Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Section 619 of IDEA


Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorizes additional preschool formula grants to states that are eligible for grants under Section 611 of Part B. States are eligible if they make free appropriate public education (FAPE) available to all children with disabilities, ages three through five. While not mandatory, all states are currently providing IDEA services to preschool aged children. IDEA funds can be used to provide services to two-year old children with disabilities who will turn three during the school year, if consistent with state policy.

State Programs


IDEA directs state’s provision of services to children ages 3-12. Section 619 of the IDEA pertains to children ages 3-5. The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), through Part B of IDEA, provides formula grants to states to assist them in providing a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities ages three through 21 (Part B, Sections 611 and 619).


In the Preschool Grants Program (Section 619 of Part B of IDEA), federal funds are allocated to the state education agency in each state to support the delivery of special education and related services to individuals with disabilities ages three through five. Specific regulations related to financial matters are contained in both general regulations for Part B and in specific regulations for Section 619. Part B regulations related to financing.


State administration focuses on the IDEA and how it is implemented by states. Each state that receives IDEA funds, establishes rules, regulations, and policies for the administration of the law, including the Section 619 program. These programs must comply with the federal IDEA rules and requirements and their state rules and requirements. Each state has a Section 619 Coordinator that oversees the program in their state.


States receiving IDEA funds must have a State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) that evaluates their efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of Parts B and C of the IDEA and reports annually on their performance. Children with disabilities ages three through five are included in many of the reporting indicators, including the three indicators specific to 619, Indicator B6-Educational Environments 3-5, Indicator B7-Early Childhood Outcomes, and Indicator B12-Early Childhood Transition. States also report yearly child find and educational environments in what is known as 618 reporting. States report on the number and percent of children served in various eligibility categories, as well as the environments where children with disabilities attend and receive special education and related services.


Children with disabilities ages three through five are afforded the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Key principles and practices guide the key areas related to service delivery, which includes locating all children eligible for services, and developing and implementing an individualized educational program defining the supports and services that are tailored to each child’s strengths and needs.

Related Topics

  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2020 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute