Guidelines: Child Find, IDEA, ESSA

Child Find

The purpose of Child Find is to locate, identify and evaluate children from birth to 21 years of age with disabilities and their possible need for special education and related services. Child Find is a free referral and information service available through local education agencies and Education Service Center Region 13.


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as amended by Congress in 2004 is the federal law that governs the special education process. The term special education means specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.  The IDEA Legal Framework is a template that summarizes state and federal requirements for special education by topic.


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), an act of the federal government, replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Its purpose "is to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps (ESSA, S. 1177, 114th Congress, Section 1001).  Section 1010 defines the procedures in parent and family engagement that districts must implement.