Skip to content
Early Identification and Referral Toolbox

Get to Know Part C

Get started by learning how Part C works as a federal program and in your own state, especially its regulations, processes, and procedures. 

Part C is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, enacted in 2004. Final Part C regulations outlining requirements for states and early intervention service providers were published in 2011.

State Requirements

States that participate in Part C must designate a lead agency to administer the program and assure that appropriate early intervention will be available to every eligible child and their family (ECTA, n.d.a). They must also meet a number of other requirements. Three that are particularly relevant for state deaf-blind projects working on identification and referral activities are (ECTA, n.d.b): 

  • Establishment of a comprehensive child find and referral system
  • Establishment of a comprehensive system of personnel development
  • Appointment of an Interagency Coordinating Council that includes parents of young children with disabilities, to advise and assist the lead agency

Although there are requirements that every state must abide by, they do differ in a number of ways. For example, they have some discretion in setting eligibility criteria. For this reason, it's important to become very familiar with Part C policies and procedures in your own state (see State Part C Websites on the right).

ecta center

ecta Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center logo.

ecta center

The Early Childhood TA Center has extensive data and information about all aspects of Part C, including state specific information.

Services for Children and Families

Part C provides support and resources to assist family members and caregivers in enhancing children’s learning and development through everyday activities (ECTA, n.d.c). A key element is the direct provision of early intervention services in natural environments. 

Services exist within a process comprised of the five steps shown on the right. Knowing what happens during each can help you identify opportunities to collaborate with your state’s Part C program on solutions to increase identification and referral of infants and toddlers with deaf-blindness.

Part C Process

  1. Identification and Referral – process referrals and contact families
  2. Intake and Family Assessment – meet with family, conduct screening if appropriate
  3. Child Evaluation and Assessment – conduct assessment and evaluation, determine eligibility
  4. IFSP Development – IFSP team and family meet to create a plan
  5. Service Delivery and Transition – implement IFSP services

See The Early Intervention/IFSP Process from the ECTA Center for details. 

Systemic Activities

Comprehensive Child Find System

Part C is required to develop a comprehensive child find system that: 

  • Includes a system for making referrals to lead agencies or early intervention service providers
  • Ensures that all infants and toddlers with disabilities in the state who are eligible for early intervention services are identified, located, and evaluated
  • Is coordinated with all other major efforts to locate and identify children by other state agencies responsible for administering the various education, health, and social service programs

(Comprehensive Child Find System, 2011)

Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

A state's Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) is responsible for implementing strategies and activities for the recruitment and retention of early education service providers and promoting the preparation of early intervention providers who are fully and appropriately qualified. It includes the training of paraprofessionals and primary referral sources. (Comprehensive System of Personnel Development, 2011)

Interagency Coordinating Council

Interagency Coordinating Councils support implementation of the Part C program. Members are appointed by the governor and must include at least 20% early intervention service providers; at least 20% parents (including minority parents) of infants, toddlers, or children with disabilities; and designees from multiple other early childhood programs (ECTA, n.d.d).


Comprehensive Child Find System. 34 C.F. R.§ 303.302. (2011).

Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD), 34 C.F.R.§ 303.302. (2011).

ECTA Center. (n.d.a). Part C of IDEA. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from

ECTA Center. (n.d.b). Minimum components required under Part C of IDEA. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from

ECTA Center. (n.d.c). IDEA. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from

ECTA Center. (n.d.d). Interagency coordinating councils (ICCs). Retrieved January 6, 2020, from