Preschool

Early Childhood Special Education

Programs and Services

Seattle Public Schools offers special education services for children age 3-5 determined eligible with a disability that impacts educational progress and who are in need of specially designed instruction. Services are provided in communication, motor, adaptive, social and/or cognitive development. Specialized services are available to children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing, children with autism and children with assistant technology or nursing needs.

Birth to Three and Child Find Services

Birth to Three: Birth-to-Three Early Intervention Services are administered by developmental centers serving the Seattle area. Please contact the WithinReach Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 to refer a child for a screening or to learn more about accessing Birth-to-Three Early Intervention services.

Child Find Screening and Referral If you are concerned for a preschooler with a possible delay in development, please contact us at 206-252-0805 or childfind@seattleschools.org.

Other Preschool Students For questions regarding enrolling your typically developing preschooler in our program, please contact the preschool in your neighborhood.

Families Experiencing Homelessness If your family is living in a temporary situation, you may contact our McKinney-Vento Program at (206) 252-0660.


child playing with building blocks

Programs and Services

Our programs are designed to offer a continuum of services in an effort to meet a variety of student developmental needs. The following continuum of programs and services are offered:

Therapy Services Only

Students receiving therapy only services can access specially designed instruction (SDI) in communication, motor, auditory, or vision skills at the service provider location. Services are delivered individually or small groups in a local school.

Itinerant Teacher Services

Students receiving Itinerant Services have access to specially designed instruction (SDI) addressing mild functional and pre-academic needs 1-2 times per week, in the context of their regular early childhood preschool program. Seattle Public Schools offers itinerant special education services in the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) and Head Start classrooms, as well as in community preschool and childcare programs offered within SPS school buildings.

Seattle Preschool Program Plus (SPP Plus)

Students with IEPs participating in Seattle Preschool Program Plus (SPP Plus) receive daily specially designed instruction (SDI) addressing mild to moderate functional and pre-academic needs within the context of a regular early childhood or general education preschool setting. Students are provided opportunities to participate in high-quality early learning environments with general education curriculum through specially designed instruction at their present level of performance. Instructional content varies based on each student’s IEP. Classes include up to 18 students, 5-7 of whom may receive services under an IEP. SPP Plus operates Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for a 6 hour and 30-minute school day, with 2-hour early dismissal on Wednesdays only. SPP Plus programs follow the school’s elementary bell schedule. Students must be 3 years old by August 31st of the current school year to participate and students who are 4 years old are prioritized for placement in SPP Plus.

Developmental Preschool

Students participating in Developmental Preschool receive daily specially designed instruction (SDI) addressing intensive functional and pre-academic needs within the context of a structured, small-group special education setting. Students are provided opportunities to participate in high-quality early learning environments with general education curriculum through specially designed instruction at their present level of performance. Instructional content varies based on each student’s IEP. Classes include up to 10 students with IEPs and up to 2 typically developing peer models. Developmental Preschool operates Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, offering morning and afternoon sessions that are 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Medically Fragile Preschool

Students participating in Medically Fragile Preschool receive daily specially designed instruction (SDI) addressing intensive functional, pre-academic, and medical care needs within the context of a structured, small-group special education setting. Students are provided opportunities to participate in high-quality early learning environments with general education curriculum through specially designed instruction at their present level of performance. Instructional content varies based on each student’s IEP. Classes include up to 6 students with IEPs and up to 2 typically developing peer models. Medically Fragile Preschool operates Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, offering sessions that are 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Preschool Continuum of Intensive Services (P.C.I.S.)

The Preschool Continuum of Intensive Services (PCIS) are services for students participating in Developmental Preschool or Seattle Preschool Program Plus (SPP Plus). PCIS is for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (or in process of evaluation for suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder) who need more intensive instruction to make progress on IEP goals. The goal of PCIS services is to improve student progress in and access to preschool. PCIS services may include added service minutes for intensive instruction using evidence-based strategies for young children with Autism. Intensive services are provided individually or in small groups. IEP teams determine need for PCIS services and supports after evaluating the student’s progress in preschool.

Experimental Education Unit (EEU)

Seattle Public Schools contracts with the Experimental Education Unit (EEU) at University of Washington for a limited number of special education slots to provide Developmental Preschool and SPP Plus Services.

Who is eligible to apply for EEU?

  • Seattle Public Schools preschool students with a current IEP requiring placement in developmental preschool or SPP Plus are eligible to apply for a preschool assignment at the EEU.
  • Preschool students rising to kindergarten who require a special education program placement in Access, Focus, SEL or Distinct programs are eligible to be selected for kindergarten assignment at the EEU.
  • Students must be 3-years old and have an IEP at the time of application. School choice applications are accepted through May 31st.

The process for applying for developmental preschool and kindergarten at the Experimental Education Unit (EEU) at the University of Washington has changed. Please visit SPS School Choice and Open Enrollment. 


two kids holding hands