Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

While all children grow at their own rate, some children have delays in their development. Special health conditions may also affect children’s development. Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) provides special education services, at no cost, to children from ages birth to kindergarten in a variety of settings including home, community and school-based early childhood programs. Children are eligible for Early Childhood Special Education through a special education evaluation.

ECSE program staff screen, evaluate and provide early intervention for young children, age birth to kindergarten, who show developmental delay in the general areas of cognition, communication, motor, adaptive/self-help, social-emotional and or a hearing or vision loss. Licensed early childhood special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, and other trained specialists collaborate with parents and early childhood professionals to:

  • Help children reach their potential through individualized program plans (IFSP and IEP) geared to promote development, based on each child's assessed level of function and need.
  • Support and educate families to help promote the abilities and work with the challenges of children who have special needs.
  • Provide parents with information about community-based resources for their children.





Parents and caregivers who have questions or concerns about a child's development can access supports and services through Early Childhood Special Education. Our program receives referrals from the state of Minnesota Help Me Connect system to support families and caregivers who have a concern about a child from birth to kindergarten entrance. Referrals can be made on line at HelpMeConnectMN.org or directly to our office at the Lincoln Education Center.

Contact Information

Picture of Denise Olson
Denise Olson
ECSE Administrative Assistant
218-847-4418 ext. 6137 

*The Early Childhood Special Education team is located at Laker Transitions, 1104 West River Rd Detroit Lakes, MN 56501