New Documents to Encourage Collaboration Between State Agencies, Local Agencies and Head Start
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Head Start are releasing new documents to encourage collaboration between state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and Head Start programs to effectively meet the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements.
These documents make clear that SEAs, LEAs, and Head Start programs all have responsibilities for implementing IDEA to ensure that children with disabilities enrolled in Head Start programs receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.
The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of factors to consider when developing, implementing, and sustaining memoranda of understanding (MOUs) at the State level to create a coordinated approach to service delivery to improve outcomes for young children who are at risk for or have a developmental delay or disability.
This document has three major purposes: 1. Reminder of requirements under Part B of the IDEA to provide special education and related services to eligible preschool-aged children with disabilities; 2. Emphasize the importance of ongoing collaboration between the State educational agency (SEA), local educational agencies (LEAs), and their Head Start program partners to effectively meet IDEA requirements and ensure the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities; 3. Provide resources that may be helpful under both Parts B and C of the IDEA as well as Head Start to assist in implementing high-quality early childhood programs for all children.