Early Intervention Policy/Procedure - Chapter 14 - Transition/Extended Services - 03/09/22

Chapter 14.0 Transition And Extended Services

14.1 Transition policies and procedures ensure a smooth transition between the EI Program under Part C and early childhood special education services (ECSE) under Part B or other appropriate services for all infants and toddlers with disabilities under the age of three who have been receiving EI services and their families.

A "toddler that may be eligible for preschool services under Part B" means any toddler in the EI Program at 25 months of age that has not yet achieved his/her IFSP developed functional outcomes determined by the IFSP team.

A report of all children with an active IFSP at 25 months of age will be securely transferred to ISBE for dissemination to all LEAs serving the child. The CFC must ensure that Transition Steps and Services as well as the Transition Planning Conference activities are appropriately completed no sooner than nine (9) months and no later than 90 days prior to a child's third birthday. ISBE and EI recommend that any necessary evaluations for early childhood special education (Part B) eligibility determination and IEP development be completed at least two weeks prior to the child's third birthday, when the child might be eligible for Early Intervention/Extended Services (EI/ES).

Service Coordinators should review the child's information to determine if they might be eligible for EI/ES upon enrollment in the EI Program. Prescription information must also be reviewed to determine if an extended time frame was included or if new prescriptions need to be obtained. See Section 14.7 regarding procedures for supporting the EI/ES option and move forward with transition as outlined if the child is eligible for this option. A family who is receiving EI services whose child meets all three criteria below, will be able to choose to continue EI/ES beyond the child's third birthday until the start of the next school year following the child's third birthday as outlined in 34 C.F.R. § 303.211 (a)(2)(i) and 325 IL CS Section 11, SB0820-002. If, in the same calendar year, a child's third birthday occurs after the start of that school year, the child will not be eligible for EI/ES.

14.2 This option for extended services through Part C to children over age three applies only if the child:

  • Has been determined eligible for early intervention with services identified and consented to on the IFSP, and
  • has their third birthday between May 1 and August 31 and
  • has been found eligible for early childhood special education services under IDEA and Section 14-8.02 of Public Act 102-0209 (Section 11h) and created an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

No later than six (6) months prior to the child's third birthday, the Service Coordinator shall begin to communicate with the child's family about transition. If a toddler may be eligible for preschool services under Part B, the Service Coordinator, with parental consent, will transmit additional information to the LEA or other relevant agency to ensure continuity of services from the Part C Program (EI) to the Part B Program (ECSE). The appropriate information in the EIDMS should be updated as needed during transition.

14.2.1 If the parent agrees to participation in transition activities, obtain written parental consent on the Child and Family Connections Consent to Release of Information form to make transition referrals and to share information from the child's CFC permanent case record with the LEA and/or other community program(s) that the child may transition to.

NOTE: The end date on the consent form to make referrals and to share information for transition purposes should be three months past the child's birthday or three months past the start of the new school year, if extended services are an option.

14.2.2 Families cannot re-enter the EI Program once they exit after the child has reached age three. If a child's case is closed prior to the child's third birthday, the consent to make referrals and to share information for transition purposes is still valid until the end date identified on the consent form.

14.2.3 If a toddler may be eligible for preschool services under Part B, but the parent(s) declines a referral to the LEA, document in the Service Coordinator case notes and update the information in the EIDMS appropriately.

NOTE: The Early Intervention to Early Childhood Transition Tracking form cannot be shared with anyone unless the parent has given informed, written consent.

14.2.4 If the toddler may be eligible for preschool services under Part B and the parent(s) provides consent for a referral to the LEA, complete the CFC section of the Early Intervention to Early Childhood Transition Tracking form. Send the form and additional information (i.e., referral packet) to the LEA, including a copy of the most recent evaluation(s) and assessment(s) of the child and the family and the most recent IFSP. Send a copy of the Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois book or disc to the family or provide a link to the English and Spanish documents at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Special-Education-Parent-Rights.aspx.

