Resources

  • Evidence-Based Practices - The resources provided here are supported by research and evidence. Topics include assessment, child development, curriculum & instruction, family involvement, inclusion, and transition.
  • Superintendent's memo - This page provides superintendent memos specific to Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Administrators and individuals responsible for administrative oversight of local ECSE programs.
  • State/Federal Organizations - This page provides national and state level initiatives and organizations relevant to early childhood special education.
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Showing Results 1 - 50 of 273
Description: Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) - A Resource Document - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that students with disabilities are provided a free appropriate public education, referred to as FAPE. FAPE is also required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In Virginia, FAPE is an important legal right for students with disabilities, ages 2 through 21, receiving services under these two laws. This document defines FAPE, explains what FAPE requires...
Description: HJR 17 - Designating July, in 2024 and in each succeeding year, as Disability Pride Month in Virginia - Disability Pride Month is celebrated in July by people across the United States and provides an opportunity for all Virginians to celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities and take an active role in preventing discrimination against people with disabilities.
Description: This interactive module on Curriculum Framework aims to empower educators to confidently support children with Individualized Education Programs, taking into account their unique strengths and interests. Educators can enhance their effectiveness in the classroom by understanding the key elements of a curriculum framework and how they work in tandem to nurture children and families. This resource encourages reflection on how to implement these elements to create a supportive learning environment...
Description: Children develop at their own pace; however, most children reach developmental milestones at or about the same age. When a parent or professional has concerns about a child's development, there are often questions as to what the next steps should be. These two flyers, created by the Virginia Department of Education, are meant to direct those questions to the corresponding answer source.  One flyer is directed towards Flyer for VA Families - How to get Help When Concerned about Child...
Description: Parental Consent in Special Education: A Fact Sheet for Virginia Families - As a parent or guardian of a child with a disability, it's important to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding parental consent in the special education process. Virginia has very strong consent provisions in its Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia. For complete information, see regulatory section 8VAC20-81-170. This Fact Sheet includes; What is...
Description: All parents of school-aged children and youth with disabilities who receive special education services in Virginia are requested to complete the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) annual Parent Involvement Survey. This survey will remain open through December 13, 2024. Please complete one survey for each of your children who is currently receiving special education services during the 2023-2024 school year.
Description: Connecting the Dots - Planning Your Child's Move from Early Intervention (EI) to Preschool - PEATC's new resource document will help you "Connect the Dots" and plan your child's move from Early Intervention (EI) to Preschool (Early Childhood Special Education, or ECSE).
Description: The Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education Caseload Management Form is a helpful tool intended for professionals to track the caseload of itinerant teachers, including frequency of direct instruction, frequency of collaborative meetings, and professional development provided.
Description: This Embedded Instruction Matrix Form is meant for itinerant teachers to complete for students on his/her caseload. The Itinerant teacher lists the daily schedule and imbeds the targeted skills of that particular student into the schedule to ensure the learning is naturally embedded throughout corresponding parts of the day.
Description: The "Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education Administrator Start-Up Steps for the New School Year" is a checklist for administrators to prepare for the itinernant model. The checklist includes sections for: Logisitcs Direct Instruction (DI), Collaborative Meetings (CM), and Professional Development (PD) IEP and Other Special Education Meetings  
Description: The Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education Planning and Documentation Form encourages itinerant teachers to document his/her visits and services provided. Itinerant teachers can document the summary of service delivery visit including the consultation/collaboration and direct instruction activities implemented, as well as notes on what worked well and what did not. Additionally, teachers can document follow-up tasks needed to complete and the plan for the next visit.
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)'s page for Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs which includes a variety of resources. See below for links. Inclusion in early childhood programs is supported through years of research and reinforced by a strong legal foundation. In a joint policy statement, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) and Education (USED) defines inclusion in early childhood programs as children with disabilities in early childhood programs,...
Description: The VCPD Inclusive Practices Task Force has published an infographic describing the right of all young chidren with and without disabilities to experience settings, relationships, and interactions that will further their development and learning.
