Indicator 11 | Timeframe Between Evaluation and Identification (Child Find)

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The woman responsible for coordinating evaluations of children looks serious.Updated, April 2013

Indicator 11 focuses upon the timeliness in which States meet their Child Find obligations to evaluate children identified as potentially having a disability. The indicator reads:


Percent of children who were evaluated within 60 days of receiving parental consent for initial evaluation or, if the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within that timeframe. [20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B)]


The Context

IDEA includes a component called Child Find that requires States to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. IDEA’s Part B child find provisions are found at §300.111.

As part of Child Find, States are responsible for evaluating children suspected of having a disability. In 2004, Congress added a specific timeframe to IDEA within which initial evaluations must be conducted. This has been addressed in the regulations as follows:

The initial evaluation—

(1)(i) Must be conducted within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation; or

(ii) If the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within that timeframe…[§300.301(c)(1)]

Previously, school systems were required to conduct initial evaluations within a “reasonable period of time” after receiving parental consent [34 CFR §300.343(b) (1999)]. The fact that IDEA 2004 now specifies a 60-day timeframe is a big change. It’s important to note, however, that any timeframe established by the State takes precedence over the 60-day timeline required by IDEA.

Indicator 11 spells out the data that States must compile and report to OSEP regarding  the timeliness of its evaluation of children suspected of having disabilities.

Resources to Support Data Gathering for Indicator 11

Guidance documents on Indicator 11.
Scroll down to Indicator 11. You’ll find the indicator itself, data sources and measurement help, and instructions for reporting the data.

How are we doing?
What’s the current status of State practices in conducting timely initial evaluations of children? What are the data telling us? Read this summary from 2011.

Resources to Support the Timely Initial Evaluation of Children

Evaluation requirements.
NICHCY offers three training modules on the evaluation process that IDEA 2004 requires. These are: (1) Introduction to Evaluation; (2) Initial Evaluation and Reevaluation; and (3) Identification of Specific Learning Disabilities. These modules are part of NICHCY’s Building the Legacy curriculum on the law.  Find them all at:

Early identification and Child Find.
The ECTA Center (the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center) can connect you to great resources on these two important State obligations.

Connect with “Early Childhood Data Sources.”
The ECTA Center can also connect you with data sources on a wide range of early childhood issues.

How to improve child find practices.
Visit the TRACE Center, whose purpose is to identify and promote the use of evidence-based practices for improving child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination for infants, toddlers, and young children with developmental delays or disabilities who are eligible for early intervention or preschool special education.

Need help with how to crunch your data?
Visit the Data Accountability Center. The Center provides guidance on reporting data about children with disabilities served under IDEA.

Evaluation and identification of students with learning disabilities.
The National Research Center on Learning Disabilities (NRCLD) offers many publications and resources focused on evaluating and identifying students with learning disabilities (LD) with a special focus on Response to Intervention (RTI) as an evaluation and identification method.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to