14.2.5 If a child whose parent(s) provided consent exits the EI Program prior to age three, notify the LEA prior to closing the child's case if a transition referral has already been made. If the notification is not made prior to closing the case, the Service Coordinator may still notify the LEA up to the end date identified on the Child and Family Connections Consent for Release of Information form. After the end date identified on the consent form, either the Service Coordinator or the LEA representative must obtain a new written consent from the family to allow the release of information from the CFC to the LEA.

14.2.6 When a child is determined eligible for EI services more than 45 days but less than 90 days before his/her third birthday and may be eligible for preschool under Part B services, the CFC must ensure the following steps are taken:

  • Within the required timelines:
  • Initial evaluations
  • Initial assessments
  • Initial IFSP team meeting
  • Initiation of services
  • If the family consents to transition:
  • Be sure to begin the transition process as soon as possible after determining the child's eligibility.
  • Complete the appropriate section of the Early Intervention to Early Childhood Transition Tracking form and forward it to the LEA.
  • Update the information in the EIDMS appropriately.

NOTE: A transition planning conference is recommended but not required, all other transition steps must be followed.

NOTE: For children with birthdates between May 1 and August 31, transition steps must include ECSE evaluation/determination in order to allow consideration of EI/ES as outlined in 34 C.F.R. § 303.211 (a)(2)(i) and 325 IL CS Section 11, SB0820-002.

14.2.7 When a child is referred less than 45 days before his/her third birthday:

  • Explain to the family that initial evaluations, initial assessment and the initial IFSP team meeting are not required due to system timelines,
  • Explain to the family the potential benefits and challenges of pursuing EI services so the parent has information to make an informed decision on how to proceed and,
  • If that child may be eligible for ECSE under Part B, with written parental consent, refer the child to the LEA where the child resides and notify the EI Data Manager, who will notify the SEA/LEA and complete the following:
    • Provide the parent with the contact information for LEA in order for parent to directly request evaluation from Part B,
    • In addition, have the parent sign the Child and Family Connections Consent for Release of Information form to allow directory information to be forwarded to both the LEA and the SEA,
    • Complete the Early Intervention to Early Childhood Transition Tracking form, if possible
    • Send a copy of the Early Childhood Transition Tracking form to the LEA, if completed and
    • If parental consent has been obtained using Child and Family Connections Consent to Use Personally Identifiable Information (PII) & Bill Public Benefits, update the information in the EIDMS appropriately and complete Service Coordinator case notes.

14.3 Transition Notification

14.3.1 For toddlers with a disability who may be eligible for preschool services under Part B, transition notification is sent to ISBE by IDHS, at 25 months of age, then sent to the LEA by ISBE in the area in which the toddler resides. Transition notification includes the following information for toddlers that may be eligible for preschool services under Part B: 1) the child's name, 2) date of birth, 3) parent contact information (including parents' names, addresses, telephone numbers) and 4) family's primary language.

14.3.2 When a child who is referred for EI services more than 45 days but less than 90 days before his/her third birthday may be eligible for preschool services under Part B, transition notification will be sent by IDHS as soon as possible after the child's eligibility is determined.

14.3.3 When a child is referred for EI services fewer than 45 days before his/her third birthday and may be eligible for ECSE under Part B, with parental consent, the CFC office should notify the LEA in the area where the toddler resides.

14.3.4 Transition notification is sent by IDHS, with confirmation noted in the EIDMS and included in the child's IFSP, for all children referred to the EI Program more than 45 days before their third birthday.

14.3.5 If a documented Family Exceptional Circumstance (a situation beyond the family's control) exists or the parent has not provided consent to hold a Transition Planning Conference, the CFC must enter the appropriate delay code.

14.4 Transition Steps and Services in the IFSP

14.4.1 The Service Coordinator should facilitate an IFSP team meeting to establish or update a transition plan in the child's IFSP. The transition plan should include the steps the toddler and his/her family will take to exit the EI Program and the transition services necessary to support the family's connection to services and programs available for children who are three.

14.4.2 IFSP team meetings for the purpose of developing/updating a transition plan and transition outcomes must be held not fewer than 90 days and, at the discretion of all parties, not more than nine (9) months before the toddler's third birthday. It must include steps for the toddler with a disability and his/her family to exit the EI Program and any transition services needed by that toddler and his/her family. The transition steps and services must be in the IFSPs of all children exiting the EI Program not fewer than 90 days before the child's third birthday.

