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Early Childhood Special Education

Services Eligible children with disabilities aged three through 21 years are entitled to receive a FAPE under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In Texas, special education and related services for eligible children with disabilities, aged three through five years, have historically been referred to as preschool programs for children with disabilities (PPCD). In effort to clarify and promote understanding that any child aged three through five years who is eligible for and receiving special education and related services through a school district must be served in the least restrictive environment specified in the child’s IEP, references to PPCD are being phased out of this and other TEA publications over time and will instead be considered to be receiving ECSE services. ECSE refers to the services provided by the school district, not to the place where they are provided. Eligible children may receive PPCD services in a variety of settings, including district settings, such as pre-K, resource, and self-contained classrooms, and community settings, such as community-based Head Start programs and preschools. A student receiving services may have a grade level of EE, pre-K, or K (kindergarten), depending on the student’s age, the location where services are provided, and whether the student is eligible for pre-K.

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