Early childhood inclusion: Challenges and strategies from the 2014 Preschool Inclusion Survey


This brief presents survey findings from the 2014 Preschool Inclusion Survey. It is based on a webinar that was held on October 28, 2014 and is Part 1 of 3 of the Preschool Inclusion Webinar Series, sponsored by ELC TA and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.

Source: Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance Program

Available at: https://elc.grads360.org/services/PDCService.svc/GetPDCDocumentFile?fileId=9652

Leadership in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education


The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) believes that high-quality leadership should be developed and supported at all levels of service systems in early intervention / early childhood special education (EI/ECSE). The service systems within which we work are highly complex and are composed of a single entity or multiple entities. They are administered by many different agencies1 (e.g., education, health, human services), funded through numerous sources, and governed by multiple federal and state laws. EI/ECSE program administrators and practitioners are expected to work collaboratively across system, disciplinary, and program boundaries to support the optimal development of young children who have, or are at risk for, developmental delays/disabilities and their families. To do so effectively, personnel at all levels of EI/ECSE service systems must demonstrate individual and collective leadership skills.

Source: Division of Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children

Available at: http://dec.membershipsoftware.org/files/Position%20Statement%20and%20Papers/LdrshpPositionStatement_final_Mar%202015%20(1)(1).pdf

Engaging Families of Children with Disabilities: Systematically Planning to Create Positive Experiences and Meet Expectations (Webinar)

November 4, 2015 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Inclusion means more than providing high quality services to children with disabilities. It involves building strong partnerships with families. Each family member learns about and confronts the disability of their child in different ways. All families are complex, but these complexities grow with the added stressors of accommodating unexpected challenges that come with disability. High quality early care and education programs partner with families to ensure their children access the most effective services. Learn more about the experiences of families of children with disabilities and find out what they are looking for from programs.In addition, consider the programmatic systems that need to be in place to support families of children with disabilities. Program administrators will learn about strategies including professional development for staff, partnerships with early intervention and preschool special education providers, and resources necessary to fully include families in your program.Engage families of children with disabilities in meaningful ways to promote children’s school readiness and improve their outcomes. All families want the most for their children and will do all they can to support them. Finding ways to meet their needs and support them in this process creates a partnership that benefits everyone.

Source: Early Childhood Investigations Webinars

Available at: http://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/presentations/engaging-families-of-children-with-disabilities-systematically-planning-to-create-positive-experiences-and-meet-expectations-amanda-schwartz/

Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes for Young Children with Disabilities and their Families


Purpose and Audience: Building and sustaining high-quality early intervention and preschool special education systems is a complex and ongoing process for state agencies. To support states, the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center), funded by The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), has developed a framework that addresses the question, “What does a state need to put into place in order to encourage/support/require local implementation of evidence-based practices that result in positive outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families?”

The purpose of the ECTA System Framework is to guide state Part C and Section 619 Coordinators and their staff in:

  • evaluating their current systems;
  • identifying potential areas for improvement, and;
  • developing more effective, efficient systems that support implementation of evidence-based practices.

States vary significantly in their Part C and Section 619 service delivery systems and the framework was developed to accommodate this variation. It is intended to enhance the capacity of Part C and Section 619 state staff to:

  • Understand the characteristics of an effective service system;
  • Lead or actively participate in system improvement efforts, including cross-agency work; and
  • Build more effective systems of services and programs that will improve outcomes for young children with disabilities and families served under Part C and Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Source: ECTACenter.org : The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

Available at: http://ectacenter.org/sysframe/

Thirty-sixth Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Parts B and C.


This is the 36th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2014. Section 664(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as reauthorized in 2004, requires that the Department of Education report annually on the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities and the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities.The 36th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2016 describes our nation’s progress in:

  • providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for all children with disabilities,
  • ensuring that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected,
  • assisting states and localities in providing for the education of all children with disabilities, and
  • assessing the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.

The report focuses on the children and students with disabilities being served under IDEA, Part C or B, nationally and at the state level.

Source: U.S. Department of Education

Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/2014/parts-b-c/index.html

CEELO Fast Facts: QRIS and Inclusion

November 25, 2014

As the country quickly builds its efforts to enhance quality in early education and care classrooms, states are implementing Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) to recognize and improve the quality of programs. QRIS also provides technical support and increased financial benefits for participating programs to attain higher levels of quality. Developed initially as a voluntary system for providers in many states, participation in a QRIS is increasingly becoming a requirement for family child care and centers to receive state or federal funds. QRIS policy has been embedded in federal initiatives such as Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge and the Preschool Development and Expansion grants, mandating states to improve the quality of early education and care. Most important, QRIS is intended to provide consumers (parents) with a mechanism to differentiate quality of programs to determine which programs may provide better services for their children.

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes

Available at: http://ceelo.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ceelo_fast_fact_qris_inclusion.pdf

Building the Legacy for Our Youngest Children with Disabilities

September 2014

Welcome to NICHCY’s  training curriculum on early intervention! The full curriculum isn’t done yet, but there are many modules available for your reading, downloading, and training use, and there are many more on the way.

