The Early Childhood Special Education program provides administrative leadership and oversight for all aspects of the District’s Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program, including supervision and evaluation of ECSE staff, Child Find activities, professional development planning for ECSE staff, and the provision of related services. All children deserve a quality childhood so they become joyful, lifelong learners, active contributors to healthy communities, and productive members of society.  The goal of the Madison Metropolitan School District Early Childhood Special Education program is to provide comprehensive screening to children ages 3-5, to evaluate children using multiple assessment measures and thus implement quality Special Education services to children who qualify for Special Education in a variety of natural environments.  

For more information go to the WI DPI website: Early Childhood Special Education

Child Find Screening

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, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services.  Child Find is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify, and refer as early as possible all young children with disabilities and their families who are in need of an Early Intervention Program (Part C) or Early Childhood Special Education (Part B) services of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  IDEA requires all states to have a "comprehensive Child Find system" to assure that all children who are in need of early intervention or special education services are located, identified, and referred.

Each month, MMSD Program Support Teachers and Speech-Language Clinicians are available to screen children ages 3 to 5 and provide parents with information regarding their child’s developmental progress. An Early Childhood Request for Assistance form must be completed to participate in screening and when making a referral for an initial special education evaluation. The Child Find Information Line (608) 663-8471 is available for families if they need assistance in completing the Request for Assistance and when making an immediate referral to evaluate their child for Special Education.  For more information go to the WI DPI website: Child Find Screening

Special Education Evaluation

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), states that all local education agencies (LEA) in Wisconsin must provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) to children age 3 to 21 who have a disability.  Children are evaluated to determine if they meet Special Education Eligibility.  Early Childhood Special education programs operate under the supervision of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Special education and related service professionals may provide consultation to staff, direct services to the child, training related to the disability, and other services that are identified in the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Early Childhood Regular Education Support Team

The Early Childhood Regular Education support team is designed to provide Early Childhood Care and Education Centers and parents of children ages 3-5 with support, consultation and problem-solving.

The following are three basic types of Requests for Support that would typically be addressed:

  1. Classroom support and consultation: These may be concerns related to a specific classroom or group of children.
  2. Centerwide: Several teachers or classrooms at the center may have a similar need for support and consultation.
  3. Child specific: Staff can request support and consultation about an individual child’s development. A Request for Assistance for a Child Find Screening must be made prior to classroom observations and consultation.

What are some possible outcomes of regular education support?

  • Universal screening of all children in a community preschool program.
  • Suggestions of possible interventions to be tried by parents and center staff with an individual child or group of children, and subsequent data collected so the effectiveness of these strategies can be determined.
  • An in-service presentation or training related to a specific topic that several or most center staff may be interested in may be offered. These may be conducted by MMSD staff or other professionals in the area who are willing to share their expertise with your site.

Questions: Contact Sara Jane Lee Early Childhood Program Support Teacher at (608) 663-5975 or sjlee2@madison.k12.wi.us or the Child Find Information Line at (608 ) 663-8471