The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to nearly 7 million eligible children and youth with disabilities across the country, including infants and toddlers. Programs for young children with disabilities play a significant role in early childhood education and development, which is particularly salient when it comes to promoting school readiness.
The connections in a baby’s brain are most adaptable in the first three years of life. These connections, which are the foundation for learning, behavior, and health, become harder to change over time. Ensuring that young children have access to inclusive early interventions during this critical period of development means that children will get the appropriate services and supports they need to be equipped for success in school and avoid costly interventions later in life.
The programs for young children within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are currently funded at the following levels for FY2021:
- IDEA Part B Preschool Grants
- $397,620,000, an increase of $3,500,000 over FY2020
- IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families
- $481,850,000, an increase of $4,850,000 over FY2020