Maryland State Department of Education

Address: 200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 767-0600 Website:

The Maryland State Department of Education, under the leadership of the State Superintendent of Schools and guidance from the Maryland State Board of Education, develops and implements standards and policy for education programs from pre-kindergarten through high school.  MSDE also oversees technical education, rehabilitation services, and library programs throughout the state’s 24 local systems.  For the fourth straight year, Maryland’s public education system received two NUMBER ONE IN THE NATION rankings in 2012—from Education Week and from the College Board for AP performance.

Phone: (410) 767-0261
Toll free: 1-800-535-0182
Fax: (410) 333-8165
Services for Children with Disabilities (Birth through age 5)
The Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services collaborates with families, local early intervention systems, and local school systems to ensure that all children and youth with disabilities have access to appropriate services and educational opportunities to which they are entitled under federal and State laws; and assists local early intervention systems and local school systems to comply with federal and state regulations and to implement policies and procedures through grant funding, professional development opportunities, technical assistance, and monitoring.  

The Early Childhood Intervention and Education Branch (ECIE) includes the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program and Preschool Special Education Services for children with disabilities age birth through five and their families.
On behalf of the Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services, we invite parents, service providers, administrators, advocates and other stakeholders to join us in sharing resources and information to support young children with disabilities and their families.  The Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services is comprised of six collaborative branches under the leadership of the Assistant State Superintendent.

Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services
Nancy Vorobey, Section Chief
Phone: (410) 767-0261
Fax: (410) 333-8165
Maryland Preschool Services include special instruction and related services provided to young children, ages three through five, who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA, Part B, Section 619).
Through its twenty-four local school systems (23 counties and Baltimore City),  the Maryland's Preschool Services Program ensures the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all eligible children at no cost to their families, and in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).  LRE means that young children with disabilities should receive services in typical community-based early childhood settings and programs whenever possible, and only go to more restrictive or specialized settings when their individual needs require it. Young children ages 3 through 5 who have a disability are eligible for preschool services provided through the local school system. In some local school systems preschool children may also be eligible if they meet the criteria of Developmental Delay (please contact the Child Find Coordinator in your local school system for information on the Developmental Delay criteria are used).    

Family Support Services
For Families of Children with Disabilities (Birth through 21)
Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services
Phone: 800-535-0182
Fax: 410-333-8165
The Family Support Network (FSN) was created to meet the needs of Maryland families with children, birth to 3, who have been identified as having developmental delays or disabilities. Each local FSN, which is staffed by a parent of a child with a disability, provides information to families regarding community services; refers families to local support groups, workshops, and advocacy groups; provides opportunities for families to network and share ideas and experiences; and helps to link "experienced" parents with parents of newly identified children with similar special needs
Family Support Service Directory:

Preschool Partners – Transition Support Service
The Preschool Partners Program exists to help support families during the transition from the Infants and Toddlers Program (ITP) to the local school system (LSS) preschool special education program or other community-based early childhood setting—or from preschool into a school-age program—the Maryland State Department of Education makes funding available to expand services provided through the local Family Support Network (FSN). Preschool Partners provide ongoing support to families of children ages 3 through 5, maintaining the connection with the local ITP, as well as fostering new connections among families, preschool programs, and community services.

Partners for Success (Ages 3 to 21)
Partners for Success Centers, established as part of each local school system in Maryland, have as their goal the provision of knowledge and the development of essential skills fundamental to parents and professionals working together as equal partners in the educational decision making process

Family Services and Interagency Initiatives
The Family Services and Interagency Branch is responsible for providing support to the Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services through the management and forwarding of parental, community, and legislative inquiries, the coordination of policy development, review, strategic planning, product development, and technical assistance.

Early Learning Branch
Division of Early Childhood Development
Maryland State Department of Education
Valerie Kaufmann, Branch Chief
Phone: (410) 767-7798
Fax: (410) 333-6226
The Early Learning Branch of MSDE's Division Early Childhood Development (DECD) oversees the Maryland Model for School Readiness Program, a research based assessment and instruction system designed to provide teachers, families and the early childhood community with a common understand of what children know and are able to do upon entering kindergarten.  Overseas the Public Pre-kindergarten/Kindergarten Programs, a state-funded program for four year old children who are from families that are economically disadvantaged or homeless.
The Judith P. Hoyer Program. The Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Education Enhancement Program is a statewide effort to help young children enter school ready to learn. Provides a central location for early childhood education programs and support services for children birth through kindergarten an their families who reside in specific school districts across the state of Maryland.


State Coordinator for NCLB (No Child Left Behind)
Program Improvement and Family Support Branch
Phone: 410-767-0286
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind) is a landmark in education reform designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools. President George W. Bush describes this law as the "cornerstone of my administration." Clearly, our children are our future, and, as President Bush has expressed, "Too many of our neediest children are being left behind."

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