Indicator 12 | Transition Between Part C and Part B

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A preschool aged boy, wearing a cowboy hat, stands with his parents.Updated, April 2013

Indicator 12 is focused on smoothing the transition that young children with disabilities will make when they “age out of” and exit early intervention services (Part C of IDEA) and become eligible for special education services for school-aged children, including preschoolers (Part B).

When children reach their third birthday, they leave early intervention and are likely to go on to preschool special education. How smooth is their transition from one set of services to another? Early planning (as the child approaches the third birthday) is intended to make these transitions easier for all concerned, especially for the child and his or her family.

Indicator 12 reads:

Percent of children referred by Part C prior to age 3, who are found eligible for Part B, and who have an IEP developed and implemented by their third birthdays.  [20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B)]


In this, you can see the steps involved in smoothing the child’s transition:

  • before the child turns 3, the Part C system refers the child to the Part B system if that child is potentially eligible for Part B services, so that…
  • the child’s eligibility for Part B services can be determined ahead of time, and
  • an IEP can be developed for that child, which can then be implemented when the child turns 3.

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Resources to Support Data Gathering for Indicator 12

Guidance documents on Indicator 12.

How are we doing?
What’s the current status of early childhood transitions? What are the data telling us? Read this summary from 2011.

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Resources to Support Early Childhood Transitions

Try NICHCY’s Transition to Preschool resource page.
We’ve already organized information on this subject for you!

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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