Refer a Child to Help Me Grow

What is Help Me Grow? | Preschool Special Education

The goal of Preschool Special Education services according, to the U.S. Department of Education, is “to enable young children to be active and successful participants during the early childhood years and in the future in a variety of settings – in their homes with their families, in child care, in preschool programs, and in the community.” Each of Minnesota’s public school districts provides Preschool Special Education services. Last year, more than 14,000 preschoolers participated. Services are free for eligible children.

Minnesota’s Help Me Grow: Preschool Special Education provides services based on the needs of preschool children who meet state eligibility criteria for developmental delay or other disability, and who are experiencing challenges in their learning and development. Children may be eligible if if they are not able to learn, speak or play like other children who are the same age.
Help Me Grow: Preschool Special Education services are individually tailored to meet the unique learning needs of each child. It is important to get help to children as early as possible to promote the best possible developmental outcomes for your child.
Call 1-866-693-GROW (4769) or your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s development. You may also use the Help Me Grow online form to make a referral to Help Me Grow: Preschool Special Education. Go to the Help Me Grow online referral form.

Overview of Programs and Services

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If you have concerns about your child’s development, please call 1-866-693-GROW (4769).  A referral will be made to your public school on behalf of you and your child. You will be contacted by an early childhood teacher or other professional to discuss the concerns you have for your child. You may arrange for a screening or an evaluation to determine if your child is eligible for preschool special education services.
If an evaluation is scheduled, a team of qualified professionals who have training and experience in the areas of child development will observe and interact with your child. As the parent, you will play an active role. After all, you know your child best. You will be asked to share information about your child’s development, health and medical history. You will assist the team in identifying your child’s unique strengths and the needs of your child as they relate to specific developmental areas and functional skills. The evaluation is provided at no cost to you.
If your child is eligible for preschool special education services, you become part of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. An IEP includes goals for your child, specific services to achieve those goals and the setting in which services will be provided. Services are provided in regular early childhood programs such as child care, Head Start, School Readiness or other community-based preschool programs whenever possible. 
If your child is not eligible for preschool special education services, your district team may share information about other early childhood programs in your community.
Related Information
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