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 270
Description: Preschool LRE Reference Points and Discussion Prompts is a summary of the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) provisions of the IDEA as it applies to preschool aged children with disabilities can be used as both a quick reference guide and training tool. Topics under the five sections outline reference points and discussion prompts. Reference points are drawn from several sources such as IDEA regulations and Federal Register comments. Discussion points are intended to help state and local teams...
Description: A Guide to Adaptations - Adaptations, such as those shared in this guide, can ensure that each and every child, including young children with disabilities, can fully participate and engage in STEM [and other] learning opportunities and experiences at home, in early childhood programs, and in the community.
Description: This guide highlights evidence-based practices to be used by adults or, in some instances by other children, to facilitate children’s participation in everyday routines, learning experiences, and activities. Each section (e.g., prompting, scaffolding, modeling, descriptive talking, wait time, and reinforcement) includes a description of the practice, examples of how it might be implemented, and links to additional information.
Description: Learning Paths are small collections of curated activities that focus on an early intervention topic. To learn about the topic, you will complete each activity on the path. Activities might include reading an article, taking an online module, watching a video, etc. Once you complete the learning path, you will take a final quiz to earn a certificate documenting the professional development hours earned. Autism Pathways Functional Assessment Pathways Transition from Early Intervention Pathways...
Description: This booklet defines Special Education Terms (Birth to 22) as well as General Disabilty Terms.
Description: When including children with disabilities in regular early childhood programs, it is important to carefully consider class size and the proportionate amount or limits to the number of students with IEPs. This resource outlines requirements and regulations that impact the number of students with IEPs placed in a classroom as well as offers guidance for best practice. This resource should be used  to plan and schedule for inclusive classes. This can include VPI, Head Start, Title 1,...
Description: Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is excited to share a new tool that will help state, regional, and local partners better understand supply and demand of publicly-funded early childhood services in their local communities. The Early Childhood Access Calculator estimates the number of potentially eligible 3- and 4-year-olds in each city or county relative to available publicly-funded slots and enrollment. Please note that children in publicly-funded ECSE classrooms are included in data...
Description: The Making Sound Preschool LRE Decisions guidance document lists important actions in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) development process that should inform placement decisions for young children with disabilities. Organized by important actions within the IEP process. It includes reference to the corresponding IDEA rules and regulations to each action. A guiding principle is listed within each action, followed by additional guidance and resources. Most of the principles in this...
Description: The Early Childhood Virtual Town Hall held on April 19, featured State Superintendent Jillian Balow, Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera, Deputy Secretary of Education McKenzie Snow, and was moderated by Deputy Superintendent Jenna Conway.
Description: The three child outcomes, measured by early intervention and early childhood special education systems, encompass functional skills and behaviors that are meaningful for a child's participation in everyday routines. They cut across developmental domains to represent the integrated nature of how children develop, learn, and thrive. The breadth of these outcomes provides a framework for describing and consistently measuring children's functional skills and behaviors across settings and situations....
Description: Radford University (RU) and the University of Lynchburg (UL) offer tuition support for teachers who are fulfilling requirements for their provisional Birth-5, Children with Disabilities license. This opportunity is funded through the Virginia Department of Education Early Childhood Special Education Consortium grant. Tuition support is available for students who are non-degree seeking (just taking courses to fulfil their license) or degree seeking (pursuing a Master’s degree). Support...
Description: The Ready B5 Recap newsletter will focus on how we work together to support all Virginia children- from birth to age five - to enter school ready. All programs that serve children from birth to age five including schools, Head Starts, child care centers, family day homes, preschools and faith-based programs, will be included. With this quarterly newsletter, we seek to: Appreciate – Ready B5 Recap highlights the incredible work happening in early childhood in Virginia. Build community...
Description: The Just the Basics course is designed for early childhood care and education professionals who want to expand their knowledge of best practices for young children with ASD. Families and community members are also welcome to take this course. This course is designed to be the first step in pursuing goals towards improved practices in early care and education for young children with ASD. At the end of this Just the Basics course, you’ll be prepared to create an individualized learning path...
Description: The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), with the collaboration and support of Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) (for Sections II and III), developed this voluntary self-assessment tool to help local education agencies (LEAs) strengthen their child find system. The goal is to ensure that children eligible for special education and related services are referred and enrolled. This toolkit can also be used by state...
Description: Transitioning from early childhood programs to kindergarten involves a lot of moving parts for all young children. However, transitioning from the preschool to kindergarten classroom for the child with ASD can be especially tricky. This process involves the child, their family, the preschool teacher, the receiving kindergarten teacher, and a multitude of other people including related service providers such as speech and language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs), and other team...
Description: This document provides considerations for reporting Indicator 6 while managing the impact of COVID-19.