14.4.3 The transition plan in the IFSP should identify the steps to be taken and any other appropriate services to be provided to support a smooth transition including:

  1. discussions with, and training of, parents (as appropriate) regarding future placements and other matters related to the child's transition;
  2. procedures to prepare the child for changes in service delivery, including steps to help the child adjust to, and function in, a new setting;
  3. confirmation that Child Find information, included in the 25-month list, about the child has been transmitted by IDHS to the LEA including:
    1. Listing the same date, the 25-month list was generated in the EIDMS for a child referred more than 45 days before his/her third birthday or
    2. If the child has been referred fewer than 45 days before his/her third birthday, and parental consent was received, list the date the Service Coordinator sent the Early intervention to Early Childhood Tracking form to the LEA.
  4. confirmation that additional information needed by the LEA to ensure continuity of services from the Part C program to the Part B program has been sent to the LEA, listing the same date in the EIDMS that the referral packet was sent, and
  5. identification of transition services and other activities that the IFSP team determines are necessary to support the transition of the child.

14.5 Transition Planning Conference

14.5.1 With the consent of the family, a transition planning conference is convened for all toddlers that may be eligible for preschool services under Part B not fewer than 90 days and, at the discretion of all parties, not more than 9 months before the child's third birthday to discuss any services the toddler may receive under Part B.

14.5.2 If the child is not potentially eligible for ECSE services under Part B or if the family declined transition to ECSE services under Part B, the Service Coordinator will, with written parental consent, make reasonable efforts to convene a conference with the IFSP team to discuss appropriate services that the toddler may receive.

14.5.3 The transition planning conference and the IFSP team meeting to develop the Transition Plan may be combined into one meeting. If held within 120 days of the toddler's third birthday, the meeting can also be used to discuss and document progress towards IFSP functional outcomes and EI Levels of Development/Child Outcomes.

14.5.4 At the transition planning conference, ensure the following activities occur:

  • Provide parents with information about preschool services under Part B including:
  • A description of Part B eligibility definitions;
  • State timelines and processes for consenting to an evaluation and conducting eligibility determinations under Part B, and
  • The availability of special education and related services.

14.5.5 Record the meeting in Service Coordinator case notes as well as complete the necessary fields on the appropriate screen in the EIDMS.

14.5.6 The LEA has an obligation under the law to participate in Transition Planning Conferences. Service Coordinator case notes must reflect efforts to obtain LEA participation. Whether or not the LEA participates, the conference must occur.

14.6 Requirements for the IFSP team meeting to develop the Transition Steps and Services & Requirements for the Transition Planning Conference

14.6.1 The IFSP team meeting to develop the transition steps and services and the transition planning conference must be held in settings and at times that are convenient for the family and in the native language of the family or other mode of communication used by the family unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.

14.6.2 Meeting arrangements must be made with written notice provided by the CFC to the family and other participants early enough before the meeting date to ensure that they will be able to attend.

14.6.3 The Transition plan is developed in partnership with the family and other team members, ensuring that the plan is fully understood by all The LEA must be invited to the transition conference. Best practice is to have the LEA attend so everything possible must be done to secure LEA attendance. In the event the LEA cannot be in attendance, the CFC should proceed with the transition conference. Service Coordinator case notes must reflect efforts to obtain LEA participation.

14.6.4 In addition to the LEA, the transition planning conference must include the following participants: the parent or parents of the child, other family members as requested by the parent if feasible to do so, an advocate or person outside the family if the family requests that person participates, the Service Coordinator, the DCFS case manager (if child is engaged with DCFS), a person or persons directly involved in conducting evaluations and assessments, and as appropriate, persons who will be providing EI services to the child or family. If a person or persons directly involved in conducting evaluations and assessments is unable to attend a meeting, arrangements must be made for the person's involvement through other means, including one of the following: participating in a telephone conference or making pertinent records available at the meeting (i.e., providing, with parental consent, the most recent evaluation(s) and/or assessment(s) of the child, if not already provided in the referral packet).

Note: If child is DCFS involved, please notify the DCFS case manager if the child's date of birth allows consideration for EI/ES, so the case manager can follow up with the foster parents as needed.

