Services for Children 3-5

Typical children between the ages of three to five spend their days at community pre-schools, child-care programs, or being cared for by their parents. If, however, the child has a developmental concern they might be eligible to attend an early childhood class offered at their local school district. If the child has been found to be at risk of academic failure they might attend a pre-K program offered by Head Start or the local school district. 

The following questions will help you explore the various educational options for children between the ages of three and five.

What types of programs are available for children aged 3-5?

Educational programming available to preschool aged children includes early childhood special education, at-risk pre-K, Head Start, community preschools, and childcare programs. Find out more about the types of programs available for children 3-5.

What are the differences in service settings for children 3-5?

Words such as "least restrictive environment," "inclusion," "dual placement," or "blended program" are sometimes used when talking about early childhood educational settings.  Find out more about the various service settings for children ages three to five.

What is an IEP?

The IEP is a document developed by a team of Early Childhood professionals in conjunction with the child's family. Find out more about the Individualized Education Program (IEP).

What types of professionals work with children in Early Childhood?

There are a variety of therapist, educators, and health professionals who might be involved in providing early childhood educational services. Learn more about the types of professionals who work with children in Early Childhood.

What does it mean to transition to and from an Early Childhood program?

Times of transition can be scary to parent and child alike. When a child turns three they will "transition" into a three-to-five-year-old program. Then when the child reaches five or six they will again "transition" into kindergarten. Find out more about early childhood transitions.

What if a parent disagrees with an IEP or placement setting?

Sometimes parents might not agree with an evaluation or a placement setting. Or sometimes they believe they have been denied services unfairly. Find out more about the legal aspects of special education and how to support parents as they advocate for their child.

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746

Email: johnna.darragh@heartland.edu