Special Education_Preschool Grants

To provide grants to States to assist them to make available special education and related services for children with disabilities ages 3 through 5 years, and at a State's discretion, to 2 year old children with disabilities who will reach age three during the school year.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Federal funds are combined with State and local funds to provide a free appropriate public education to chiildren with disabilities.

This includes special education and related services.

Funds are used for salaries of teachers and other personnel, educational materials, related services -- such as speech or occupational therapy -- and other education-related needs.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Program Accomplishments

All State agencies, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia received funding under this program. In FY 2008, 728,700 children with disabilities ages 3 through 5 are expected to be served.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds are used by State education agencies: (1) to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to preschool children with disabilities ages 3 through 5, and at the State's discretion, to 2-year old children with disabilities who will reach age 3 during the next school year; (2) to administer section 619; and (3) for support services, direct services, activities to meet the State's performance goals, to supplement other funds used for a Statewide coordinated service system designed to improve results for children and families, to provide early intervention services in accordance with Part C to children ages 3 through 5 who would otherwise be eligible under the Preschool Grants program, and to continue service coordination or case management for families who receive services under Part C.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State education agencies in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Children aged 3 through 5 with disabilities, and (at the State's option) 2-year old children that will reach age 3 during the school year, that require special education and related services will benefit.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

There is no separate application required for this program.

States are eligible to receive Preschool Grant funds if the State education agency establishes eligibility under section 612 of the IDEA and if the State makes free appropriate public education available to all children ages 3 through 5 with disabilities.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372 "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. States are eligible to receive funds under this program if the Secretary has approved the application and statement of assurances for that State as provided under Section 612 of Part B of the IDEA and if the State makes a free appropriate public education available to all children ages 3 through 5 year with disabilities residing in the State. Local education agencies establish eligibility for Preschool Grant funds by meeting local application requirements in section 613 of Part B of the IDEA. A single application is required for programs funded under Part B of the IDEA, including this program.

Award Procedures

Once the State application is approved, a grant award representing the total preschool grant amount for that fiscal year is forwarded to the State's department of education. A State must serve all 3 through 5- year old children with disabilities if the State wants to continue participating in this program, as well as to receive funds for children ages 3 through 5 served under the Grants to States program.


To expedite funding, the submission date is set for April 1. However, applications or amendments are accepted throughout the period of availability of Federal funds (15 months following July 1st of the fiscal year).


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B, Section 619, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1419.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Within 90 days.


The Department shall not take any final action until the State is provided reasonable notice and an opportunity to submit written objections and opportunity for a hearing.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Preschool Grants are awarded to States based on a statutory formula. A State first receives the amount it received under this program in federal fiscal year 1997. If the appropriation for this program in any subsequent fiscal year exceeds the amount for the preceding fiscal year, 85 percent of the excess appropriation over the fiscal year 1997 appropriation is awarded to States based on their relative populations of children aged 3 through 5, and 15 percent of the excess appropriation is awarded based on the State's relative population of all children aged 3 trough 5 living in poverty. The formula also provides several floors and ceilings regarding the amount a State can receive in a year. The Act also specifies how funds are allocated when the appropriation is less the amount provided in the prior fiscal year.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are issued each fiscal year. The Federal obligation period is a 15-month period from July 1 through September 30. State and local education agencies have an additional 12-month period to obligate their funds.

Post Assistance Requirements


Annual State Performance Plans (SPPs) and Annual Performance Reports (APRs) are submitted to the Department of Education from the State department of education, including information required by section 618 of the IDEA.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), audits of States, local governments, and non-profit organization, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.


As required by EDGAR for State administered programs (34 CFR 76.730-731). Also, all records supporting claims for Federal funds or relating to the accountability of the grantee for the expenditure of such funds must be accessible for administrative review.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $380,751,000; FY 08 est $374,099,280; and FY 09 est $374,099,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For FY 2008, the range of awards is expected to be $240,249 to $37,840,710; the averge award is expected to be $7,194,217.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Final regulations were published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2006 at 34 CFR 300, to implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. Also, a notice of proposed rulemaking was published on May 13, 2008 proprosing additional amendments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Office of Special Education Programs, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202. Contact: Nancy Treusch, E-mail: nancy.treusch@ed.gov. Telephone (202) 245-7553.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The applicants eligible to participate in the program qualify for funding based upon a approved application under section 612 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and that they provide a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities ages three through five. The criteria for approving an application appear in the regulations implementing Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Social Entrepreneurship

New Age of Philanthropy: #GivingTuesday

A part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in celebration of #GivingTuesday, which will take place this year on December 3, Kathy Calvin and Henry Timms vouch that we are living in a new era of philanthropy.

More Federal Domestic Assistance Programs

Section 416(b) | Migratory Bird Monitoring, Assessment and Conservation | Indian Housing Assistance | Brownfields Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grants and Cooperative Agreements | ARRA - Community Health Applied Research Network |  Site Style by YAML | Grants.gov | Grants | Grants News | Sitemap | Privacy Policy

Edited by: Michael Saunders

© 2004-2024 Copyright Michael Saunders