Early Childhood Special Education
The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) section is responsible for ensuring that a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is available and provided to all children with disabilities ages 3-5 in Arkansas. The ECSE section monitors special education programs for compliance with state and federal regulations and provides technical assistance for program improvement. The primary focus of the ECSE section is improving educational results for children with disabilities and ensuring that all Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) meet the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) program requirements.
Do you suspect a disability?
Any person who has knowledge of a child and suspects a delay in development, can make a referral to consider special education and related services. A delay would be suspected if the child is not meeting typical developmental milestones. This determination can be made by referencing age expected behaviors. There are many sources for developmental milestones including:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Milestone Tracker App
- Arkansas Child Development and Early Learning Standards: Birth through 60 Months
- Arkansas Child Find
Who do I contact if I suspect a disability?
The local ECSE program is responsible for locating, evaluating, and, if the child qualifies, providing special education and related services for children ages 3-5 in the state of Arkansas. Services for eligible children are provided through the local school district or area educational cooperative.
If you have questions concerning the contact for your area, please contact the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Education Unit Early Childhood Special Education program at (501) 682-4221.
Where are services provided?
Services for students can be provided at any location that best meets the needs of the child and family. Locations can include
- Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) programs,
- Head Start programs,
- Licensed Childcare Facilities, or
- other locations where the child spends the day.
If you are looking for a licensed child care facility within the state, the Division of Child Care has created a search tool to aid in this process.
For more information, please contact:
Early Childhood 619 Program Coordinator
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201
- Procedures for Hearing Screening and Follow-Up
- Kindergarten Transition Process
- Least Restrictive Environment (Dear Colleague Letter)
- Transportation Q&A (OSERS)
- Child Care Aware
- Child Abuse Hotline
- Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy)
- Behavior Help
- Arkansas Poison and Drug Information Center (APDIC)
- Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA)
- Special Education Process Guide
- Local EC Coordinators
- First Connections (Birth-3)