Build Up helps parents and their children, ages 3 through 5, get additional educational support as they begin and continue to learn the skills needed to enter kindergarten.

Our goal is to refer all children who may be eligible for special education services through Michigan’s Administrative Rules for Special Education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B.

Who Is Eligible?

Children ages 3 through 5 with a disability defined by one of the following categories are eligible for special education services:

Speech/Language ImpairmentSpecific Learning DisabilityCognitive ImpairmentAutism Spectrum Disorder Emotional ImpairmentTraumatic Brain InjuryHearing ImpairmentVisual ImpairmentPhysical ImpairmentSevere Multiple Impairment Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD)Other Health Impairment (including attention deficit disorder and health problems such as asthma, epilepsy, and diabetes)


Do you have a 3, 4, or 5-year-old who is struggling to learn?

Special education services may be available for your 3-, 4-, or 5-year-old through your local school district. Intervening early can in many cases resolve, or at least limit, a child's roadblock to learning.

What Are Preschool Services and Where Are They Located?

Michigan Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services include special instruction and related services provided to young children, ages 3 through 5, who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA, Part B, Section 619). Through its 56 Intermediate School Districts (ISDs), Michigan's ECSE program offers a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all eligible children at no cost to their families, and in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). LRE means that young children with disabilities should get services in community-based preschool settings and programs whenever possible.

  • Copies adults and friends

  • Takes turns in games

  • Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps

  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals and people

  • May get upset with major changes in routine

  • May copy a circle with a pencil or crayon

  • Turns book pages one at a time

  • Runs easily

  • Enjoys doing new things

  • Would rather play with other children than by him/herself

  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "Wheels on the Bus"

  • Can say first and last name

  • Able to name some colors and numbers

  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time

  • Often can't tell what's real and what's make-believe

  • Hops; may be able to skip

  • Can print some letters or numbers

  • Likes to sing, dance and act

  • Is aware of gender

  • Can tell what's real and what's make-believe

  • Can play simple games such as Candy Land and Go Fish

  • Wants to be like friends

  • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

*Milestones checklists available to download in English and Spanish

Get Connected

Through your public school district, special education supports and services for preschool-aged children (ages 3 through 5) with a developmental delay or disability are available for children who qualify. If you are concerned that your child may have a disability that is getting in the way of learning, get connected. Your local Child Find Coordinator will explain the resources available and help determine the next best steps for your child. A recommendation may be to screen your child or complete an evaluation to determine if your child is eligible for special education programs and/or supports.

Talking to your Child Find Coordinator is the logical first step. But, at any time, if you think your child may have a disability that qualifies him or her for special education, you may request an evaluation in writing. Evaluations take place during the regular school calendar (September – May).

Child Find Coordinator /

Assistant Superintendent of Special Education:

Dawn Weeks