Northeast BOCES Early Childhood Coordinators support the provision of quality early intervention and education services for special needs children three to five years of age. The three Early Childhood Coordinators cover the seventeen preschools in BOCES school districts. We are responsible for working with early childhood educators in developing and providing integrated programs, assisting communities in developing early childhood educational options, and coordinating individualized developmental screenings, assessments, and staffings for the 3-5 population. We also act as a resource for families of special needs children 0-5, locating and coordinating services available to meet identified needs. The Early Childhood Coordinators supervise early childhood aides, as needed, to support students participation within preschool classrooms.
Northeast BOCES also participates in the legal mandates of Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.). This section of federal, special education law describes a system of early intervention supports and services for infants and toddlers with special needs, birth thru 2 years of age, and their families. Some of the activities include child identification, multi-disciplinary assessment, the development of an Individualized Family Service Plan for each child, coordination of a variety of supports and services to meet the needs of the child and family, public awareness, and transition planning for entry into special education if necessary at age 3. Every referred family is assigned a service coordinator to assist families through the process. Families find Early Intervention services very family-friendly because most interventions are provided in the family home or in a community setting and are oriented toward functional outcomes, which improve the child’s functioning across every day routines. Community agencies such as Departments of Human Services, the Health Department, Eastern Colorado Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Child Care and Family Centers also participate in the supports and service mandates of Part C. Judy Fehringer, O.T.R. is the coordinator for this project across the six northeast Colorado counties.
Infant/Toddler Child Find
Early identification and intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities is critical. Children who begin receiving appropriate services earlier have better outcomes. Within the Northeast BOCES administrative unit, the Infant/Toddler Child Find Coordinators are responsible for identifying infants and toddlers from birth thru 2 years of age who may be eligible for Early Intervention Services. The Infant/Toddler Child Find Coordinators coordinate efforts with other Northeast BOCES providers to conduct screenings and assessments in order to determine eligibility for early intervention services.