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Early Childhood Special Education

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services are designed for children birth until the child's seventh birthday who have been identified with a delay in development. Services begin with a developmental evaluation. This evaluation documents a child’s skills in a variety of areas such as cognition, motor, social-emotional, language-communication, and/or adaptive (self-help) development. There are also certain conditions and medical diagnoses that automatically qualify a child for ECSE services. 

In Minnesota, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services are provided through the public school system. Early Childhood Special Education services are provided for children birth through age 2 under Early Intervention Services and for children 3 through 6 years 11 months under Preschool Special Education.

If you have concerns about a child's development, contact Help Me Grow to make a referral. For information about early childhood development and developmental milestones, click here.



Early Intervention Services

Early Intervention Services for children birth through age two are provided in their natural environments.

These environments may include

  • The child's home
  • The child's daycare
  • Consultation with Early Childhood Family Education
  • Other community environments that the child participates in

A variety of service providers including early childhood special education teacher, physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech/language clinician may provide direct services or consult with your child's team based on the family and child's identified needs.

Early Intervention services are provided within the child's natural environments and are guided by your family values and priorities. Our Early Intervention Professionals use Family Guided Routines Based Intervention strategies to support families to embed interventions within their existing routines. Families and caregivers are supported through coaching and consultation to help improve the child's development.

Help Me Grow Infant and Toddler Intervention

Preschool Special Education

Preschool Special Education services for students aged three to Kindergarten entrance are typically provided in early learning environments.

A variety of environments are offered based on the child's developmental needs. 

  • Mankato Area Public Schools Preschools
  • Early Childhood Special Education Classrooms
  • Consultation to the child's preschool or childcare provider
  • Collaboration with community preschools
  • Head Start Center Based Program

Specialized services such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and early childhood special education are provided based on the student's needs within their learning

Providing inclusion opportunities for all children is a priority of the Mankato Area Public Schools Early Learning Department. Inclusive learning ensures that children are provided time to learn and play with typically developing peers.

Help Me Grow Preschool Special Education