Early Start

San Mateo County Office of Education Early Start Program 

The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) Early Start Program serves infants, toddlers and their families that may exhibit developmental delays or the existence of an established risk factor associated with potential disability under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C. The SMCOE Early Start Program provides early educational intervention for infants and toddlers with solely low incidence disabilities. Low incidence disabilities are defined as one or a combination of low incidence disabilities, including hearing impairments, vision impairments, and severed orthopedic impairments, one of which is considered the primary disability. The Early Start educators assist families in developing an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) to address the child's needs and priorities.

The SMCOE Early Start Program is a family-focused program based on the premise that parents and caregivers are the most important teachers in a young child's life. The program believes that all children have the ability to grow and to learn, and that learning is optimal in natural environments when caregivers and professionals collaborate as a team. The Early Start team includes teachers, para-educators, a speech-language therapist, school nurse and school psychologist. Services are provided in a variety of ways that may include home-based instruction, center-based groups and parent education. In addition, the California Children's Services is located on site.

Referring for Services

If you have questions regarding the referral process, please contact us at (650) 573-4010. Referrals are typically responded to within 24-48 hours. Referrals should include the following information:

  • Child's name
  • Child's date of birth
  • Parent's names
  • Address
  • Phone number for the parents
  • Reason for the referral
  • Professionals currently working with the child and family


Contact Person:

Tish Teaford, School Psychologist
t: (650) 573-4010
f: (650) 473-4056