preschool-aged Caucasian male student reaching into plastic jar held by male teacher, overlaid with title early childhood programs"

The VBISD Early Intervention Department is comprised of a variety of services and programs to meet the educational needs for eligible children from ages birth to entering kindergarten. Children ages birth-to-three are served through the Early On Program. For children age three to entering kindergarten, services are provided through our Build Up Evaluation Team, Early Childhood Special Education Preschool Classrooms, and Preschool Special Education services such as Teacher Consultant or ancillary services. 

Eligibility for services is based on the child meeting specific criteria or conditions defined by the Michigan Department of Education, and will be identified on an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individual Educational Plan (IEP) that is developed with the parents after initial evaluations. The diagnostic services that will collect information to determine if a child is eligible are the Early On program for infants and toddlers (up to age 3) and the Build Up Evaluation Team for children ages 3 to entering kindergarten.

Van Buren Intermediate School District Child Find and Children with Disabilities

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education ACT, IDEA requires schools to identify, locate and evaluate children with disabilities. Either schools or parents/guardians can request a special education evaluation for a child who is not yet eligible for special education. If the school requests the evaluation, the school must contact the parent/guardian and request written consent (permission) to evaluate the child. If you are a parent/guardian who wants to request an evaluation, send a written, signed and dated request asking the school to evaluate your child.

VBISD’s Early On Program supports Michigan’s Early On campaign by helping to locate and identify young children birth through 3 who have an established condition, a developmental delay or are at risk of a developmental delay. VBISD’s Build Up Evaluation Team supports the Build Up Michigan campaign by helping to locate and identify young children, ages 3 through 5, who may be in need of special education supports and/or services.

VBISD assumes responsibility for child find awareness activities and outreach for preschool children. The VBISD Early Childhood Special Education Department is primarily responsible for coordinating child find outreach and awareness activities for children birth through age five including Early On and Build Up Michigan.

All local school districts in Van Buren County will assume responsibility for in-school and out-of-school youth up to the age of twenty-six through the local awareness activities and the special education referral process.



A Referral initiates the process of determining whether a child has a need for special education services.  If you live in Van Buren County and are concerned about your child's development in the area of hearing, vision, physical development, health or learning, help is available.  Your child may be eligible for free special education services through referral to the following programs:




Early On

Children ages birth to 36 months
when there is a concern in the development or the diagnosis of a condition that is likely to result in a developmental delay.

Gaby Mason: (269) 539-5152

Bonita Suter: (269) 539-5129

Build Up Evaluation Team

Children ages birth to entering kindergarten that demonstrate a developmental delay that impacts their ability to learn. This service is coordinated with Early On for children ages birth to 36 months.

Gaby Mason: (269) 539-5152

K-12 Public/Non-Public Schools

Children enrolled in schools up to age 26 you suspect have a delay.

Contact your child's Local School Administrator or Special Education Supervisor.

If you have any questions about this process or are not sure where to start, please call Anna Austin, the Early Childhood Special Education Supervisor at 269-539-5144.