Description: A standards-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) describes a process in which the IEP team has incorporated state content standards in its development. The IEP is directly linked to and framed by Virginia’s course content Standards of Learning (SOL) for the grade in which the student is enrolled or will be enrolled. The components are the same as the traditional IEP. It should be noted that in a standards-based IEP, the PLOP and some or all of the annual goals are...
Description: In 2021, the Virginia General Assembly passed several pieces of legislation that necessitated revisions to the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (8 VAC 20-81-20 et seq.) (the Virginia Regulations). Accordingly, on September 23, 2021, the Virginia Board of Education approved the revisions to be effective November 24, 2021.
Description: This document includes a list of currently approved early childhood curricula options. This document will be updated on a monthly basis. Find information on the curriculum vetting process on the Early Childhood Standards, Curriculum and Instruction webpage.
Description: Inclusive Schools Week is an annual event sponsored by the Inclusive Schools Network (ISN) and Stetson & Associates, Inc., which is held each year during the first full week in December. Since its inception in 2001, Inclusive Schools Week has celebrated the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage,...
Description: This Q&A document on Child Find Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) reaffirms the importance of appropriate implementation of IDEA’s child find obligations, which requires the identification, location and evaluation, of all children with disabilities in the states. An effective child find system is an ongoing part of each state’s responsibility to ensure that free appropriate public education (FAPE) is made available to all eligible children...
Description: Specifically designed with school administrators in mind, this module offers guidance on how to support and facilitate the development and implementation of high-quality IEPs, including the monitoring of student progress (est. completion time: 2 hours). If you have not done so already, consider completing the following module: IEPs: Developing High-Quality Individualized Education Programs
Description: The Inclusive Classroom Profile (ICP) complements the CLASS by providing a more in-depth look at the strategies that support young children with disabilities in inclusive settings. These documents share the correlation between ICP and CLASS areas, providing examples of what it looks like in the classroom.
Description: In this course, you will learn about building trusting family-professional partnerships when working with families of young children by: Describing effective practices for developing trusting family-professional partnerships in early care and education programs. Using a decision-making process to select partnership-oriented practices linked to developing an initial friendly relationship, making shared decisions, and developing a trusting partnership with families to address challenging issues....
Description: IECMHC is a prevention-based approach that pairs a mental health consultant with adults who work with infants and young children in the different settings where they learn and grow, such as child care, preschool, home visiting, early intervention and their home. Mental health consultation is not about “fixing kids.” Nor is it therapy. Mental health consultation equips caregivers to facilitate children’s healthy social and emotional development.
Description: Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules (RPMs) are free modules developed for early care and education, early intervention, and early childhood special education faculty and professional development providers. The modules support the implementation of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices. In Module 6 on Instruction, you will learn effective instructional practices and why intentional and systematic instruction is crucial for children with disabilities.
Description: Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules (RPMs) are free modules developed for early care and education, early intervention, and early childhood special education faculty and professional development providers. The modules support the implementation of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices. In Module 3 on Environment, you will learn the components of a child’s natural and inclusive environment and why attending to the environment is crucial for children with...
Description: Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules (RPMs) are free modules developed for early care and education, early intervention, and early childhood special education faculty and professional development providers. The modules support the implementation of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices. In Module 1 on Interaction, you will learn to support children’s learning and development through quality adult-child and child-child interactions.
Description: Instructional practices are a cornerstone of early intervention and early childhood special education. Teachers, other practitioners, family members, and other caregivers use instructional practices to maximize learning and improve developmental and functional outcomes for young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays/disabilities. Included on this page are "Instruction Checklists"  and "Instruction Practice Guides for Practitioners" for Naturalistic Instruction, Embedded...
Description: Sensitive and responsive interactional practices are the foundation for promoting the development of a childs language and cognitive and emotional competence. These interactional practices are the basis for fostering all childrens learning. For children who have or are at risk for developmental delays/disabilities, they represent a critical set of strategies for fostering childrens social-emotional competence, communication, cognitive development, problem-solving, autonomy, and persistence. This...
Description: Young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays/disabilities learn, play, and engage with adults and peers within a multitude of environments such as home, school, child care, and the neighborhood. Environmental practices refer to aspects of the space, materials (toys, books, etc.), equipment, routines, and activities that practitioners and families can intentionally alter to support each child's learning across developmental domains. This page include Practice Checklists,...
Description: All young children (Birth to 5) with and without disabilities have the right to experience settings, relationships, and interactions that will support and futher their development and learning. This infographic from VCPD helps families to understand the importance and value of inclusion in early childhood.
Description: This guidance document is designed to assist Virginia’s school divisions and early childhood communities in identifying, developing, and sustaining inclusive opportunities within high-quality early childhood programs for children with disabilities.
