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Early Childhood Services

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The Early Childhood Special Education Program can answer questions and provide you with information about your child's development. This dedicated team of professionals provides support to families and community partners so that all children have the same learning opportunities. Free developmental screenings and/or evaluations are available to all children birth - age 5 with parental consent. A child may be eligible for services according to Nebraska Rules 51 or 52 criteria if he or she is not developing typically or has been diagnosed with a health condition that may affect his or her development.

If you have concerns about a child’s development you can contact the Early Development Network or Early Childhood Program at (308) 696-3370 to make a referral. Referral sources include health care providers, child care providers, preschool teachers, or family members. Parents or individuals fulfilling the role of a parent must have knowledge that a referral is being made. Parent permission is required to proceed in the referral process.

If your child is under the age of three, a Services Coordinator will set up a meeting with you to gather additional information, answer your questions and determine next steps.

If your child is between three-five years of age, you will be sent a packet of information to complete.  You will be contacted by one of our special education providers to determine the next steps and to answer any questions you may have.

An evaluation of your child’s skills may be completed by a team of special education providers dependent upon your concerns. Your child may be eligible for early childhood special education services according to state and federal guidelines.  If your child meets the criteria for verification, an educational team will develop an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) for children under the age of three years or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for children three-five years in age. These plans are created based on the needs of your child and family.  The most appropriate placement, as well as any necessary related services, will be determined by the IFSP/IEP team in partnership with you.

Service Providers Can Include:

  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Teachers
  • Speech/Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • School Psychologists
  • Teachers of the Hearing Impaired
  • Teachers of the Visually Impaired