The Child Development Services system is an Intermediate Educational Unit that provides both Early Intervention (birth through two years) and Free Appropriate Public Education (for ages three through five years) under the supervision of the Maine Department of Education. The CDS system ensures the provision of special education rules, federal and state regulations statewide, through a network of regional sites.
CDS consists of nine regional sites and a state office. The state CDS office maintains a central data management system, system-wide policies and procedures, and provides centralized fiscal services for regional CDS sites.
Regional CDS sites provide case management and direct instruction for families with children from birth through age five. Each site conducts Child Find, which is the process of identifying children with disabilities. Screenings and evaluations are provided in order to identify children who are eligible for services. Regional CDS sites arrange for local services that include early intervention and special education and related services for eligible child from birth to age five and their families.