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Child Outreach Screening

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services.

In Rhode Island, the Child Outreach Screening Program serves as the vehicle for screening children ages 3- 5, prior to kindergarten entry.  Screening serves as a first step in identifying children who may have a disability or developmental delay and require intervention.

RIDE’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan sets a goal to increase early childhood developmental screening rates for children ages 3-5 by 15%.  To help reach the target, RIDE is committed to:

  • Supporting the development of family-friendly information about early childhood developmental screenings
  • Partnering with health care providers and early childhood programs to promote high-quality early childhood screening
  • Expanding access to screening services for children ages 3-5

Each school district is required to establish a screening program that meets the requirements as outlined in the “RI Guidelines for Implementing Child Outreach Screening.” 

NEW-Child Outreach Screening Provisional Guidance allows districts to continue screening during times of disruption to standard implementation due to COVID-19.  It supports LEAs in meeting state and federal Child Find obligations when policies preclude Child Outreach personnel from screening children in-person.