Preschool Policies and Procedures

Updated 4/9/18

Planning and communication are essential to provide a smooth and timely transition for children with exceptional needs leaving infant/toddler programs and entering preschool special education services at age three to five. For children who have received services from an Early Start Program the Contra Costa SELPA has entered into coordinated partnerships with neighboring service providers of infant/toddlers. This partnership supports a cohesive, collaborative, and timely transition which allows several systems and various agencies to sustain an efficient process. It is imperative that families provide consent/release to exchange information between the sending and receiving agencies including their school district. In addition, transition for children moving from preschool to school-age programs will require a similar level of coordination and collaboration between families, local educational agencies, special education local plan areas, regional centers, and other community agencies in order to ensure a smooth transition for the child entering kindergarten.

Individual Transition Planning for Infant/Toddler Served in Early Start to Preschool Services
Individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years who are identified by their school district as requiring special education and services are eligible for special education and services.

To ensure the transition of a toddler to preschool services, under Part B or other services that may be available, the Regional Center and/or the local education agency (LEA) shall participate in a joint transition planning meeting to be held not less than ninety (90) days or more than six months before the child reaches age three.

The purpose of this meeting will be to consider the appropriate process to transition the child from an early intervention service to a preschool service. This transition plan is for the coordination of assessment for determining special education eligibility and to provide parents with information regarding the continuum of educational service options in their school district. Whenever possible the transition plan will be developed by both agencies and the family at a meeting and will include identify a date for referral to the LEA and a proposed date for the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting conducted by the school district. The proposed IEP date will allow sufficient time to enable the eligible student to begin school services on his/her third birthday, or as soon after that birth date as school is in session. Assessment data obtained by one agency will be made available to the other agency, with parental consent. An IEP will be prepared and completed for implementation by the time the child turns three (3).

For Infants referred to the Regional Center for services after the age of 2 years, 10 months, the Regional Center may, with consent of the family, forward the referral to the LEA for assessment and service, rather than conduct the assessment and transition planning meeting.

By 2 years of age
2 years 6 months to 2 years 9 months
2 years 6 months to 2 years 9 months
Infant/Toddler Program Provider identifies Transition steps and those are defined in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Infant Program Provider is to notify the parent of a toddler who may be eligible for special education that transition planning will occur within the next 3 to 6 months. The Transition planning meeting is held to document the actual transition steps to be coordinated between the infant/toddler program providers and the preschool team by determining suspected areas of disability, coordination of assessment and to answer parent questions regarding the transition process.
Parental consent/release to exchange information between the Sending agency (Infant/Toddler Program) and Receiving agency (school district). With parent consent, the Infant Program Provider will notify the school district of a mutually agreed upon date for a meeting to identify and outline the transition steps.  
2 years 9 months to to 2 years 11 months
By 3 years of age
3 years of age
School district staff (preschool team) completes assessments. Convene an IEP meeting to review assessment results and eligibility for special education services For eligible students services begin in an educational setting focused on developing kindergarten readiness



For children who are referred for to the LEA by their parent and have not received an infant/toddler services through Early Start the procedures to follow are the same as those identified in the Assessment chapter of this Procedures Guide. Please refer to that chapter for specific information.

Individual Transition Planning for Preschool to School-Age Programs
Prior to transitioning a child with exceptional needs from a preschool program to kindergarten or first grade as the case may be, an appropriate reassessment shall be completed to determine if the child continues to require special education services. It is important that the gains made during an early intervention program not be lost by too rapid a removal of support. (Ed. Code, sec. 56327, 56445)

  • Prior to kindergarten, or first grade as the case may be, an assessment must be completed.
  • The personnel who assess the pupil shall prepare a written report, or reports, of the results of each assessment.
  • For children who are determined to be eligible for special education, information regarding present levels of performance should be noted in the written report.
  • For children who are determined to be no longer eligible for special education, information regarding present levels of performance and learning style shall be noted by the IEP team and communicated to the regular education kindergarten teacher.
  • If appropriate, a means of monitoring continued success of the child should be identified by the IEP team for those children in kindergarten who are eligible for less intensive special education services.

To insure a successful transition for children remaining in an intensive special education placement the following steps should be followed:

  • Inform parents of the transition process and timelines including the school calendar.
  • Inform the LEA contact person of the need for transition coordination.
  • Hold an IEP meeting prior to Kindergarten or first grade placement.
  • Assist the family with registration packets.
  • Assist the family with changes in transportation, if applicable.


Click here to download and print "Procedures Guide-Preschool"