Source: Center for Parent Information and Resources

Available at: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/legacy-partc/

Disabilities Newsletter

November 2014

Read About It

Infant chair

Balancing Act: If I Can’t Sit Up, I Can’t Play 
Imagine that you are a 3-year-old, sitting at a table or on the floor at circle time, and you have trouble maintaining your balance without holding yourself up. How well would you be able to use your hands to explore and play? For children with mild to moderate motor challenges, the right adaptive chairs and equipment can make a big difference in how well they’re able to play, eat, and join in learning activities.

This article from Young Exceptional Children, Adaptive Sitting for Young Children with Mild to Moderate Motor Challenges: Basic Guidelines, describes sitting postures that are commonly seen in young children with motor delays, and shows how these postures can limit a child’s engagement. It includes photos and diagrams on correct sitting postures, and shares common positioning challenges and strategies. The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and Sage Publications have enabled free access to this article through Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.

Take a Look

Loosen up! Help for Baby’s Tight Neck 
Infant torticollis is a relatively common condition, especially in newborns. It can occur when one of the large muscles that run on each side of the neck (from the back of the ears to the collarbone) becomes tight, weakened, or thickened. This can cause the baby’s head to tilt and make it difficult for him to turn his neck. Here are some strategies that home visitors can teach families. These simple ideas can be incorporated into a baby’s daily routines.

  • Tummy time: While on the floor, place toys in the opposite direction of the baby’s tight side. Attract his attention to the desired side by blowing bubbles, activating musical toys, or placing an infant safety mirror within his view.
  • Rolling: Change the baby’s clothes on the floor, and then encourage her to roll towards her tight side by asking a sibling or parent to make funny faces or sing songs from that side.
  • Play: Use interesting toys, bubbles, or music to attract the baby to face away from his preferred side.
  • Feeding: When bottle feeding, position the bottle so that baby needs to look away from her tight side. Encourage her to finish the bottle in this new position.
  • Sleeping: Place the baby so his preferred side is to a wall, away from “the action.” The baby will want to turn his head to see what is going on, exercising the necessary muscles.

The Early Intervention Strategies for Success Blog from the Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center has even more activities and video clips that demonstrate how therapists help babies with torticollis. If a baby continues to have significant issues turning her neck and head, guide the family in talking with their health care provider. The baby may need more intensive support from a physical therapist.

Important note: Home visitors and early interventionists may provide coaching for families on how to support a baby who has torticollis, but they should never attempt to stretch the muscles in a baby’s neck unless they have been trained by a physical therapist or a physician.

Try It Out!

Three Great Ideas
This month we talked with Tricia Catalino, assistant professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Touro University Nevada and vice chair of the American Physical Therapy Association. We asked her for three favorite tips to help teachers collaborate with a child’s consulting therapist in Head Start classrooms, and this is what she said:

  1. Before the consulting therapist’s visit, note the classroom activities and routines where the child requires the most support to participate. Invite the therapist to schedule an observation during this time. Share the classroom rules, routines, expectations, and other pertinent information about the child. This helps the therapist arrive better prepared for collaboration.
  2. Schedule a regular time to meet with the child’s therapist to discuss successful (and not so successful) strategies. Meetings can be short, but the more regular the better to build cooperative, collaborative relationships.
  3. With the parents’ consent, share photos and videos with the therapist. For example, show how the child sits, stands, or moves from place to place. The therapist can provide photos of a similar child positioned in an adaptive chair to show you how the child in your classroom can be supported.

Improve Your Practice

Check out a 15-minute In-service Suite
Would you like a tool that helps you plan your teaching opportunities? Activity Matrix: Organizing Learning throughout the Day describes how you can use an activity matrix to organize your instruction on the children’s learning objectives and Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals throughout the day’s activities, routines, and transitions. This suite includes video examples, a slide presentation, and Tips for Teachers handouts. It’s available on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC).

Families Too!

Photo of baby

Back to Sleep—Front to Play
The importance of placing infants on their backs to sleep has been well established since the early ’90s, but if a baby spends too much time on her back she can develop a flat spot on her head (plagiocephaly). Tummy time is when babies are held, carried, positioned, or played with on their tummies. Time spent in different positions also helps babies to:

  • Strengthen the muscles in their upper body, neck, and shoulders
  • Prevent tight neck muscles
  • Build the strength and coordination they need to roll, sit, and crawl

For more tummy time tips, read: Early Head Start Tip Sheet No. 41 Tummy Time and Infants from the Early Head Start National Resource Center; Tummy Time Tools: Activities to Help You Position, Carry, Hold and Play with Your Baby from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; and A Child Care Provider’s Guide to Safe Sleep from Healthy Child Care America. For relevant recommended practices, read Safe Sleep Practices and SIDS/Suffocation Risk Reduction from the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. It includes all of the guidelines from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards – Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition.

