Part C Eligibility
Part C eligibility is determined by each state's definition of developmental delay and includes children with established physical or mental conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental delay and includes conditions such 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 include children at risk for disabilities in the eligible group (34 CFR §303.21). An important part of the evaluation process for infants and toddlers includes informed clinical opinion of professionals experienced with development in the very young.
Children with an established physical or mental condition with a high probability of resulting in developmental delay are eligible for Part C. States include established conditions in their eligibility policies. While many mirror the language in the law, some states provide lists of conditions as guidance. Colorado, for example, works with a panel of physicians to maintain a database of physical or mental conditions that have a high probability of resulting in a significant level of developmental delay.
Eligibility and Service Delivery Policies: Differences Between IDEA Part C and IDEA Part B: A Comparison Chart (2016)
Compares Part C and Part B policies in the following areas: Eligibility Criteria, Eligibility Determination, Types of Services, Service Settings, Service Recipients, Parental Rights, and System of Payments. It is intended as a resource to support transition between these programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
This resource offers an Excel-based calculator that allows states to make several comparisons related to the percentage of infants and toddlers served: State percentage compared to state target, local program percentage compared to state target, and year-to-year comparisons of the state percentages. It also computes confidence intervals to determines whether the difference between the two numbers is large enough to be considered meaningful (i.e., statistically significant).
Informed Clinical Opinion (2012)
This NECTAC publication describes what informed clinical opinion means in the context of Part C.
This workbook can be used to create graphs with your state child outcomes data compared to the unweighted average of the best states (who meet the national analysis quality criteria) in the same ITCA eligibility category from the national 2012-13 data.
This study from the CDC determined the prevalence of developmental disabilities in U.S. children and in selected populations for a 12-year period.
This publication from ITCA and NCHAM describes how states determine Part C eligibility for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
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 is available for several fiscal years and reports reflect the number of Part C children served.
Summary table of states' and territories' definitions of/criteria for IDEA Part C eligibility (2015)
This chart provides links to each state or territory's definition and/or criteria for IDEA Part C eligibility.