14.6.5 If a person or persons directly involved in conducting evaluations and assessments is unable to attend the transition planning conference, attempts to secure his/her attendance should be documented in Service Coordinator case notes.

14.7 EI/ES Services

14.7.1 A family who is receiving EI services whose child meets all three criteria below, will have the option to continue EI/ES beyond the child's third birthday until the start of the next school year following the child's third birthday as outlined in 34 C.F.R. § 303.211 (a)(2)(i) and 325 IL CS Section 11, SB0820-002. If, in the same calendar year, a child's third birthday occurs after the start of that school year, the child will not be eligible for EI/ES.

14.7.2 This extension of Part C to children over age three applies only if the child:

  • Has been determined eligible for early intervention with services identified and consented to on the IFSP, and
  • has their third birthday between May 1 and August 31 and
  • has been found eligible for early childhood special education services under IDEA and Section 14-8.02 of Public Act 102-0209 (Section 11h).

14.7.3 Service Coordinators must provide families with a copy of the Parent Rights brochure and Early Intervention/Extended Services Parent Information Notice no later than the timely transition planning conference or as soon as possible if the nine (9) months to 90-day timeline prior to the child's third birthday has already passed. All the requirements for transition planning are the same for Part C and Part B. Once the child has been determined to be eligible for Part B and the Individualized Education Program (IEP) has been developed, the family will be able to choose how they would like to proceed. More details regarding late referrals are available in section 14.8.1.

14.7.4 If a family chooses to continue with EI through the EI/ES option, the planned services outlined on their current IFSP will remain in effect. If a service has not been previously scheduled and the family and provider are able to determine an appropriate schedule, the service should begin as outlined on the current IFSP. If the child has a pending medical diagnostic and an appointment is available while the family is utilizing EI/ES, the appointment can be authorized. If there are open authorizations for AT devices and the item hasn't been delivered, authorizations can be extended through June 30th of the given year. This will allow time for delivery, set up and any necessary training/coaching needed to appropriately implement the device.

14.7.5 Families cannot re-enter the EI Program once they exit after the child has reached age three. It is important to review the IL EI/ES Parent Notification form with families, including the information about the child's eligibility for Extended School Year (ESY) services. If the child is not eligible for ESY as determined by the child's IEP team under Part B, services from the school will not start until the implementation date on the child's IEP. This means that if a parent does not elect to continue in the EI Program, they will not receive services from the EI Program or from their school over the summer. For all families with children who qualify for EI/ES, regardless of the choice made, the EI Program must have the parent (s) review and sign the EI/ES LEA Consent for Services before the child's third birthday. Review the signed CFC Consent for Release of Information for children who are potentially eligible for EI/ES to ensure that the consent for disclosure date is set for three months past the start of the new school year. This will enable continued collaboration, if necessary.

14.8 EI/ES and Late Referrals

14.8.1 Children who meet the criteria for EI/Es services and who enter EI less than 90 days but greater than 45 days before their third birthday will be considered to be eligible for ECSE services with Part B on an interim basis until the LEA completes eligibility determination for ECSE services and will be covered within a Memorandum of Understanding between the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois State Board of Education. There is more information regarding the Dispute Resolution process outlined in 14.20. This eligibility exception includes children who:

  1. qualify for EI/ES based on their birth date, and
  2. are referred to Part C between 90 and 45 days before their third birthday.
  3. have been determined eligible for early intervention with services identified and consented to on the IFSP,

NOTE: Children referred to EI 45 days (or less) prior to their third birthday will, in most cases, be referred directly to Part B for evaluation and not be eligible for services with EI.

14.8.2 If the child is determined to be eligible for ECSE services under Part B, the family must be given the EI/ES LEA Consent for Services form. If the child is ineligible for ECSE services under Part B, the family will exit the Part C EI Program after the family receives written prior notice from the LEA that the child is not eligible for Part B. Ineligible children may continue with services in Part C EI services until the day before their third birthday. For families with children who are not eligible for Part B, if the family exercises their rights as identified in Procedural Safeguards in Special Education regarding the eligibility determination, Part C EI services will continue during the pendency of proceedings for that determination of the results. Regardless of eligibility determination status, EI/ES services will end at the start of the new school year.