Description: Children with IEPs, Ages 2-5 In 2015, 12,111 children In 2016, 12,515 children In 2017, 13,035 children In 2018, 13,497 children In 2019, 13,799 children In 2020 (Covid-19), 11,021 children (2020 total decreased of 2,778, 20%) In 2021, 11,535 children (2021 total decrease of 2,264 from 2019, 16%)*Prior years were increasing by 3% In 2022, 13,389 children (16% increase from 2021) In 2023, 14,494 children (8% increase from 2022)   Children with IEPs, by Age Ages 0-2: 914 children with IEPs...
Description: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) have partnered to announce the release of a joint Dear Colleague Letter encouraging state education and early childhood leaders to collaborate and leverage federal resources expanding access to preschool through a mixed delivery approach. The mixed delivery approach to preschool urges states and local communities to use resources to support...
Description: It is never too early to consider assistive technology supports and services. Providing children with supports to access play, communication, and books is essential to their early development. The following resources will assist you in exploring AT and AAC for young children. Check out these Professional Learning Possibilities on TTAC Online: Considering Assistive Technology Course: Asynchronous Virtual Virginia Course - Virginia Assistive Technology, Tools, and Strategies (VATTS): Consideration...
Description: This customizable lesson plan template contains fields that can be used to intentionally plan for co-teaching arrangements and differentiation in a preschool classroom. Sections can be easily modified to fit your daily schedule. Other considerations related to total participation techniques, evidence-based practices, and positive behavior supports are also included within the template. Supplemental materials consist of a completed sample lesson plan and corresponding activity video....
Description: In response to feedback and collaboration with the field, as well as to legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has released the Video Guide to the Special Education Evaluation Process for Families as additional guidance to support accurate and consistent eligibility determinations and access to special education services across school divisions. These video modules will provide parents, families, and other stakeholders with a brief but...
Description: New Video: Introducing the Office of Special Education Program's Assistive Technology Guidance and the 2024 National Educational Technology Plan (2:46 mins.) IDEA: Assistive Technology Devices and Services for Children With Disabilities Under the IDEA (Jan. 22, 2024) - The Office of Educational Technology and the Office of Special Education Programs are pleased to share the guidance in support of children with disabilities who need assistive technology (AT) devices and services for meaningful...
Description: Crosswalks cross-reference the functional skills assessed by various published instruments with the three child outcomes required by OSEP for Part C and Part B, Section 619 programs to assess the degree to which these instruments measure the required outcomes. Crosswalks were generated for instruments based on the frequency of informal requests from states.
Description: Local school divisions provide special education services for young children, ages two to five, who have developmental delays or disabilities. Depending on the learning needs of the child, these services may be provided in early childhood care and education (ECCE) settings such as Virginia Preschool Initiative, Head Start, Mixed Delivery, child care, and community-based preschool programs. When special education services are provided in ECCE settings, Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education...
Description: Local school divisions provide special education services for young children, ages two to five, who have developmental delays or disabilities. Depending on the learning needs of the child, these services may be provided in high-quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) settings such as Virginia Preschool Initiative, Head Start, Mixed Delivery, child care, and community-based preschool programs. When special education services are provided in ECCE settings, Itinerant Early Childhood...
Description: Guiding positive behavior is a learning process for young children as their brains are growing and developing the ability to regulate behavior, emotions and manage impulses. Creating safe, warm and supportive environments motivate children to learn and practice positive behaviors when adults are responsive and consistent. As a Specialist in Early Education with 6 years of experience as a CLASS coach, Michelle Galindo has supported many educators in classrooms with infants, toddlers and preschool...
Description: Children are supported to manage their behavior when they know what to expect, their needs are met, and they are valued for who they are. Adults can help by establishing consistent routines and clear expectations. When they are aware of children’s needs, adults can meet them where they are and provide support. Then children can develop the skills they need to be aware of and manage their behavior. When adults focus on the behaviors that help children to succeed, they are more likely to...
Description: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Updated Resource to Support the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs (11/2023) Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education (the Departments) announced the release of an updated joint-policy statement on supporting the inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood programs. The HHS-ED Policy Statement on the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood...
Description: Smooth transitions from Early Intervention (Part C) to Early Childhood Special Education (Part B) are very important for children and families and require collaboration between sending and receiving programs. The VDOE updated the Transition from Early Intervention to Early Childhood Special Education Q&A Document (August 2023) with the most recent guidance for programs supporting transitioning students. 
