From EarlySteps to school: What happens next?

Know your options for the next phase: Life after EarlySteps

What will happen next?

If your child has reached their goals from the IFSP and is back on track, you may not need services.

Your EarlySteps coordinator can help you find support outside of EarlySteps:

  • Fun activities for your child to join, like art classes, sports, play groups, or story times

  • Childcare or a preschool that fits your child's needs

  • Other informal supports

If your child still needs services, you will connect with your local school system.

The school system serves most kids when they start kindergarten at age 5. But if your child qualifies, they can get extra support services starting at age 3.

These can include:

  • Services from specialists like you have with EarlySteps: Speech therapy, OT, PT, etc.

  • Special preschool programs or extra support in a typical preschool

Image of an exclamation mark beside the text 'One big difference when you transition: EarlySteps offers services to the whole family, School services are only for the child. If you are getting family counselign or sibling support, ask your FSC how to find these services after transition.'

School Based Services:

Image of a schoolhouse.After transition, you'll work with your local school system. They are required to help students with disabilities succeed in school

The department in charge of this may be called:

Image of two rounded rectangles separated by the word 'or' with the text 'Exceptional Student Services(EDD)' in the first rectangle, and the text 'Special_Education' in the second rectangle'


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.

Source: LDH, LDOE


Source: LDOE