Extended Part C Option (for Services Beyond Age 3)
On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 into law (P.L. 1163-94). This bill provided $477 million for Part C, which allows the Department to reserve up to $2.55 million for State Incentive Grants in FY 2020. In any fiscal year in which the appropriation for Part C exceeds $460 million, the statute includes authority for the Department to reserve 15 percent of the amount above $460 million for a State Incentive Grants program.
The purpose of this program is to provide funding to assist States that have elected to extend eligibility for Part C services to children with disabilities aged 3 years until entrance into kindergarten or elementary school, or for a portion of this period. No State can receive more than 20 percent of the amount available for State Incentive Grants in a fiscal year and awards are based on the relative population of the States that apply.
National Webinar: State Strategies for Seamless Service Delivery and Transition: Implementing the Extended Part C Option (2018)
The Extended Part C Option is contained in the IDEA Part C regulations. The policy was designed to provide states the flexibility to allow toddlers who would be eligible to receive services under Part B, Section 619 to remain in early intervention after the age of three. The District of Columbia and Maryland share their rationale for deciding to use the option and their implementation approaches.
Policies and procedures for Maryland's Extended IFSP Option are incorporated into their regulations for the Infants & Toddlers Program (COMAR 13A.13.01 and 13A.13.02). Under this option, the child and family would continue to receive early intervention services with an educational component that promotes school readiness and incorporates pre-literacy, language, and numeracy skills through an IFSP until the child's 4th birthday.
See also: Technical Assistance Bulletin on Effective Transition Practices: Supporting Family Choice at Age 3 (2017), Maryland State Department of Education
Issues considered in this document include finance, issues, service provision and personnel development, family impacts and data system/monitoring implications.