Pathways to Support: Where to Begin If Your Child Receives Services Through Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT)

When an infant or toddler receiving early intervention services from Washington’s Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program approaches the age of three (3), the Family Resource Coordinator (FRC) begins transition planning for when the child will age out of early intervention services on their third birthday. If the child is potentially eligible for special education and related services, the transition includes evaluation and development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each plan is unique and designed to respond to individual needs.

Transition begins 6-9 months before your child’s third birthday

Transition Planning BeginsTransition ConferenceEvaluation for an IEP
FRC starts talking about transitionScheduled by the FRC for 90 days before your child’s third birthday Begins with parent’s signature of consent for evaluation
FRC transmits your child’s records to the school system, with your written consent, including the most recent IFSP and evaluations/ assessments Explanation of parents rights in special educationSchool receives the records from ESIT
FRC identifies and shares community resourcesDiscussion of options for early childhoods special education and other appropriate servicesFamily provides information and concerns
Development of a transition timelineChild is evaluated for eligibility for an IEP
Writing transition plan into the IFSPEligibility meeting is held within 35 school days

Not all children who qualified for early-learning support will qualify for an IEP. Children who are not eligible for IEP services might be eligible to receive accommodations and support through a Section 504 Plan.

If your child needs support to prepare for school readiness

If a student is having a hard time at school and has a known or suspected disability, the school evaluates to see if the student qualifies for special education, through a process called Child Find. Washington State requires special education referrals to be in writing (WAC 392-172A03005). Anyone with knowledge of a student can write a referral. The state provides a form for making a special education referral, but the form is not required—any written request is valid.

  • Complete the Sample Letter to Request an Evaluation.
  • Make a copy for your records.
  • Call your local school district or go on their website to identify the correct office, person, and address to mail (signed, return receipt requested), email, or hand-deliver your request.
  • Refer to the IEP Referral Timeline to track your child’s progress through the evaluation process.
  • This article forms part of the 3-5 Transition Toolkit