Skip to main content

Early Childhood Special Education - Ages 3-5

Smiling girl in wheelchair holding plant as mother kneels beside her

Early Childhood Special Education - Ages 3-5

Michigan Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services include special instruction and related services provided to young children, ages three through five, who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA, Part B, Section 619). Through its 56 intermediate school districts (ISDs) Michigan's ECSE program ensures the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all eligible children at no cost to their families, and in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). LRE means that young children with disabilities should receive services in typical community-based early childhood settings and programs whenever possible, and only go to more restrictive or specialized settings when their individual needs require it.

If you have questions about special education, contact the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education information line at 888-320-8384.

Allocations/Proportionate Share

2024-2025 Estimated Special Education Preschool Allocations
IDEA, Part B, Section 619 Allowable Cost Guide

Proportionate Share Allowable Costs & Guidance
Proportionate Share Preschool (pg 2) and Flowthrough Calculations Template - PDF fillable form

Outcomes Measurement

Reporting Preschool Special Education Outcomes for SPP Indicator 7

COSF Professional Development for New Staff

Inclusion/Least Restrictive Environment

Preschool Inclusion Collective Action Plan
OSEP 2017 Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Letter (January 9, 2017)
Decision Tree for Coding Educational Environments
Early Childhood Inclusion Joint Position Statement of the Division for Early Childhood and the National Association for the Education of Young Children
Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs

Additional inclusion resources can also be found at


Appointment of Surrogate Parents for Special Education and Early Intervention Services
Build Up Michigan - Learning Support for Preschoolers
Family Matters - What is the Special Education Process?
Michigan Alliance for Families
Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education


Office of Early Education Main Phone Number: 517-241-7004

Manager, Birth to Five Early Childhood Special Education
Janet Timbs, 517-245-9406

Part B, Section 619 Coordinator
Mark Kuipers, 517-855-8658