(1)Appropriate professional requirements in the State means entry level requirements that—
(i) Are based on the highest requirements in the State applicable to the profession or discipline in which a person is providing early intervention services; and
(ii) Establish suitable qualifications for personnel providing early intervention services under this part to eligible children and their families who are served by State, local, and private agencies.
(2)Highest requirements in the State applicable to a specific profession or discipline means the highest entry-level academic degree needed for any State approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to that profession or discipline.
(3)Profession or discipline means a specific occupational category that—
(i) Provides early intervention services to children eligible under this part and their families;
(ii) Has been established or designated by the State; and
(iii) Has a required scope of responsibility and degree of supervision.
(4)State approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements means the requirements that a State legislature either has enacted or has authorized a State agency to promulgate through rules to establish the entry-level standards for employment in a specific profession or discipline in that State.
(1) Each statewide system must have policies and procedures relating to the establishment and maintenance of standards to ensure that personnel necessary to carry out the purposes of this part are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained.
(2) The policies and procedures required in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must provide for the establishment and maintenance of standards that are consistent with any State-approved or State-recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to the profession or discipline in which a person is providing early intervention services.
(c) To the extent that a State's standards for a profession or discipline, including standards for temporary or emergency certification, are not based on the highest requirements in the State applicable to a specific profession or discipline, the State's application for assistance under this part must include the steps the State is taking, the procedures for notifying public agencies and personnel of those steps, and the timelines it has established for the retraining or hiring of personnel that meet appropriate professional requirements in the State.
(1) In meeting the requirements in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, a determination must be made about the status of personnel standards in the State. That determination must be based on current information that accurately describes, for each profession or discipline in which personnel are providing early intervention services, whether the applicable standards are consistent with the highest requirements in the State for that profession or discipline.
(2) The information required in paragraph (d)(1) of this section must be on file in the lead agency, and available to the public.
(e) In identifying the “highest requirements in the State” for purposes of this section, the requirements of all State statutes and the rules of all State agencies applicable to serving children eligible under this part and their families must be considered.
(f) A State may allow paraprofessionals and assistants who are appropriately trained and supervised, in accordance with State law, regulations, or written policy, to assist in the provision of early intervention services to eligible children under this part.
(g) In implementing this section, a State may adopt a policy that includes making ongoing good-faith efforts to recruit and hire appropriately and adequately trained personnel to provide early intervention services to eligible children, including, in a geographic area of the State where there is a shortage of personnel that meet these qualifications, the most qualified individuals available who are making satisfactory progress toward completing applicable course work necessary to meet the standards described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, consistent with State law, within 3 years.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1820-0550)
This section requires that a State use its own existing highest requirements to determine the standards appropriate to personnel who provide early intervention services under this part. The regulations do not require States to set any specified training standard, such as a master's degree, for employment of personnel who provide services under this part.
The regulations permit each State to determine the specific occupational categories required to provide early intervention services to children eligible under this part and their families, and to revise or expand these categories as needed. The professions or disciplines need not be limited to traditional occupational categories.
[58 FR 40959, July 30, 1993, as amended at 63 FR 18295, Apr. 14, 1998]
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