The Health Department has assumed a supportive role, in collaboration with school districts, to assist families of children with special needs to access services in their homes and/or in community settings along with their non-disabled peers, in the child's least restrictive environment. The Health Department works in partnership with the State Department of Education and Regional Staff on preschool education by offering guidance and clarification to the Committees on Preschool Special Education and providers regarding State Education Department Regulations.
The Preschool Education Program (PEP) serves hundreds of preschoolers aged three to five with disabilities. In addition to acting as a fiscal agent, the Health Department serves as a resource for parents and professionals to help them participate as full partners in the educational process, while working as a team to determine each child's needs and develop recommendations for an appropriate Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Preschool Education Program Services
The Preschool Education Program is available to help parents of children with special needs learn about support services. Preschool children with special needs may be eligible to receive services via their school district which may include:
- Speech therapy
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Special Education
Eligibility is determined in accordance with New York State Department of Education standards. Contact your local school district to arrange to have your child's needs assessed by an approved New York State Education Department evaluator. Evaluations are available at no cost to the family.
A preschool child who has been found to have special needs will receive services at no cost to the family.
To request additional information regarding preschool services please call the Westchester County Department of Health, Bureau of Children with Special Needs at (914) 813-5080.
- The Early Childhood Directions Center, (914) 493-1709
- NYS Education Department Regional Office, (914) 940-2900