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initial IFSP meeting in this second exception because, while the family assessment is voluntary on the part of any family member who participates in it and the initial IFSP meeting must be scheduled at a time convenient to the family, there are no express written consent requirements for conducting the family assessment and initial IFSP meeting.

To ensure that these exceptions are not absolute, we

have added a new requirement in §303.310(c) to clarify that

the lead agency or EIS provider must complete the screening, if applicable; initial evaluation; initial assessments; and initial IFSP meeting as soon as possible

after the circumstances described in new §303.310(b) no

longer exist or parental consent is obtained. We believe that the availability of the two limited exceptions to the

45-day timeline in new §303.310(b) creates flexibility and

reduces burdens for lead agencies and EIS providers. Coupling these exceptions with a 45-day timeline commencing

on the date of the child’s referral to the Part C program

in new §303.310(a) creates a clear and enforceable timeline

that ensures accountability for timely identification, evaluations, assessments, and IFSP meetings for infants and toddlers with disabilities.

Additionally, to further protect children affected by