A Prekindergarten child with a Developmental Delay means a child ages three to five whose developmental progress is delayed to the extent that a program of special education is required to ensure adequate preparation for school age experiences. Children must meet eligibility requirements established by the State Department of Education in accordance with state and federal law. Children enter the screening and evaluation process by referral from an agency, parent, or guardian.

Eligibility Criteria: Developmental Delay

A. There is evidence that the child is exhibiting a significant developmental delay in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, adaptive behavior development.

B. The adverse effects of the developmental delay on the child’s educational performance requires specialized instruction and/ or related services.

C. Evidence to meet the disability criteria:

  1. A comprehensive norm- referenced or criterion- referenced developmental evaluation that assesses all five areas (physical, cognitive, communication, social/ emotional, and adaptive behavior development) and that yields scores that are at least two standard deviations below the mean (+/- the standard error of measurement) in one area or at least one and a half standard deviations below the mean (+/- the standard error of measurement) in two or more areas.
  2. A developmental history of the child that includes a summary of his or her demographic, developmental, educational and medical history obtained from a parent or primary caregiver through an interview process.
  3. A structured observation of the child in a typical or otherwise appropriate setting (wherever the child spends the majority of his/ her day) by a member(s) of the multidisciplinary evaluation team.  The setting might include the home, daycare, or classroom.
  4. The multidisciplinary evaluation team must include the members of the IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate.

Child Find Screening Process

Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities ages 3 to 21 who are in need of special education services. It is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening, and evaluation to locate, identify, and refer children as early as possible.


A screening is a series of short tests and professional observations in the developmental areas. Children who demonstrate significant educational impact in the screening process are recommended to receive an in-depth evaluation.

Evaluations are comprehensive tests and professional observations which may occur over a period of time. Children are not asked to participate in a comprehensive evaluation unless the screening process indicates a potential disability.

If determined that the child has a disability and is in need of special education services, an Individualized Education Plan is developed to address the child’s educational needs. Services may include but are not limited to specialized instruction, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.