are the services provided? Services are provided in the natural environment and can include the home, child care setting, preschool setting, or any other community setting where the child and family spend time. Services can be provided in a community setting, such as a daycare, parentally-placed preschool, public library, or in a BCPS preschool or prekindergarten classroom.
Who comprises the “Team”? The team consists of the service coordinator, service provider(s), and the family. The team consists of an IEP chair, a special education teacher, a general education teacher, and other related service providers as needed including a nurse or psychologist.
Are services provided throughout the year or only during the school? All services on an IFSP are provided to the child and family on a continuous, year-round basis. IEP services are implemented during the school year. The IEP team will determine if the child needs Extended School Year (ESY) services during the summer.