Description: The Virginia Family’s Guide to Special Education is a revision of the former A Parent’s Guide to Special Education that was originally published in 2010. This new state guide was developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to help those involved in special education, whether as families, teachers or school administrators, advocates, or students. Meeting the needs of children with disabilities requires an understanding of rights and responsibilities which include the...
Description: Bus drivers and transportation staff work directly with students with autism and are responsible for their and others' safety during the routes. Drivers and assistants are the first faces students see in the morning and the last ones in the afternoon. They are critical liaisons between home and school and often have more interaction with parents than other school staff. Beyond simply driving, transportation staff are in charge of managing behavior, implementing accommodations, and collaborating...
Description: When children can fully access their learning environment, they participate and learn. Discover how disability services coordinators can help program staff think about ways to give children with disabilities or suspected delays access to a full range of learning experiences and activities. Explore how to support educators to recognize each child's level of participation. Learn how to set up the learning environment for full participation and when to modify activities and materials, including...
Description: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for increasing access to education environments and opportunities, including in infant and toddler settings. Learning environments, materials, and activities are planned ahead of time, with the aim of welcoming all learners. UDL supports all children, including infants and toddlers with disabilities, to help them engage more fully in learning. It doesn't take the place of individualized curriculum modifications necessary for particular...
Description: Effective Practice Guides: Social and Emotional Development (ECKLC) - Positive social and emotional development in the early years provides a critical foundation for lifelong development and learning. Social development refers to a child’s ability to create and sustain meaningful relationships with adults and other children. Emotional development is a child’s ability to express, recognize, and manage his or her emotions, as well as respond appropriately to others’ emotions....
Description: Video: Supporting Social and Emotional Learning for Children with Disabilities (ECLKC) - Developing social and emotional skills are important for all young children! Making and keeping friends, solving social problems, and paying attention to emotions are key skills for children to learn during their early years. After all, social and emotional development is the foundation for lifelong learning and development. Learning these critical skills is especially important for young children with...
Description: Curated in conjunction with Mary Anne Prater, the author or co-author of seven books and dozens of academic journal articles on teaching students with developmental difficulties as well as special and general education topics, this search tool contains information and synopses of children’s and young adult literature about or having to do with people with disabilities. This information includes the name of the author and illustrator, year of publication, publisher, appropriate grade...
Description: Engaging families of children with disabilities is essential to supporting children’s learning and development. It is rooted in foundational Head Start resources, including the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework and Relationship-based Competencies to Support Family Engagement. Learning about the hopes and goals of families of children with disabilities is important. It is equally crucial to communicate to families in culturally and linguistically responsive and...
Description: Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules are developed for early care and education, early intervention, and early childhood special education faculty and professional development providers to use within their coursework and trainings. These modules are designed to support the implementation of the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices. Specifically, there are modules to support the use of 7 of the DEC Recommended Practice topic areas. The modules support your learners in:...
Description: This module offers a general overview of the concepts that principals should consider when creating inclusive schools (est. completion time: 2 hours).
Description: Children with IEPs, Ages 2-5 In 2015, 12,111 children In 2016, 12,515 children In 2017, 13,035 children In 2018, 13,497 children In 2019, 13,799 children In 2020 (Covid-19), 11,021 children (2020 total decreased of 2,778, 20%) In 2021, 11,535 children (2021 total decrease of 2,264 from 2019, 16%)* *Prior years were increasing by 3% In 2022, 13,389 children (16% increase from 2021) Children with IEPs, by Age Ages 0-2: 917 children with IEPs Age 3: 4,598 children with IEPs Age 4: 6,409 children...
Description: As educators interact with children with disabilities, they connect in ways that cultivate emotionally supportive relationships, engage learners in ways that create a context for learning, and leverage instructional support tailored to the needs of each child in order to inspire learning. The resources on this page are designed to guide efforts to use CLASS to capture these interactions.
