Preschool Special Education Program

Preschool Special Education Program

The Preschool Special Education Program provides services to children who are 3 to 5 years old with developmental delays and/or educational needs. Eligibility is based on the results of a multi-disciplinary evaluation that is at no direct cost to the family. The local school district's Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) determines eligibility, recommends appropriate special education and/or related services and creates an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each eligible child.

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The New York State Education Department (NYSED) administers, through local school districts, the Preschool Special Education Program for preschool students with disabilities, 3 to 5 years of age. The Nassau County Department of Health contracts with providers and pays for these services along with NYSED.

Parents seeking additional information about Dispute Resolution and resources should visit New York State Education Department website.



If a child receives Early Intervention services as an infant or toddler up to age three and continues to need services, the ongoing service coordinator can assist with transition planning and making a referral to your school district's Committee on  Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

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More information can be found at the NYS Health Department website on transition from EI to Preschool Special Education.

referralIf a preschool-age child (3-5 years) did not receive Early Intervention services and there are concerns regarding possible educational delays, anyone with concerns can contact the local school district and make a referral to the CPSE chairperson.  While typically the parents refer their child, a doctor, designated person in a public agency, an approved preschool program or the Early Intervention Program (IEP) can make a referral.  Each school district’s CPSE is made up of the parent, teacher, school district representative, County Department of Health representative, etc. 

Find the phone number for your school district's CPSE office here: School District CPSE Contacts (PDF).


EvaluationWhen a child is referred to the CPSE, the parent is given a list of NYSED approved evaluators that provide multi-disciplinary education evaluations.

After an approved evaluator is selected by the parent and the parent signs a consent form, the child will be evaluated at no cost to the family.

A copy of the evaluation report, including a summary of the evaluation, will be provided to the parent and to other CPSE members.



MeetingA meeting will be scheduled with your school district CPSE to discuss the evaluation results and determine if your child is eligible for the program.

If your child is not found eligible for special education programs and/or services, the reasons will be provided in writing.

If your child is found eligible for the Preschool Special Education Program, the CPSE will create individual goals and recommend programs or services to meet your child's needs as part of an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

The Preschool Special Education Program is mandated by New York State Education Law and the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Funding for these special education programs and services is provided by New York State and the Nassau County Department of Health

School District Resources



Provider Resources


Attention Therapists and Agencies

Nassau County is always looking for providers with experience working with children to serve our preschoolers. If you are interested in contracting with the Health Department to provide services to this population, please click here

 Parent Resources 

Parent Resources

The Long Island Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Centers 

The Long Island Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Centers at the Center for Community Inclusion, LIU Post (funded by the NYSED, Office of Special Education) works to improve outcomes for children with disabilities, from birth to 21.  Early Childhood (0-5 yrs) FACE Center (516) 413-4562. Register for trainings by emailing -

Help Me Grow- Long Island

Help Me Grow is a partnership with the goal of efficiently and effectively reaching and helping children from birth to five years old and their families.  Help Me Grow seeks to promote developmental health, provide developmental screening, and make successful linkages for families to the supports they need.  Call or text- (516) 548-8924 or email,   

The TRAID Program

TRAID (Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities) is a federally funded program that disseminates information about assistive technology (AT) and provides opportunities for individuals to enhance their lives through accessible and affordable assistive technology by increasing access and acquisition of AT through device loans and training.  Call (631) 668-4858 or email merickson@siloinc.rg 

Nassau County Department of Health

The Nassau County Department of Health Office of Children with Special Needs is responsible for the Early Intervention Program for children with developmental delays from birth to three, and the Preschool Special Education Program for children from three to five years old.

For more information, please call the Preschool Special Education program at 516-227-8674 or send an email to the Preschool Program at email the Preschool Program .


Terms and Abbreviations 

Terms and AbbreviationsThere are common terms and abbreviations used in the Preschool Special Education system that are important for parents to understand.

The Nassau County Preschool Special Education Program Training Committee has developed a Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations (PDF) to assist the Preschool community in understanding the terms and language specific to the population we serve.