Preschool Special Education
Preschool special education services are available for children ages 3 to 5 who have disabilities or delays in development that affect learning. These services are provided to eligible children free of charge by the NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE).
Committees on Preschool Special Education (CPSEs) are responsible for coordinating the special education process for preschool children. CPSEs serve families in the district where a family resides. Contact your local CPSE if you are interested in an evaluation or you wish to discuss your child's current services.
If you do not know what district you live in, call 311 or use School Search.
Enrollment in a program is based on a child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) and age.
Children Recommended for Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) and/or Related Services:
Children Recommended for Special Class or Special Class in an Integrated Setting:
- If your child is 4 years old, he/she can receive services at a NYCDOE general education pre-K program, and you should apply through the pre-K admissions process.
- If your child is 3 or 4 years old, he/she can receive services at a preschool program, Head Start, hospital, state facility, or child care location selected by the parent, or the home if determined appropriate.
You should work with your CPSE
to find an appropriate placement in a preschool special education program.
For more information, read this admissions flyer.
Related services are important in supporting your child’s academic and developmental progress. The parent letter below outlines the process for arranging preschool related services.
Transitioning from Preschool to Kindergarten
An important goal of preschool special education is to prepare a child to enter and succeed kinderparten. Children enter kindergarten in September of the calendar year when they turn 5 years old. The kindergarten transition process begins the school year before kindergarten while a child is in preschool.
Always first contact your CPSE with questions about your child's preschool services. The following contacts are also available:
Special education: SpecialEducation@schools.nyc.gov
Related services: RelatedServices@schools.nyc.gov
Transitioning to kindergarten: Turning5@schools.nyc.gov