Early Start Due Process Hearing Requests

The purpose of the due process procedures is to resolve disagreements between families and a regional center and/or local education agency (LEA) related to a proposal or refusal for identification, evaluation, assessment, placement, or services. Early Start is for infants and toddlers under the age of three who have a developmental disability or delay as defined by law. Early Start is governed by Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act:

Any party seeking state level action on a disagreement falling into the category noted above may file a request for a due process hearing by filing a Due Process Hearing Request form-DS 1802 English | Spanish

This form may also be obtained from the regional center, LEA or the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). In addition, a letter of request is accepted by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in lieu of the request form if all the pertinent information is submitted and the letter is signed by the requester.

The Due Process Hearing Request should be filed with:

Office of Administrative Hearings Attention: Early Start Intervention Section 2349 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 200 Sacramento, CA 95833-4231

Voice: 800-515-BABY (2229) Fax: 916-376-6318 Alternate Fax: 916-263-0549

The due process hearing will be completed within 30 days from the receipt of the request by OAH. The timely issuance of the written decision may not be delayed by any informal local efforts occurring at the same time to resolve the matter. The decision will be final unless appealed to the superior court of appropriate jurisdiction.

While all parties are encouraged to resolve differences at the lowest administrative level possible, informal resolution(s) may occur at the same time that a request for Due Process Hearing and/or a Complaint is filed.

The Parents' Rights: An Early Start Guide for Families

The “Parents’ Rights: An Early Start Guide for Families” booklet provides in-depth information about procedural safeguards available to assure services are provided in a manner appropriate to the child’s needs and the concerns of the family. If additional information is needed, contact your regional center, LEA, or the Early Start Program at 1-800-515-2229 or send an e-mail to: earlystart@dds.ca.gov.


Last modified: February 8, 2021