PreSchool Children Playing with a parachute

Back in April 2009, the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) adopted and published a Joint Position Statement of Early Childhood Inclusion. This significant document for our field not only provides a collaborative unified definition on inclusion, the document serves as a blueprint identifying key components of high quality inclusive programs through access, participation and supports. Additionally, the document offers recommendations on its use with families, practitioners and policy makers in the field to improve services for young children with disabilities and those who support them.  This joint Position Statement is an about face to previous educational practices of the separation and isolation of children with disabilities. It reflects societal values that young children with disabilities and their families are full members of the community with stimulating opportunities for development, learning, and a sense of belonging for every child. 

The following considerations are offered in conjunction with the Position Statement to improve early childhood services in your community:

High expectations for all children require careful consideration of these areas:

Access

Resources/Websites:

The following resources and websites contain information related to Universal Design for Learning in Early Childhood       

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Participation

       Resources/Websites:

  • CONNECT Modules: This website hosts a variety of modules directly related to early childhood. Module 7 is about Tiered Instruction, while Module 1’s topic is embedded intervention. Both topics provide information about how to meet differing needs in a preschool classroom.

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Supports

       Resources/Websites:

  • ECTA Center: This website houses many easy-to-use DEC Recommended Practices resources including a checklist and practice guides.
  • Frank Porter Graham: This is the website of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at Chapel Hill. It contains many useful resources for teachers and administrators. 
  • Family Engagement:   This website provides support for families and teachers with a large topical index from which to choose information.
  • CONNECT Modules: This website hosts a variety of modules directly related to early childhood. Module 3 is titled Communication for Collaboration, while Module 4 is about Family-Professional Partnerships.

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  • The Thinking Teacher:  This book provides a wealth of information about how to be an intentional teacher, support student needs, and build relationships with families.

       Webinars:

       Find a variety of early-childhood-focused webinars at these websites

Every staff, faculty, administrator and or practitioner should operate under the same set of assumptions, values, and beliefs about the most effective ways to support infants and young children with disabilities and their families.

Websites:

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Websites:

The Leadership in Effective And Developmentally-appropriate Services in ECSE (LEADS) website provides consistent information to empower local leaders to build capacity and provide high-quality programs for young children with IEPs, 2 through 5 years of age.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center website houses resources to assist localities and programs looking to improve their systems, practices, and outcomes for young children. 

Supporting Participation for All... Essential Features of High-Quality Inclusion.  This webinar identifies supports as the third feature of high-quality early childhood inclusion.

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  • The Preschool Inclusion Toolbox: This how-to resource offers problem-solving tips, evidence-based practices, practical checklists, along with 100+ PowerPoint slides to structure professional development activities.
  • DEC Recommended Practices: A monograph series highlighting practices that result in better outcomes for young children with disabilities and those who support them.
  • First Steps to Preschool Inclusion: This resource combines the latest research with the nuts and bolts of program development, assisting current and future early childhood leaders assemble highly effective inclusion teams and develop programs where every child thrives and learns.

Stay abreast of current trends, new research and evidence-based practices through continuing professional development.

Websites/Resources:

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  • Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals: Improve the quality of early childhood programs with this Virginia resource that clearly articulates recommended practices for the adults supporting young children between birth through kindergarten.
  • Special Quest: This DVD/CD collection is designed for use in professional development settings supporting the inclusion of young children birth through five and their families.
  • The Preschool Inclusion Toolbox: This how-to comprehensive tool-box is filled with problem-solving tips, evidence-based practices, practical checklists, handouts as well as 100+ PowerPoint slides to structure professional development activities.

Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia

In Virginia, Early Childhood Special Education (Part B of IDEA) and Early Intervention (Part C of IDEA) provide services for children from birth to kindergarten age who qualify according to state and federal law. Localities across the state have services available for children who are eligible and their families.

Training and Technical Assistance Centers

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services are provided by local school divisions and supported by regional Training and Technical Assistance Centers (T/TAC).

Websites:

Leadership in Effective and Developmentally-Appropriate Services in Virginia ECSE (LEADS)

Leadership in Effective and Developmentally- appropriate Services in Virginia ECSE (LEADS) offers additional resources to Virginia’s ECSE leaders responsible for administrative oversight of local programs.

Virginia Early Childhood Guidance Document - This guidance document is designed to assist Virginia's school divisions and early childhood communities in identifying,  developing, and sustaining inclusive opportunities with high-quality early childhood programs for children with disabilities.

Zero to Three

The school-ready child is one who is communicative, confident, curious, creative, cooperative, empathetic, persistent, self-controlled, and a problem solver according to Zero-to-Three (2013, Infographic Advocacy Tool).  Learning these skills and honing these attributes begins at birth, not the year or two before a child enters a preschool or kindergarten program.

Websites:

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Developmentally appropriate practice has become a buzz phrase among early childhood educators, but what does developmentally appropriate practice REALLY mean?

Developmentally appropriate practice requires that teachers make decisions daily based on their knowledge of child development, taking into consideration individual learning differences and social and cultural influences, while striving to meet the cognitive, emotional, and physical needs of children based on child development theories and observations of children's individual strengths and weaknesses.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has pioneered the use of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood classrooms, and is considered the topmost expert in the field of early childhood education.

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  • Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs (Third Edition).  This book spells out more fully the principles undergirding developmentally appropriate practice and guidelines for making decisions in the classroom and other settings for young children.
  • Learning to Read and Write Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children.  The International Reading Association/National Association for the Education of Young Children joint position statement on developmentally-appropriate ways of teaching children to read and write comes to life here with photographs, concrete guidelines, and exciting ideas for the classroom. 
  • Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: An Introduction for Teachers of Children 3 to 6.  An easy-to-read guide for teachers of young children. Divided into three sections--the first addresses What Is Developmentally Appropriate Practice? Developmentally Appropriate Practitioner is addressed in section two, covering five key aspects of good teaching (creating a caring community of learners, teaching to enhance development and learning, planning appropriate curriculum, assessing children's development and learning, and developing reciprocal relationships with families). The final section, FAQs, answers common inquiries collated from practitioners and families over the years.

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Websites/Resources:

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Useful Links:

Virginia Guidelines for Early Childhood Inclusion Cover Page depicting six smiling children
Virginia Early Childhood Inclusion Guidance Document
The Council for Exceptional Children's Division for Early Childhood Logo and Link
CEC's Division for Early Childhood Special Education
Foundation Blocks for Early Learning Logo
The Foundation Blocks for Early Learning
National Association for the Education of Young Children Logo
National Association for the Education of Young Children
Division for Early Childhood's Recommended Practices document logo.
The Division of Early Childhood Special Education Recommended Practices in Early intervention
Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center Logo
Head Start's Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center
Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children Webpage
Behavior Management Resources