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Early childhood special education, often referred to as ECSE, is a broad term used to define programs and services for children 3 to 5 years old who have a diagnosed disability or a developmental delay. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, which was amended in 1986 to add preschool children, evolved into the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 and now has two parts to ensure that very young children receive services and interventions as do their school-age peers. Part B of IDEA refers to services and programs that support children between the ages of 3 to 21 years old and are referred to as school-age programs. Programs specifically for children 3 to 5 years of age under Part B ...

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