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Early Start - Federal and State Statutes and Regulations

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C; California Early Intervention Services Act; and Title 17

Early Start - Federal and State Statutes and Regulations

This document was updated in 2015. It is a compilation of the federal and state statutes and regulations, below, that authorize, fund, and regulate Early Start. This program serves infants and toddlers who have a developmental delay or disability or have an established risk condition with harmful developmental consequences for a developmental disability and their families.

California Early Start was developed in response to federal legislation authorizing states to maintain and implement statewide interagency systems that provide early intervention services. The Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities was enacted in 1986 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 20; U.S.C., Section 1431 et seq.). IDEA, Part C, was reauthorized by Congress in 1997 with the law becoming effective July 1, 1998. Final federal regulations became effective in March of 1999 and are found in Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 303. For more information, please visit The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.

The California State Legislature passed the California Early Intervention Services Act in 1993 (CEISA; 14 G.C. Section 95000 et seq.). CEISA established state authority to develop an early intervention service system that was congruent with federal requirements. The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) plans, develops, implements, and monitors the statewide early intervention services system in collaboration with the California Department of Education (CDE), and with advice and assistance from the State Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC). The Departments of Public Health, Health Care Services, and Social Services cooperate and coordinate with DDS and CDE in the delivery of early intervention services.

State regulations governing Early Start were approved in August of 1998 and are found in Title 17, California Code of Regulations, Section 52000 through 52175.

Last Updated: 3/2/2018