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Preschool Special Education

October 19, 2021
Early Childhood, Special Education

The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) provides special education services to children 3-5 years old. Services depend on your child’s needs and may be provided in any early childhood setting, including a preschool program, Head Start, a child care location selected by the parent, a hospital or at home, if determined appropriate.

When to Refer Children to CPSE

Children receiving Early Intervention services should be referred to CPSE for evaluation 4 months before becoming eligible to receive preschool services.

  • If your child turns 3 between January 1 and June 30, they can receive preschool services starting on January 2.
  • If your child turns 3 between July 1 and December 31, they can receive preschool services starting on July 1.

How to Refer Children to CPSE

A letter identifying your child and describing why you are referring them must be sent to the CPSE that works with families in your district. Here is a sample letter.

To find your district and information on your CPSE, call 311 or visit the NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE) website.

Next Steps

Once the CPSE receives your referral, they will mail a packet containing:

  • A notice that the referral was received
  • Consent for initial evaluation letter (C-IP letter)
  • A list of approved preschool evaluation sites in NYC

Once you receive this packet, you will need to schedule an evaluation at one of the sites.

The CPSE will schedule an IEP meeting within 60 days from the signed consent for evaluation.