Special Events

The 29th Annual Zero to Three’s National Training Institute takes place in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, at the Westin Diplomat, Dec. 10–12.

The 12th Annual National Training Institute on Effective Practices takes place in St. Petersburg, FL, at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club, April 21–24.

We Want to Hear from You!

The Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletter is produced monthly by NCQTL. Email Kristin Ainslie at ncqtl@uw.edu to submit questions or suggestions for future newsletter topics.

Select this link to view previous Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletters on the ECLKC.

A Guide to the Implementation Process: Stages, Steps and Activities

March 2014

Improving child and family outcomes is a cornerstone of early childhood education and in particular the IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619 Preschool programs. To improve outcomes, an evidence-based practice or innovation must be selected and the process of implementing that practice or innovation must be effective. Implementation science is the study of the processes needed to bring new practices into widespread use.

This guide is based on a review of the literature of implementation science Fixsen, Naoom, Blase, Friedman, & Wallace, 2005 and the collective experiences of federally funded national centers in conducting state-wide system change initiatives. These centers include the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center NECTAC, now the ECTA Center, Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children TACSEI, Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning CSEFEL, National Implementation Research Network NIRN, and the State Implementation of Scaling-up Evidence-based Practices SISEP.

Source: FPG Child Development Institute

Available at: http://fpg.unc.edu/resources/guide-implementation-process-stages-steps-and-activities

International Journal of Early Childhood Special Edition

June 2014

Dear INT-JECSE readers and contributors,

We are excited to be with you with the first volume of sixth issue of the INT-JECSE as we are starting our sixth year with growing contributions of many experts from the field of early childhood special education worldwide. We would like to extend our appreciations to all who contributes by submitting  or reviewing manuscripts or have been readers of the INT-JECSE. In our first issue of the sixth year, you will find seven articles on various topics of young children with special needs and their families or professionals.

The first article written by Noel Kok Hwee Chia and Norman Kiak Nam Kee and entitled as “A Reading Support Program for Low-Income Preschool Non-Readers in Singapore” focuses on the effectiveness of a reading support program known as Support for Preschool non-Readers SUPER for preschool non-readers coming from low-income families in Singapore. Findings of the study indicated that there are significant improvements in the preschool non-readers’ word knowledge acquired through picture-based vocabulary and word recognition acquired through print and word awareness after going through the 8-month reading support program.

Selma Akalın is the author of the second article entitled as “Needs of Preschool Counselors about Inclusive Practices”. The author investigated the opinions and needs of preschool counselors about inclusive practices. Findings of this study yielded that preschool counselors had limited knowledge and skills related to inclusive practices. Furthermore, the primary needs of preschool counselors were about the topics of “characteristics of children with special needs,” “educational assessment and preparing Individualized Education Programs–IEPs, “deciding on which behavior modification method or strategy to use,” and “providing knowledge and support to preschool teachers about inclusive practices.”

With the title of “A Review of Early Numeracy Interventions for Children at Risk in Mathematics”, in the third article, the authors, Riikka Mononen, Pirjo Aunio, Tuire Koponen and Mikko Aro reviewed early numeracy interventions for four- to seven-year-old children at risk for mathematics difficulties. Their findings yielded 19 peer-reviewed studies with pre- and post-treatment control designs. The interventions were categorised as either core or supplemental instruction.

Meral Melekoğlu, İbrahim H. Diken, Seçil Çelik and Gözde Tomris in the fourth article conducted “A Review of the First Step to Success Early Education Program on Preventing Antisocial Behaviors”. Results of this study indicated that First Step to Success FSS is one of the early intervention programs that have been scientifically proven to be effective. FSS is a program implemented in school and at home. FSS consists of three modules: scan/diagnostic, classroom and home. Findings yielded that FSS is an effective method of preventing antisocial behavior, and teachers and parents were satisfied with the results of the program.

The fifth article written by Serra Acar and Yusuf Akamoglu and entitled as “Practices for Parent Participation in Early Intervention/ Early Childhood Special Education” focuses on the extent to which practices for parentparticipation in early intervention/ early childhood special educationEI/ECSE programs.

With the title of “Education and Social Statuses of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Medieval Islam Societies”, in the sixth article, the author, Veysel Aksoy examined the legal rights of the people with intellectual disabilities, the use of these rights, their social status which arising from these rights in the concept of the Islamic Law.

The seventh article written by Kourtland R. Koch, Onur Ozdemir and M. Cem Akkose and entitled as “Enhancing Early Intervention Services for Children with Special Needs in the Middle East:A Turkish Initiative” focuses on early intervention services for children with special needs in Turkey.

Looking forward to being with you in December 2014 issue…

Macid A. Melekoglu, Ph.D., Associate Editor, INT-JECSE
Ibrahim H. Diken, Ph.D., Editor-In-Chief, INT-JECSE

Source: International Journal of Early Childhood Special Edition (INT-JECSE)

Available at: http://www.int-jecse.net/default.asp