Special Education-Grants for Infants and Families

To provide grants to States to assist them to implement and maintain a Statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary, interagency system to make available early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Funds are used to implement and maintain statewide systems of early intervention services, provide direct services that are not otherwise provided by other public or private sources, and to expand or improve services that are otherwise available.

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

In FY 2008, approximately 313,600 infants and toddlers with disabilities are expected to be served.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds are used to assist States in implementing and maintaining their Statewide systems of early intervention services.

Funding may also be used to provide direct services for eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities aged birth through 2 and their families that are not otherwise provided by other public or private sources, to expand and improve services for infants and toddlers with disabilities that are otherwise available and to provide a free appropriate public education, in accordance with Part B of IDEA, to children with disabilities from their third birthday to the beginning of the following school year.

States also have the discretion to provide services to infants and toddlers who are at risk of having substantial developmental delays if they do not receive appropriate early intervention services.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 amended IDEA to allow states, at their discretion, to continue to serve children with disabilities under this program beyond age 2 until the children enter or are eligible to enter kindergarten or elementary school, if the children are otherwise eligible for services under the Preschool Grants Program (84.173), and previously received services under this program.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Secretary of the Interior and the following jurisdictions: Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Infants and toddlers with disabilities aged birth through 2 and their families will benefit.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State, local, or Indian tribal governments. No State or jurisdiction may receive a grant unless the Secretary has approved the application and statement of assurances for that State.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No.

A-102 must be used for this program.

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

Specific application procedures are provided in the application form for the program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. The State lead agency, the applicants for this program, are designated by the Governor.

Award Procedures

Once the State application is approved, a grant award representing the total State allocation is forwarded to the State lead agency.


To expedite funding, the submission date for applications 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 C, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1431-1444.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Within to 90 days.


The Department may not disapprove such an application unless the Department determines, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that the application, including the statement of assurances, fails to comply with the requirements of Section 637.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Awards are based on each applicants proportionate share of children, aged birth through two years, in the general population, based on the most recent satisfactory data available from the United States Bureau of the Census. No State receive less than 0.5 percent of the funds available for all States. The Department of Interior receives 1.25 percent of the amount available to States. The Outlying Areas receive up to 1 percent of the funds appropriated.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

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

Post Assistance Requirements


An annual report to the Governor and to the Secretary by the State Interagency Coordinating Council on the status of early intervention programs operated within the State as required under Section 641(e)(1)(D) of the Act, and other information that the Secretary may require, including information required under Section 618 of the Act.

Annual State Performance Plans and Annual Performance Reports are submitted to the Department of Education by the lead agency on an annual basis.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a 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 Circular No. A-133.


As required by EDGAR for State administered programs (34 CFR 76.730-731). Generally, the State and its contractors must retain records related to grant funds and compliance for a period of 5-years.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $436,400,000; FY 08 est $435,653,802; and FY 09 est $435,654,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For FY 2008, the range of awards is expected to be $2,135,000 to $53,978,000; the average award is expected to be $8,213,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Final regulations were published in the Federal Register on June 1, 1998, at CFR Part 303. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published on May 9, 2007, to implement Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Office of Special Education Programs, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202. Contact: Ruth Ryder, E-mail: ruth.ryder@ed.gov. Telephone: (202) 202-245-7629.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The applicants eligible to participate in the program qualify based on an approved application under Part C of the IDEA.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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