Description: In this webinar, learn how staff can monitor individual children and classrooms or programs to ensure that children are making adequate progress toward school readiness. Listen as presenters discuss the benefits and liabilities of two different types of approaches to monitoring progress: observational curriculum approaches and direct general outcomes approaches.
Description: The following three documents are a series of briefs about ongoing assess­ment for individualizing instruction. Prepared for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation “What Does it Mean to use Ongoing Assessment to Individualize Instruction in Early Childhood?” provides a conceptual framework that shows practitioners and researchers how practitioners can use ongoing assessment for...
Description: Coaching is a promising professional development strategy that can be used to support the implementation fidelity of evidence-based practices by early childhood educators and early interventionists. This document describes the use of practice-based coaching that was developed from the literature on effective coaching elements and has been used with classroom teachers and early intervention personnel (National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning, 2012; Snyder, Hemmeter, and Fox, 2015). What...
Description: The 2017 Learning Lab on Coaching for Practice Change provides a remote learning opportunity to explore how coaching can be supported by states and used within programs to improve implementation of evidence-based practices. The Learning Lab provides information, resources, implementation approaches, and thoughtful discussions with experts and colleagues. Session 1: Implementing Coaching for Practice Change: Innovations for the delivery of coaching Session 2: Coaching for Practice Change:...
Description: Practice-based coaching is a cyclical process for guiding practitioners’ use of evidence-based practices for promoting positive child outcomes. Practice-based coaching involves the following components: collaborative partnerships shared goals and action planning focused observation reflection and feedback On this site, we will provide resources for using PBC to promote practitioners’ use of the Pyramid Model Practices. While many of our existing products are designed to support...
Description: This document is part of the Roadmap to Effective Intervention Practices series of syntheses, intended to provide summaries of existing evidence related to assessment and intervention for social-emotional challenges of young children. The purpose of the syntheses is to offer consumers (professionals, other practitioners, administrators, families, etc.) practical information in a useful, concise format and to provide references to more complete descriptions of validated assessment and...
Description: With a foundation in behaviorism and social learning theory, Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention (PMII) involves systematically teaching peers without disabilities ways of engaging learners with ASD in positive and meaningful social interactions. The AFIRM model guides the learner through four lessons to facilitate: Learning basic knowledge about peer-mediated instruction and intervention (PMII). Applying PMII in activity based scenarios that promote real-world application. The PMII...
Description: Included in part of the Peer-mediated Instruction and Intervention Module (AFIRM), this document provides step-by-step instructions on how to implement PMII for Early Childhood.  
Description: This module explores the importance of scaffolding and modeling for students as they learn new skills and strategies (est. completion time: 1 hour). In this module, you will learn about several different approaches to instructional scaffolding and how to use them, including Content scaffolding, Task scaffolding, and Material scaffolding.  
Description: Learn about the practice of embedded interventions to help children participate in a variety of early learning opportunities and environments promoting high quality inclusion.
Description: This module will help you: Describe assistive technology interventions to promote children’s access to and participation in inclusive settings. Use a decision-making process to help integrate various sources of evidence and determine whether assistive technology interventions are appropriate for use within a specific context.
Description: Embedded Instruction for Early Learning is based on a recommended instructional practice for preschoolers with or at risk for learning challenges. In embedded instruction, teachers, families, and other caregivers learn how to provide developmentally appropriate, intentional instruction to advance children’s engagement and learning as part of their everyday activities, routines, and transitions.
Description: Develop your expertise on leveraging Embedded Learning Opportunities (ELOs) to support young children's individual goals, with the resources in this training package.
Description: Practice-Based Coaching (PBC) is a professional development strategy that uses a cyclical coaching process. It supports the use of effective, evidence-based teaching practices that lead to positive outcomes for all children. Learn to use PBC practices to ensure the full and effective participation of children with disabilities or suspected delays. Find out how coaches can support specific inclusive practices in their work with teachers, home visitors, and other education staff. Explore ways...
Description: Practice-Based Coaching requires program-level planning and systematic implementation. In a case study, an implementation team from the Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD) program in Colorado Springs, CO attended a Practice-Based Coaching Implementation Academy. In this video, CPCD staff share how their program is planning for and implementing PBC. Program stakeholders also discuss their roles in and views of the coaching activities.
Description: Practice-Based Coaching (PBC) supports education staff to use effective teaching practices in context. Learn about the basics of PBC and its research basis as a professional development strategy. Find out how PBC connects to the Head Start Program Performance Standards.
Description: This module, a DEC-recommended resource, offers information on how to set up effective inclusive early childhood classroom environments for young children. It also provides details about the interrelated physical, social, and temporal components of those environments, as well as adaptations to help teachers meet the needs of children with disabilities (est. completion time: 1 hour).