Description: Developed by the VDOE’s Training and Technical Assistance Centers (T/TACs), Improving Inclusive Practices & Outcomes for Preschoolers (IPOP) is a systems change approach to support school divisions in the development, expansion, and/or improvement of inclusive placement opportunities for preschoolers with Individual Education Programs (IEPs). IPOP is designed to help local school divisions meet federal and state mandates requiring young children with disabilities to be educated in the...
Description: Part 1: The Essential Messages of Trauma Responsive Practices (Recorded): What does it mean to be trauma-informed and trauma-responsive, and how do these concepts apply to children with special education needs? In this first session of a three-part webcast series, we will discuss the Essential Messages of a trauma-responsive practice as defined by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. As part of this series, you will develop a personal trauma-responsive action plan so you can identify how...
Description: While there is no universal panacea for preventing challenging behaviors, there are several broad-based early intervention strategies that researchers suggest to prevent challenging behaviors. These strategies include:(a) arranging of the classroom environment, (b) scheduling, and (c) implementing rules, rituals, and routines. This article provides a brief overview of each of these prevention strategies.
Description: Programs can support education staff and families by using the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) Pyramid Model as a framework for understanding children's behavior. Many strategies can support healthy social and emotional development and prevent or reduce behaviors that could negatively affect children's development and learning. Education managers, child development specialists, home-based supervisors, mental health consultants, and coaches can help...
Description: Why is DEC taking a stand? Challenging behavior often can interfere with the development of social-emotional competence. Conversely, children with low social-emotional competence may develop challenging behavior as a way to communicate their needs. Punitive practices don’t teach children needed social and communicative behaviors. Additionally, punitive practices, such as corporal punishment, suspension, and expulsion disproportionately affect young children of color. Professionals and...
Description: These Quality Improvement Modules, created by Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF), provide general information on including children with disabilities. Topics include: Building Cultural Competencies High Quality Interactions Including Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs Introduction to Intentional Teaching Play-Based Learning Environments Resources for Working with Families Supporting Kindergarten Transition
Description: Social communication is a core area of difficulty for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Children with ASD express fewer gestures to communicate and may be less engaged with others. This webcast will review early core challenges in social communication, including joint attention, among young children with ASD and describe different types of engagement states. As educators play a role in teaching gestures and joint attention, this webcast will also review how to support the development of...
Description: Children with IEPs, Ages 2-5 (5 year olds in Kindergarten Removed) In 2015, 12,111 children In 2016, 12,515 children In 2017, 13,035 children In 2018, 13,497 children In 2019, 13,799 children In 2020 (Covid-19), 11,021 children (2020 total decreased of 2, 778, 20%) In 2021, 11,535 children (2021 total decrease of 2,264 from 2019, 16%)* *Prior years were increasing by 3% Children with IEPs, by Age: Ages 0-2: 940 children with IEPs Age 3: 3,722 children with IEPs Age 4: 5,497 children with IEPs...
Description: The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) aims to build a more comprehensive understanding of school readiness. As an assessment system, VKRP adds measures of mathematics, self-regulation, and social skills in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten to complement Virginia’s statewide assessment of literacy skills (Pre-K Language and Literacy Screener and PALS K-3). VKRP uses the Early Mathematics Assessment System (EMAS) to measure children’s mathematical thinking. The EMAS is a...
Description: IDEA Child Outcomes Highlights for FFY 2020 summarizes data that states report annually to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) on three child outcomes for IDEA Part C Early Intervention and Part B Preschool programs: social relationships, use of knowledge and skills, and taking action to meet needs. The ECTA and DaSy Centers produce this annual illustrates national child outcomes data for children exiting Part C and Part B preschool and national trends over time and provides a...
Description: The 2022 Virginia Assistive Technology, Tools, and Strategies (VATTS) Resources will guide the IEP team through the consideration and documentation process. These resources replace the previous versions of the AT Consideration and Resource Guide. VATTS: Consideration and Assessment Guidance Document (PDF) - Guidance for school divisions in the consideration and assessment of AT, including planning and implementing those services for students with disabilities. VATTS: Consideration...
Description: The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Head Start are releasing new documents to encourage collaboration between state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and Head Start programs to effectively meet the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements. These documents make clear that SEAs, LEAs, and Head Start programs all have responsibilities for...