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Child Find

Child Find

Child Find is a component of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires districts to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. The Bethel School District conducts specific activities for students ages birth to 21 with suspected disabilities who reside within the district’s boundaries. This includes students attending private schools. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of all children have a disability which hinders their educational development. Early identification of disabilities assists parents, students and schools in the design of appropriate educational services.

Who is covered by Child Find?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires all states to have policies and procedures in effect to ensure that all children who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated. Child Find applies to all children who reside within the State. This includes infants, toddlers, preschoolers, children in private, public, or tribal schools, highly mobile, homeless, or migrant children.

Child Find Screenings for Children Birth to Three

If you have developmental concerns for your child before the age of three, you can contact Bethel School District for information about birth to three developmental centers in the area. These centers conduct screening, assessment and early intervention services for children up to age three. Request a Birth to Three Screening  here.

Screening for Children Three to Five (Preschool)

If your child is a preschooler, and you have concerns about his or her development, the Bethel School District offers monthly screenings for preschool children to provide information to parents on school related development. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of this free service, especially if you have questions regarding your child’s development. Vision, hearing, and motor screenings are provided, as well as information on how your child is doing with language, learning and behavior skills. If you wish to schedule your child for a screening appointment, please contact the early childhood Child Find appointment line at 253.800.4178. Child Find screenings for children ages three to five are scheduled once a month, usually the second Friday of the month from October to May, with additional screenings in August. The screenings are conducted at Bethel Early Learning Center in Spanaway.

Preschool Child Find Process

Once a Child Find appointment is scheduled, parents will be sent an appointment confirmation. Once the screening is completed, one of three things will happen for each child and his/her family. For some children, their screening will indicate that a full developmental assessment to determine eligibility for special education services is not necessary.
For some children the screening may indicate a need to rescreen the child at a later time to determine he/she is continuing to develop adequately. In these cases, parents will be provided with community resources and home program suggestions to strengthen any areas of minor weakness.

Other children for which the screening determines that future assessment is required, will then be referred on to a formal, in-depth special education evaluation. This special education evaluation will determine if a child is eligible to receive special education services. This may be delivered in the form of single services, such as speech therapy, or through attending Bethel’s developmental preschool program for children with special needs.

For general questions regarding early childhood special education, please contact Special Services at 253.800.4178.

Child Find for School Age Children

If your child is in school and you believe a disability may impair his or her educational performance, please contact the principal at your child’s neighborhood school or the special services department at 253.800.2300.

Birth to Three Services

Bethel contracts with Pierce County Human Services to offer a series of services for children with special needs from birth to age 3. These services are especially important for children who have disabilities or are experiencing developmental delays.  Students who are eligible for this program are entitled, under the federal IDEA, to specially designed intervention services. These services nurture young children at the earliest stages of their education – they enable the child to be active, independent and successful participants in a variety of settings, including their home, day care and preschools. To learn more about this program contact the Pierce County Early Intervention Program at 253.798.3790.


To help determine if your child has a developmental issue, free screenings are available through ChildReach. ChildReach focuses on children birth to thirty-six months old who reside in Pierce County.  Children receive screening in language, motor, learning, self help skills and behavior. Parents receive information and education on typical development, developmental milestones, age appropriate activities, community resources, events and more. Concerns identified during screening are referred for follow-up services. To schedule an appointment call ChildReach at 253 798-3698. Child Find is a component of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).