14.8.3 LEAs are required to offer Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) at age three. When children are referred to the LEA more than 45 days prior to their third birthday, the LEA must complete the evaluation and develop the IEP for eligible children prior to their birthdate. If they are referred less than 45 days from their third birthday, eligibility and any necessary plans must be completed within a 60-school day timeline.

In rare circumstances, regardless of whether the referral to the Part C EI Program was late, if the eligibility determination by the LEA is delayed and the child is "pending special education determination" when the child turns three, the family may continue in the Part C EI Program until ECSE, Part B eligibility determination is completed, or the new school year begins. In these circumstances the family must make the child available for evaluation and provide consent for the eligibility determination process with their LEA, or they will need to exit the Part C EI Program after the child's third birthday.

NOTE: If a parent declines or doesn't complete consent for the initial evaluation as requested by the LEA or if they do not participate in scheduled evaluations/assessments, this negates their right to extend Part C EI services past their third birthday.

14.9 Directory Information

As required by Section 303.209(b) of IDEA, directory information about each child who is potentially eligible will be transmitted to the SEA and the LEA where the child resides or the responsible school district at least 90 days before age three (when applicable).

  • Directory information includes the child's name, date of birth, parent(s) name(s), address, and telephone number at this time. Once we are able to update the system, additional information will be included, such as the name and contact information for the family's Service Coordinator, and whether the child resides with a parent or foster family, and the language spoken by the family.
  • The 25-month list will also indicate whether the parent approved of including their LEA in transition planning on the EI/ES LEA Consent for Services.
  • The child's information and parent contact information are available to LEAs via the Early Childhood Tracking System in the Student Information System (SIS).

14.10 Reporting

Refer to Termination Codes & Uses to determine what information should be entered into the EIDMS.

14.11 Local School Districts and Transition Planning

14.11.1 Even if information has been shared with a local school district through a release of documents or by the notification process explained above, a parent still must consent to include their LEA in transition planning.

When a child is within nine months of their third birthday and prior to the age of two years, six months, the CFC Consent to Release Information should be reviewed to verify that the school district was included. If not, a EI/ES LEA Consent for Services should be completed. This form must be signed by a parent and sent to the LEA to indicate that the parent wants their school district to begin the process to determine whether their child will be eligible for early childhood special education when they turn three.

14.11.2 An EI surrogate or foster parent may sign the consent form. See Chapter 8 regarding procedures for DCFS - Children in Care. If necessary, ISBE will also assign a surrogate for the child. The surrogate parent appointed by ISBE has statutory authority to receive all records related to the child and may request them from the EI Program. This may be in addition to records that may have already been sent to the LEA or school district. The EI surrogate or foster parent should sign a release for all requested documents.

14.11.3 The date that the Early Intervention to Early Childhood Tracking form is sent to the school district should be documented in Case Notes and updated in the early intervention data management system appropriately. A copy of the form and any attachments should be sent to the school district within a week of the consent being signed or as soon as the child is at least 2 years and nine months of age, depending on the timing of the IFSP meeting. Any updated documents can be sent later as covered by the valid consent if information is sent prior to the end date on the consent form. When the school district receives the Early Intervention to Early Childhood Tracking form, they may acknowledge receipt of the form by contacting the family. As long as the tracking form is received in a timely manner and a transition planning conference is held on time (more than 90 days before age three) the school district must ensure that the eligibility determination and the IEP if the child is eligible, are completed by the child's third birthday. School districts may request scheduling a planning and placement team prior to the end of the school year to address the needs for children with summer birthdays.

14.12 Revoking Approval to Include the Local School District in Transition Planning

14.12.1 If, after completing the consent form, a parent chooses not to include the school district in transition planning, exits the EI Program, or moves from one district to another school district, whenever possible, the LEA who received the initial consent should be advised that the approval is being revoked. The updated information should be entered in the EIDMS.

14.12.2 In the case of a family who has moved to a new school district in Illinois, a new Early Intervention to Early Childhood Tracking form should be completed and sent to the new school district. The new address and responsible LEA should be updated in the EIDMS so that the child's name will display on the correct LEA data report.

