Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

What is ECSE?

ECSE offers special education services to eligible children starting at age 3 and continuing until they enter kindergarten. Services can include specially designed instruction and/or related services such as physical, occupational, or speech and language therapy.  Services may be provided at community preschools, childcare facilities or at ECSE center sites.

The focus of Oregon’s Early Childhood Special Education program is on:

  • teaching the child needed skills in areas of developmental delay,
  • preparing the child for a school setting, and,
  • incorporating intervention strategies into the child’s day.

Referral & Evaluation

Ready to get started?

ECSE Services are determined by the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) Team and may include:

Please note that level of services in each of these options vary and is based on the needs of the child and family.


*Articulation Group:
Articulation Group focuses on children with speech sound development.

*ECSE Developmental Class:

ECSE Developmental Class is recommended for three to five years old’s who need more structure, practice and repetition to learn.

*Structured Class (Applied Behavior):

Structure class is recommended for children who are three to five years old and who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and require highly specialized, intensive intervention.

*Consultation to Community Sites: 

Consultation to community sites is recommended for children who will benefit from a preschool environment with typical peers and special education services/support will be received at the community site.

*Direct Therapy:

Direct Therapy is provided to those children who have specific therapy needs. General developmental delays are addressed by an EI/ECSE Specialist. Training and/or consultation from a therapist will be provided to ECSE Specialists and parents as needed. Related service providers will offer ways to support and train the EI/ECSE Specialists so they have the knowledge and skills to work effectively on motor and communication goals. Therapy may be provided by a Speech Language Pathologist, Physical Therapist, and/or Occupational Therapist.

*Central Oregon Regional Services: 

Central Oregon Regional Services provides specialized support for children with vision impairments, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or augmentative communications. Services may include evaluation, consultation, support in preschool and group settings, and use of equipment. 

*Connections to Community Resources:
Specialists and therapists may assist parents as they identify community-based providers or services ( i.e. support groups, social services, community activities, etc).

Information from a variety of sources (articles, internet, library, videos, etc.) about typical child development, your child’s specific disability, assistive technology and equipment, use of an interpreter, etc.