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Part C Early Intervention, which is coordinated and delivered through a child’s school district, is an effective program for infants and toddlers who have a developmental delay or a physical or mental condition that is likely to result in delay. Part C can include physical therapy, speech therapy, and family counseling. A 2009 MINN LInK study found that one-third of children who received Part C did not need special education by 2nd or 3rd grade.
Part C could be especially beneficial for young children who are homeless. Young homeless children experience delays at four times the rate of other children. Yet in 2014, the Minnesota Department of Education reported that only 8 homeless infants and toddlers were referred to Part C out of an estimated 840 infants and toddlers who are homeless on any given night (Wilder Research, 2012). One way to ensure young homeless children receive the services they need is to make them automatically eligible for Part C. Unfortunately, the state legislature failed to pass this legislation in 2013 and 2015.
Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota believes strongly in Part C Early Intervention and wants to ensure that children and their families, including those experiencing homelessness, can connect with critical early intervention services.
For more information, please visit the Minnesota Department of Education Early Learning website.