THE TRANSITION PROCESS
Is your child receiving services from Strong Start? Transition begins after your child reaches 2 years 6 months. Strong Start invites Early Stages and you, the parent, to a transition meeting. This meeting includes information about the process and special education services in school.
Early Stages then schedules two meetings: an evaluation and an eligibility meeting. You must provide consent before the evaluation. The evaluation begins with a review of child records. It may also include observations and assessments. The eligibility meeting determines if your child qualifies for services in school. If eligible, your child can receive services several ways:
- Individualized Education Program (IEP) services in a public school
- Extended Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) services from Strong Start
- A services plan in a private or religious school
IEP services cannot begin until your child’s third birthday. Extended IFSP services continue until the start of the school year after your child turns 4. You can end extended IFSP services earlier to enroll your child in school. When IFSP services end, Strong Start refers your child to Early Stages. Early Stages then updates the IEP and offers your child a seat at a DCPS school.
Strong Start service coordinators can answer questions about transition or IFSPs.
- Children receiving services from Strong Start may not be eligible for IEP services from DCPS.
- IEP services are offered to your child only if your child is found eligible through the special education evaluation process.
- IEP services may be different from Strong Start services.
- The extended option is only available to children who remain eligible for Strong Start services.