Ask an Expert: IFSP vs. IEP?

What is the difference between an IFSP and an IEP?

IFSP stands for Individualized Family Service Plan. An IFSP is created for children (birth to 3 years old) who qualify for an Early Intervention program.

IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan. An IEP is created for children (3-21 years) who qualify for special education services through their school system.

The main difference between an IFSP and an IEP is that an IFSP focuses on the services that the child and family need to help improve their child’s development. An IEP concentrates on the child’s educational needs. Both documents are created to ultimately to set in place individualized goals, objectives, and various services to support the child’s current needs.