CDS Program Approval

All public and private Early Childhood or Special Education programs that intend to provide special education and related services for children school ages three to five must obtain approval through the CDS State Intermediate Educational Unit (IEU). The approval process must be completed prior to a Regional CDS Site entering into an agreement for services.  CDS Program Approval requires renewal every two years and update applications are accessed on this page and via Jacquelyn Hersom at

To begin the approval process, please contact Jacquelyn Hersom at

There are two separate approval processes available to prospective providers:

1.  An Early Childhood Special Education program (50% or more children enrolled have an Individualized Education Program (IEP)) can apply for approval with CDS to provide special education services in an Early Childhood Special Education setting.  The agreement for services would make clear that the staff at the approved location will provide the CDS services on behalf of CDS.  There are specific requirements for these programs that can be reviewed on the Early Childhood Special Education Program Update Form (DOC, 75KB)

Once a program is approved and under contract, they must report any changes that occur during the dates of the contract on the Preschool Classroom Profile(DOC, 84KB) as necessary.

2.  A Private Preschool or Child Care may apply for an Early Childhood Education Tuition Agreement (ECETA).  This approval would add you to a list that Regional CDS Site(s) would have access to and contact you in the event of needing an Early Childhood Education setting (50% or less of the children enrolled in the program have an IEP) as the least restrictive environment (LRE).  CDS personnel would come to your location to provide IEP services.  There are specific requirements for these programs that can be reviewed on the Early Childhood Setting Profile.

Any changes to the program within the contract year will need to be documented on the Early Childhood Classroom Staffing Profile (DOC, 78KB) as necessary.

All applications and supporting documents can be scanned to:

Once your application has been approved, you will then review and sign the contract for completion.

or mailed to:
Jacquelyn Hersom
23 State House Station
111 Sewall Street
Augusta, Maine  04333