Transition from EarlySteps to school-based services

It's great that your child is already getting help through EarlySteps!

This makes it easier to go through the process of getting special services from the school system.

Here's why:

  • The process of creating an educational plan (an IEP) is very similar to what you did with EarlySteps and creating your IFSP.

  • Your Family Service Coordinator (FSC) will help you with the transition to the school-based services.

  • If your child qualified for EarlySteps, they will be likely to qualify for an IEP or 504 plan with the school system (although the school will have to do their own evaluation).

Here's what you can do:

  • Call your FSC and ask about transition

  • Make sure they help you create a Transition Plan. It's part of the IFSP.

  • See our EarlySteps Guide to learn more about transition


Click on the boxes below for more information:

If your child still needs services at age 3, the public school system will step in and help you in the same way EarlySteps did.

You will go through a similar process of getting an evaluation and writing a service plan.

Here's what you will do:

Image of two people sitting at a table
Have a transition planning conference with your family service coordinator


Image of a notepad and pencil
Fill out the transition plan in your IFSP


Image of three children playing with a ball
Look in into local programs and activities that your child may like


Image of a writing paper binderCreate a transition packet (or binder) this has all the records and other information you'll need


Image of a checklist
Have another evaluation , if needed, to see if your child still qualifies for services


What to know about timing:

  • Start thinking about transition as soon as your child starts EarlySteps. But when your child is 2, make sure you have talked about this with your FSC.

  • You can start planning formally as early as 9 months before 3rd birthday. (Age 2 years and 3 months)

  • You must have a transition conference with your FSC at least 3 months before 3rd birthday. (2 years and 9 months)

  • EarlySteps services will stop on your child's 3rd birthday, and the new services can start.

If your child will keep getting services through the school system:

  1. Connect with your local school system. Your FSC will help you connect with your parish's School Board. You'll work with the department that gives students extra support to succeed in school. It may be called Exceptional Student Services (ESS) or Special Education.

  2. Have a Team Meeting with your EarlySteps FSC and the school system.

  3. Create a new plan with the school system. This is like an IFSP, but is called an IEP.

We'll give more detail as you go through this Guide.

Sources: LDH, LA DOE

EarlySteps and the services from the school system are similar in many ways, although some of the terms are different.

The main difference is that EarlySteps serves the whole family and includes supports for parents and siblings, while the school system only serves the child.

But in both systems, the parents have a say in the process, and work as part of a team.

Chart of how school services differ from EarlySteps. EarlySteps: age 0-3, department in charge: LDH, contact person: family service coordinator, document that describes services: individualized family service plan, services are for child with a developmental delay AND family (parents and siblings), re-evaluation happens every year. School services: age 3-22, department in charge: LA Department of Education, contact person: special education liaison or LEA, document that describes services: individualized education plan, services are for child with a developmental delay (or other disabilities), re-evaluation happens every three years.

Sources: LDH, LA DOE


Source: LA DOE