14.12.3 Revoking approval without moving or exiting will not remove a child's name from the electronic reports to the school district.

14.13 Transition Conferences with LEAs

14.13.1 If a parent has signed the Early Intervention Consent for Release of Information form or has contacted the school district directly (and wants information from the child's record shared), then the Service Coordinator is responsible for arranging a transition planning conference with the LEA no fewer than 90 days prior to the child's third birthday and, at the discretion of all parties, not more than nine months before the toddler's third birthday.

The appropriate people to have present include:

  1. the parent(s),
  2. the Service Coordinator,
  3. an LEA representative,
  4. persons involved in evaluation and assessment and
  5. anyone else the parent, LEA or Service Coordinator feels would be helpful.

If it is not possible for the LEA representative to be physically present at a meeting, they may participate by another mode (i.e., telephone or other HIPAA/FERPA-compliant synchronous audio-visual communication).

14.13.2 EI is responsible for convening a transition conference to help the family and school staff begin to develop a relationship and to determine next steps in the transition process. Best practice would be to hold the transition conference in the child's home, if the family is in agreement. Some school districts may want to hold the IEP meeting for planning purposes at the same time. The IEP meeting is the school district's responsibility, and it must be a distinct meeting that is separate from the transition conference, but it may be held consecutively after the transition conference. Some school districts, upon receiving the Early Intervention to Early Childhood Tracking form, may prefer to contact the family and schedule a meeting time themselves. This might happen if the school prefers to hold the IEP meeting right after the transition conference. However, it is still the responsibility of the Service Coordinator to ensure that the transition conference is facilitated by EI, is held on time, and includes the school district with enough notice to facilitate the LEA's participation.

14.13.3 It is important that the Service Coordinator has developed a working relationship with the receiving LEA. Teams in the EI Program and the LEA should be as flexible as possible in order to support the family during this process. Service Coordinators, with a signed release from the parents, may contact the LEA to arrange a mutually agreeable time and place to hold the transition planning conference, with preference given to the family's wishes. Service Coordinators may use the sample invitation letter included in this procedure manual or the program may develop its own that can also be used to schedule these meetings with school districts. However, a letter should not be the only contact with the school as considerable coordination may have to happen for scheduling purposes. Arranging the transition planning conference well in advance allows sufficient time for school district staff, EI staff, and the family to plan for the conference and steps required after eligibility is determined. There must be documentation in the child's record to show when contact was initiated with the school district to schedule the transition planning conference.

14.13.4 If, after attempting to accommodate both the LEA and the family's schedules, the LEA cannot participate in the transition conference, the conference must be held anyway in order to be timely and in compliance with IDEA Part C. The Service Coordinator is responsible for documenting the date the conference was held. This must be entered in the data system along with an indication of any delays due to documented extraordinary family circumstances, as well as noting if the LEA was able to attend.

14.13.5 If a family chooses to contact the school district directly and does not want any information shared with the district from the child's record or by the EI Program, then the Service Coordinator cannot invite the school district to the transition planning conference. The Service Coordinator will still hold the transition planning conference without the district representative as they would for any child whose family did not consent to including their school district in transition planning.

14.13.6 All of the decisions reached, and activities identified, including potential dates when the IEP team will convene to determine eligibility or develop an IEP, should be recorded. This can be written on a contact note or as part of the transition plan if the IFSP was reviewed as part of the meeting (and prior written notice provided).

14.13.7 For all children, and especially for children with late spring or summer birthdays, it is helpful for the Service Coordinator to notify and work with the school district as early as possible within the school calendar year. This will allow ample time for the scheduling of the child's transition conference, planning and placement meeting(s) and allows the IEP Team to determine if a child is eligible for EI/ES and/or ESY. School districts are making these children priorities and making all efforts to complete evaluations and IEP meetings at least two weeks prior to the child's third birthday. See ISBE/EI Transition Steps checklist.

14.13.8 The Service Coordinator should be sure to inform parents about the documentation that will be required before their child can enter school, including the birth certificate, proof that the family resides within the school district boundaries, and a completed health form.

