The ODLSS Child Find team provides free early childhood developmental screenings for children birth to age five who reside within the city of Chicago.
Developmental screenings can show if a child is having difficulties with cognitive/academic, communication, social-emotional, and fine/gross motor skills. A hearing and vision screening is also available. Regional screenings are held monthly at several Chicago Public Libraries across the city. No appointment is necessary.
Note: Due to COVID-19, the Chicago Board of Education Offices has implemented a telework plan through the remainder of the school year. As a result, the Child Find Screening Program will not be providing onsite screenings for the remainder of this school year and through the summer months as previously indicated on the CF calendar. If you are interested in scheduling a remote developmental screening for your child (or have additional questions) please contact: CPS Child Find Coordinator at 773-251-4855 or email email@example.com.
A child who was eligible for Early Intervention (EI) services should be evaluated to determine eligibility for Early Childhood Special Education services through CPS prior to their third birthday. ODLSS works collaboratively with Early Intervention Service Coordinators to schedule evaluations with the Citywide Assessment Team (CAT) as the child approaches their third birthday. If you have questions about your child’s transition and/or evaluation please contact: 773-553-1266 (Garfield Park), 773-535-8937 (Colman), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our citywide assessment team conducts high-quality assessments for any child living within the boundaries of the city of Chicago.
To ensure success in an academic setting, we use formal and informal assessments to ensure a thorough and holistic look at each student's strengths and needs. Evaluators may include a school psychologist, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapist, physical therapist, school social worker, nurse, teacher, and case manager.
The results of the evaluation are discussed with the parent/guardian along with next steps.
Citywide Assessment Team Resources
- Welcome Letter [ English ]
- What to Expect at the Evaluation [ English | Spanish ]
- General Request Form [ English ]
- Email Authorization Form [ English ]
If you have questions about your child’s transition and/or evaluation please contact: 773-553-1266 (Garfield Park), 773-535-8937 (Colman), email@example.com.
CPS provides early childhood specialized services to students three to five years of age based on the needs identified in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). The Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services works closely with the Office of Early Childhood Education to provide all students with access to high quality, individualized instruction.
The child’s IEP guides the type, scope, and assignment of services and supports the child receives from Chicago Public Schools in the Least Restrictive Environment.
At CPS, the first placement option considered for students with disabilities is a Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), which is a regular education classroom that provides supplemental aids and services as needed. Special classes, separate schooling, or other placements that remove students from the regular education classroom occur only when specified by a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Students may apply and enroll in a preschool program by visiting www.chicagoearlylearning.org.
Non-attending students who wish to receive speech-only services may visit their local CPS school to learn more about receiving speech services.
Preschool Itinerant Services
This program is indicated for any preschool age student requiring support from an early childhood special education teacher in the general education classroom for up to 120 minutes weekly. (This does not apply to a student receiving speech-only services.)
Students receiving preschool itinerant services may apply and enroll in a preschool program by visiting www.chicagoearlylearning.org.
Preschool Inclusive/Blended Program
This program is indicated for any preschool age student requiring educational services from an early childhood special education teacher in the general education classroom for up to 500 minutes weekly.
Preschool Program with Intensive Support
This program is indicated for any preschool age student requiring educational services from an early childhood special education teacher in a separate classroom.
ODLSS Early Childhood School Assignment
While all Chicago Public Schools serve the needs of students with disabilities, some programs are not available at every school and require an ODLSS school assignment. A student’s assignment to an ODLSS program on this Map is strictly based on the program’s ability to implement the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and least restrictive environment determined by the IEP team. When determining a school assignment, ODLSS follows federal and state regulations and considers: 1) the school closest to the child’s home; (2) available seats in a school that can provide the supports and services documented in the IEP; and (3) the school’s ability to implement the child’s IEP.
STARNET supports families with young children ages birth through eight years old with developmental delays and special needs.
For more information related to training and workshops please visit starnetchicago.org.
- Learn More about Early Childhood Education
- “When I’m 3, Where Will I Be?” A Family’s Transition Workbook [ English | Spanish ]
- Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois