Children with disabilities, including children aged 3-5, must be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  School districts are required to offer a continuum of placements for preschool-aged children and to ensure that children with disabilities are educated in an environment with children without disabilities, to the greatest extent appropriate. For all children with disabilities, including children aged 3-5, removal of a child with a disability from the regular educational environment (early childhood program) may occur only when the nature and severity of the disability of a child are such that education in the regular class (early childhood program) cannot be achieved satisfactorily. IEP Teams must determine the least restrictive environment for each child based on what he or she needs in order to receive a free appropriate public education.

The language and terms used to describe district preschool programming can often be confusing.  It is not uncommon to hear terms such as “integrated preschool” or “inclusive preschool” to describe a district’s preschool program.  When a district says, “We have an integrated preschool”, what does that actually mean?  In this section you can find information on preschool environments and settings.  You can also find resources to help you better understand your district’s Preschool System.