14.13.9 If the family is experiencing insecure housing, the school district must assist them in registering their child, in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. For more information, see EI Procedure on Children who are Homeless.

14.14 Eligibility Determination for Special Education and Related Services

14.14.1 The LEA/school district must complete a comprehensive evaluation of the child in the developmental area(s) of concern. To do this, a school district may choose to use current information from the EI Program to determine a child's eligibility or may choose to have their own personnel evaluate and assess the child to determine eligibility, or they may do some of each.

14.14.2 Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the LEA to gather the necessary information, as it is the child's IEP Team that will make the determination of the child's ECSE eligibility prior to the child turning three.

14.14.3 Once eligibility is determined, the LEA will notify the CFC Service Coordinator of the determination within two business days, via phone and email if the Service Coordinator is not present at IEP meeting. This immediate notification will allow the Service Coordinator to focus on providing parents with information regarding the need to decide which program will best fit their needs. The ISBE/EI Transition Checklist is included in the appendix and the link is: coming.

14.15 Role of the Service Coordinator or Provider at the IEP Meeting

14.15.1 Parents may consent to include the EI Service Coordinator and/or provider at the IEP meeting. If included, the EI representatives may participate in all portions of the meeting. The responsibility for the eligibility decision and the development and implementation of the IEP belong to the IEP team, which includes the child's parents/guardians. IDEA requires the IEP team to consider the child's IFSP when developing the IEP, but it does not require that the IFSP be mirrored in the IEP.

14.15.2 The role of the Service Coordinator as well as other EI Providers in attendance, is to support the parent's ability to describe their child's abilities and challenges, as well as to offer potential strategies to support their child's learning. By supporting the parent's ability to describe their child's strengths, interests, needs, and useful strategies, we are building the competency of the parent to act as an advocate for their own child. At times, the school district may request the opinion of the EI provider for ideas regarding effective strategies or recommendations In addition to supporting the family in asking questions, clarifying, and/or responding to the strategies/recommendations being discussed, , the EI provider may also share information that will help the IEP team make decisions. Unless specifically requested at the IEP meeting, it is not the role of EI personnel to make recommendations on issues such as proposed special education goals, personnel, placement or services, including the location, type, frequency, or intensity of Part B services. It is recommended that the Service Coordinator make every effort to attend the IEP meeting, so they can be a support for the family, and be aware of the parent's decision and any factors that might have impacted this choice.

14.16 Once the IEP is developed, the parent will consider the strategies and supports outlined on both the IEP and the current IFSP to make an informed decision regarding what is in the best interest of their child over the summer months. Parents will be asked to make their decision regarding which plan they prefer at the conclusion of the IEP meeting. If the parent chooses to continue with EI/ES, then the current IFSP and the services outlined will continue throughout the summer months, until the start date of the next school year. If the Service Coordinator is unable to attend the meeting, the LEA will notify the Service Coordinator of the family's final decision within two business days. If the family declines EI/ES, then the child's IFSP will end the day before the child turns three or sooner if the parent requests it.

14.17 Transition for Children Enrolled in EI after 33 Months of Age

14.17.1 When a child enters the Illinois EI Program fewer than 90 but at least 45 calendar days before his/her third birthday, the EI Program is still responsible for determining whether the child is eligible for Part C. If the child is eligible, an IFSP must be developed that addresses transitioning from the EI Program to the local school district or other appropriate services. The Service Coordinator will explain the transition process and timelines for transition to the parent and emphasize the importance of contacting the LEA as soon as possible to begin the special education referral process to determine whether a child may be eligible for special education. With written consent from the family to contact the LEA, the Service Coordinator could contact the school district to coordinate the child's initial evaluation with the local school district thus avoiding duplication of efforts.

14.17.2 Per Section 303.209(b)(iii) of the Part C regulations of IDEA, referrals to the EI Program for children who are within 45 calendar days of their third birthday shall be re-directed to the responsible local school district for child find activities including evaluation and, if found eligible, for ECSE services. This will not be considered an EI referral.

