Part C Eligibility
Part C eligibility is determined by each state's definition of an infant or toddler with a disability (34 CFR §303.21) which must include: an infant or toddler with a developmental delay and an infant or toddler with diagnosed physical or mental conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental delay.
Developmental delay is "measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures" to determine the developmental functioning in each of the 5 developmental areas: cognitive, physical including vision and hearing, communication, social or emotional, and adaptive.
Included in the evaluation process is the use of the informed clinical opinion of professionals experienced with development of infants and toddlers.
An infant or toddler with diagnosed physical or mental conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental delay include such conditions as chromosomal abnormalities; genetic or congenital disorders; sensory impairments; inborn errors of metabolism; disorders reflecting disturbance of the development of the nervous system; congenital infections; severe attachment disorders; and disorders secondary to exposure to toxic substances, including fetal alcohol syndrome.
States may choose to serve children at risk for disabilities in their eligibility definition (34 CFR §303.21).
State and Jurisdictional Eligibility Definitions for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities under IDEA Part C
This database of State and Jurisdictional Eligibility Definitions for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Under IDEA Part C provides information about the state and jurisdictional eligibility policies.Get Started
Part C Eligibility Resources
This OSEP page provides a series of Implementation Technical Assistance Guides that identify strategies and highlight resources and best practices for ensuring that families have equitable access to IDEA Part C services.
See also: Tools for Improving Child Find
The Biden-Harris Administration Promotes Access to Early Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (2022)
In this blog post, the Department of Education details work to ensure that every child who needs individualized and high-quality early intervention services receives them as early as possible, calling on Congress to double funding for these services, and promoting informational guides for early childhood stakeholders to promote innovative and effective strategies for identifying and serving all children eligible for early intervention services.
Part C Child Count data is one measure that can assist states in determining performance related to early identification and provision of services to children with disabilities. Part C Child Count data reports reflect the number of children with IFSPs served by each state (for example, ages birth–1, 1–2, 2–3 and birth–3) and includes the National Average in each of these categories and over multiple years.
OSEP Fast Facts: IDEA Section 618 Data Collected on Children with Disabilities Served Under IDEA, Part C During the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic (2023)
This series presents data collected on infants and toddler services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This infographic depicts the FFY 2018 618 child count and settings data that is gathered yearly by OSEP.
ITCA provides historical and yearly on state child counts by state for ages birth–1 and birth–3.
Informed Clinical Opinion (2012)
This NECTAC publication describes what informed clinical opinion means in the context of Part C.