Supporting Students Who Receive Early Childhood Special Education Services during COVID19


The COVID19 national crisis has created conditions in our educational system that no one could have planned for or predicted. Parents are managing their own work from home arrangements, maintaining work schedules out of the home and supporting their own children’s learning while they are out of school. Teachers and school district administrators are all working hard to support children and families during this crisis. In addition, with Govenor Northam's announcement of a phased reopening for Virginia schools, divisions might be considering how to integrate both tele-intervention and in-person instruction safely.

In an effort to share the best available information, the Virginia Department of Education and the Training and Technical Assistance Centers have developed a list of curated links and resources covering a variety of areas germane to young children with disabilities and their families. The lists are not exhaustive but do provide a set of resources specifically selected to assist parents, teachers, and administrators who support a young child with a disability.  Teachers and administrators may want to utilize or highlight selected resources for a parent to support their child during this time.

Links from Virginia Department of Education:

  • Transition from Early Intervention to Early Childhood Special Education FAQ (Last Updated on3/27/2020):On March 23, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam, closed all public and private schools through the end of this school year due to this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. This FAQ document provides answers to commonly asked questions related to the transition from Early Intervention to Early Childhood Special Education. In This FAQ: Early Intervention, School Closures, Transition from EI to ECSE, Communicating with Families
  • WHAT FAMILIES OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES NEED TO KNOW DURING COVID-19 SCHOOL CLOSURE: TIPS AND RESOURCES FOR CONSIDERATION (VDOE):The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) cares about the well-being of both you and your child, especially as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all in this together and our first priority is to keep our families and ourselves safe by seeking out meaningful supports. We should make every effort to stay positive and patient with one another and be compassionate in the understanding that everyone--administrators, teachers, students, and families--are going through this together. Please consider the following tips and resources when working with your child’s school team.


Early Childhood Special Education Website Supports:

  • ECTA Center: Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) website: The Early Childhood Technical Assitance Center (ECTA) provides the latest information on funding and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Included on the ECTA Covid-19 site are two highlighted topics: "Disaster Planning and Trauma Response" & "Remote Service Delivery and Distance Learning."
  • Early Childhood and COVID-19 UPDATES (Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, VECF): VECF recognizes both the immediate and long-term impact of COVID-19 on all of us. We are especially concerned for vulnerable families and the providers who partner with them in caring for and supporting young children. We are committed to facilitating Virginia’s successful rapid response, recovery, and transformation of child care solutions.


Resources for Instructing Early Childhood Special Education Students during Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Supports for Young Children with Disabilities Matrix: This is a resource document for teachers to use to help create individualized daily/weekly lessons for students with early childhood aged children with disabilities. The lesson ideas in the sections are divided into functional activities associated with time of day (morning, afternoon, evening). The teacher and parent should work together to select activities that will help meet the needs of the individual student. When possible, links are provided to virtual resources and general resources which relate to many of the different activities within the matrix.
  • Tele-intervention Resources on LEADS: List of a variety of curated resources, including articles, webinars, and websites for instructing students through tele-intervention.
  • COVID-19 and Early Childhood Playlist on YouTube (VCU-ACE): VCU-ACE is delighted to announce the development of early childhood specific resources for families raising young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These resources are designed to support families through the challenges and disruptions of COVID-19, as well as support families in understanding topics related to ASD and child development.