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Early Childhood Programs

Early Childhood Programs

Special Education Developmental Preschool

UPSD offers a Developmental Preschool Program for children, ages three through five, who have a wide range of needs – from moderate delays in a single area to more severe delays in multiple areas. The program is staffed by qualified professionals, including: early childhood special education teachers, school psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech language pathologists, and other related service educators. Home visits are also offered to help coordinate the child’s educational program between home and school.

Our Special Education Developmental Preschool Program provides an educational opportunity for children from three to five years of age who are experiencing developmental delays. The developmental delay may be in one or more of the following areas: communication, fine or gross motor skills, pre-academic/cognitive, adaptive skills, and/or personal-social skills.

Services for students in the preschool who are eligible for special education are determined by each student’s individualized education program (IEP). The IEP is developed by the educational team in partnership with the family to address the student’s special needs. Services generally include classroom instruction and additional related services as necessary (e.g., vision, speech/language services, or occupational or physical therapy). Students in the special education preschool program learn in an integrated environment with typically developing peers. Staff also works with families to share learning strategies, goals, and to provide mutual support.

Childfind: Prospective students may be referred by their physician, a birth-to-three program, or are identified through the district’s Childfind (a multidisciplinary screening process). Free screenings (Childfind) are offered several times throughout the school year to determine a child’s needs and eligibility. Parents who are concerned about their child’s development, may call the Special Services Office at 566-5645 to register their child for a Childfind screening. For more information, click here.

UPSD Inclusionary Preschool

It is our mission for the UPSD Inclusionary Preschool to educate children ages 3 and 4 years old with and without developmental disabilities in an inclusive preschool setting. If you are interested in your child participating as a peer model in the Inclusionary Preschool, please complete the 2024-25 form and return it to the Educational Service Center (ESC) at the address noted above and not Sunset Primary.

For information about our Inclusionary Preschool, please contact Amy Royster at the Educational Service Center, (253) 566-5645, regarding registration procedures and availability.

Preschool Family Partnership Project: The purpose of this project is to build stronger partnerships between our families and our preschool classrooms. Our goal is to increase communication, share access to resources, and learn how to better support our students and families. Join us online for this three part series.  

Other Preschool Programs:

Early Childhood Educational Assistance Program

(ECEAP) is a state-funded program for children from low-income families who are age three and four by August 31. The program is similar to the federally funded Head Start Program. Children qualify for this program on the basis of the family income. The program is coordinated and staffed through the Pierce County Community Action Agency. You can contact the Pierce County ECEAP at (253) 798-4400 (option 4) or visit their website by clicking here.

University Place School District provides school space and administrative assistance to ensure services for children in our district who qualify.