14.18 Transition Planning for Children Whose Families Are Not Seeking Special Education

14.18.1 When families do not consent to include their school district in transition planning, they still must have a transition planning conference before exiting. The meeting may occur as part of the development or review of the child's IFSP or during a regular visit. When it is part of an IFSP meeting, the transition planning conference is documented on the IFSP form, otherwise a contact note or service coordination page may be used to document the meeting in the child's record. Timing for holding this conference can occur up to nine months prior to the child's exit but no later than 90 days before the child's third birthday The Service Coordinator is responsible for arranging the meeting and ensuring that it is held within the required timelines and that it includes the parent(s), the Service Coordinator, and anyone else the parent feels would be helpful in developing the plan.

14.18.2 The transition plan as documented in the IFSP should include activities to prepare for the transition and a reasonable timeframe for completing them. IFSPs should include a completed Section 6: Transition Outcome page. Strategies that promote school readiness strategies, which incorporate pre-literacy, language and numeracy skills must be included and indicated on the appropriate IFSP page(s).

14.18.3 Even if a child is exiting from EI services because he or she is functioning within the normal age range in all areas of development, the Service Coordinator must still, with parent approval, convene a transition conference, and discuss community resources and options.

14.19 For Children Exiting Before Age Three

14.19.1 Prior written notice must be given to parents of all eligible children before a provider proposes or refuses to change the identification, evaluation, or placement of the child or early intervention services. The Service Coordinator should schedule an IFSP review to discuss the updated assessment results and determine the need for EI supports and services. As always, prior written notice must be given to the family to notify them that the child's IFSP is going to be reviewed unless it is a parent-initiated review of the plan (refer to Procedural Safeguards).

14.19.2 The signed IFSP will be the documentation that the family is aware of their rights and is in agreement with their child's exiting. If a child exits without an IFSP review because the family has requested to have the child exited or cannot be located (see section below on exiting child when family consistently misses visits) the Service Coordinator should put the decision in writing clearly stating what the action is and the reason for the action and send this to the parent with Prior Written Notice and a copy of the IL EI Parent's Rights Brochure.

14.19.3 Depending on the circumstances of the child's exit from EI services, the Service Coordinator should offer to hold a transition meeting with the family to discuss the discontinuation of EI services. During this meeting the IFSP may be reviewed, especially the transition plan. The plan should include activities to prepare for the transition and a reasonable timeframe for completing them. It should also include connecting the family with community resources outside of the EI Program.

14.20 Dispute Resolution Regarding ECSE Eligibility and Access to Extended Services

14.20.1 If a parent disagrees with the decision of the LEA regarding their child's eligibility for ECSE, they may pursue a dispute resolution option with their LEA to contest the decision. The following process will be used to assist the family while the dispute is being resolved:

  1. The CFC will ensure that the LEA has a copy of all reports summarizing the most recent EI evaluation/assessments so that the LEA has the early intervention information it needs to assist with eligibility determination.
  2. If, during the course of the review, it is discovered that information was overlooked or any part of the assessment process was inconsistent, the EI program will share this information with the family and the LEA after ensuring appropriate consents have been obtained.
  3. The CFC will inform the family of their options for dispute resolution under IDEA Part B (https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Special-Education-Effective-Dispute-Resolution.aspx). If the family wishes to move forward with the dispute resolution process, the CFC will advise the family that their child may participate in EI/ES pending the outcome of the dispute resolution process or until the start of the next school year, whichever occurs first. Once this process concludes, the child will need to exit EI (if still not ECSE eligible) or may exercise the extended services option (if no ECSE eligible).

14.21 Re-entering the EI Program

Children over age three cannot re-enter the Part C EI Program.

14.22 Disposition of Records at Exit

The Child and Family Connections Consent to Collect, Store & Utilize Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be completed with all families as noted in Chapter 7. A copy should be given to the family and the original maintained by the EI Program. This assures that the family has been informed that their record will be maintained for at least six years from the date of exit and how to request copies during the six-year period, if needed. This form also serves as notification that the record will be destroyed after six years. Refer to Chapter 5, Recordkeeping procedure for more information.

14.23 Children who are Deceased

In the unfortunate event that a child enrolled in the EI Program dies, as soon as possible, update the EI data system to indicate that the child is deceased. This will ensure that the family does not continue to receive mailings from EI (such as surveys) that are sent to families of eligible children.