Early Start Laws and Regulations

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT, PART C; CALIFORNIA EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES ACT; AND TITLE 17

  • California Early Start was developed in response to federal legislation authorizing states to maintain and implement statewide interagency systems that provide early intervention services. The Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities was enacted in 1986 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 20; U.S.C., Section 1431 et seq.). IDEA, Part C, was reauthorized by Congress in 1997 with the law becoming effective July 1, 1998. Final federal regulations became effective in March of 1999 and are found in Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 303. More information on these laws and regulations can be found at The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.
  • California Early Intervention Services Act (CEISA) established state authority to develop an early intervention service system that was congruent with federal requirements. The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) plans, develops, implements, and monitors the statewide early intervention services system in collaboration with the California Department of Education (CDE), and with advice and assistance from the State Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC). The Departments of Public Health, Health Care Services, and Social Services cooperate and coordinate with DDS and CDE in the delivery of early intervention services.
  • This document was updated in 2015. It is a compilation of the federal and state statutes and regulations, below, that authorize, fund, and regulate Early Start.

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Last modified: November 21, 2019