PLRE (Preschool Least Restrictive Environment)

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, schools are responsible for providing students who are receiving special education services the opportunity to participate in high quality preschool programs through their least restrictive environment. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires that students with disabilities have access to the general curriculum, be involved in the general curriculum, and progress in the general curriculum.

Region 13 can support a LEA’s PLRE efforts by assisting with:

  • implementing researched based interventions to increase the number of preschool students served in least restrictive settings,
  • assisting districts in assessing their current preschool practices for children with disabilities, and
  • Improving collaboration between educational personnel such as child care centers, Head Start and parents.

For more information about providing services to preschoolers with disabilities in the least restrictive environment you can download the resource, Preschool LRE Environments/Settings Document (pdf) developed through ESC 20 or visit our PPCD Live Binder.

Preschool Least Restrictive Environment Legal Information

The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ’97/2004) gives every child with disabilities, including preschool children with disabilities, the right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).  State and local education agencies are to provide this education in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

The LRE provision of IDEA ’97 according to Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §300.550 states that each local education agency (LEA) shall ensure to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled.  These requirements apply to all preschool children with disabilities ages three through five who are entitled to receive FAPE.

According to 34 CFR §300.551, each LEA must ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services.  In addition, 34 CFR §300.347(b) requires the ARD committee to determine and provide the accommodations, modifications, supports, and supplementary aids and services needed by each child with a disability to be successfully involved and progress in the general education curriculum while achieving the goals of the IEP.