Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Financing Strategies and Collaborative Funding

Many collaborative strategies, sample interagency agreements, planning tools, and funding sources exist to assist states and communities in providing inclusive preschool special education services. Additional information related to financing IDEA Part C and Section 619 services can be found on the ECTA Center's topic page on Finance.

Preschool Inclusion Finance Toolkit

PDF: Preschool Inclusion Finance Toolkit 2018

ECTA’s 2018 update of the finance toolkit contains more details and examples of funding requirements and strategies that promote early childhood inclusion. (February 4, 2019) Worksheets included in this toolkit:

Planning Tools and Self-Assessments

State Examples of Planning Tools and Self-Assessments

  • WWW: Basic Needs Assessment and Planning Resources (CCIP) (revised, 2009) This Ohio Department of Education document includes resources to use in doing a district/agency needs assessment and plan for the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) such as: 1) a link to a step-by-step needs assessment process with many resources, 2) a list of the current federal/AYP goals, 3) a list of basic data analysis questions, 4) a matrix of CCIP plan requirements, and 5) a list of all the prewritten strategies available in the CCIP.
  • Preschool Service Options Considered in Wisconsin (2011-2012) developed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction was designed for use in gathering data about current placement options and considering ways to increase the number of available placement options in your State.
  • Definitions of Preschool Options (2011-2012) accompanies the document above and provides definitions for terms references in the description considerations.

Collaborative Strategies

State Example of Collaborative Strategies


Local Examples of Collaborative Strategies

  • Supporting Early Education Delivery Systems (SEEDS) - Looking for the SEEDS Project? Unfortunately, the program no longer exists and the online content has been retired. For questions or information regarding Self Review, please e-mail Also, consider visiting the Seeds of Partnership website:WWW:
  • pdf: Financing a Birth to Five Program: The Appleton Area School District Model (2011), by Matthews, H. This Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) paper examines one school district's use of funds from Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to provide services for very young at-risk children, noting that Title I funds may be used for children beginning at birth and can be an important part of a comprehensive birth-five program in a community.

Interagency Agreements

To develop a system of collaborative services, state agencies rely on agreements between involved parties.

Resources below provide specific details related to collaborative funding to promote inclusion.

State Examples of Interagency Agreements

New Jersey
West Virginia
  • West Virginia Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources provides WWW: templates, samples and instructions for developing local early childhood interagency agreements and collaborative procedures that can be adapted as desired to meet local needs. See also their template on PDF: Resource Sharing (Posted 5/12/11 which includes sample charts for articulating resources to be shared, with or without cost delineation, by each participating agency.)

Local Example of Interagency Agreements


Northside Independent School District (NISD) of San Antonio, Texas has three separate agreements for the various inclusive placement options available for children ages 3-5 with the following:

  1. NISD/Community Based Program;
  2. Head Start, and
  3. NISD employees which is tuition based.

Funding Streams and Accountability

A tab labeled "Grants & Funding" can be found on the WWW: U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website. There you will find information about the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) three formula grant programs authorized by the IDEA. These formula grants are awarded to states annually to support early-intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, preschool children ages three through five, and special education for children and youth with disabilities.

For more details on IDEA finance regulations pertaining to preschool, visit the ECTA webpage on Section 619 Finance Regulations.

  • 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