Early Childhood Special Education (3-5)


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:

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

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.