1. Teaching and Learning

1F. Inclusion of Children with Special Needs

Brief Overview of Standard: Inclusion is a basic principle in early care and education. This principle guides policies and practices that are embedded throughout early childhood programs and classrooms, ensuring that young children with special needs are cared for and educated alongside their peers who do not have special needs.

 

Specific Tools

The Illinois Inclusion Guidelines
The Illinois Inclusion Guidelines (739 KB)
The 21 items on The Illinois Inclusion Guidelines comprise the criteria used to evaluate inclusive practices in programs applying for the Award of Excellence for Inclusion of Children with Special Needs, and will be used by these programs as they engage in self-assessment and portfolio development.

The Illinois Inclusion Guidelines Checklist
The Illinois Inclusion Guidelines Checklist (1.89 MB)
The Illinois Inclusion Guidelines Checklist provides a self-assessment rating scale for use by programs applying for the Award of Excellence for Inclusion of Children with Special Needs or seeking to improve the quality of inclusive practices in their programs.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Guidance Worksheet and the Interagency MOU Agreement between the Local Education Agency (LEA) and the Early Child Care and Education (ECE) Program.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Guidance Worksheet (719 KB)   
Interagency MOU Agreement (739 KB)  
This worksheet is meant to guide the LEA and ECE program through the discussion of the MOU agreement.  While completing this worksheet will provide assistance in determining the purpose of the MOU, it is important to also read the MOU thoroughly to ensure that both programs understand their roles and responsibilities. 

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Guidance Worksheet and the Interagency MOU Agreement between the Child & Family Connections (CFC) and the Early Child Care and Education (ECE) Program.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Guidance Worksheet (719 KB)   
Interagency MOU Agreement (6 MB)  
The MOU for CFCs has been developed and is now available.  As a program you should begin to make yourself familiar with the form and its uses.  However until further notice the MOU requirement is still waived for both new and renewal applications at standard 1F for the Gold Circle of Quality.  Programs can begin to work with their CFC in anticipation of the form being required in the future.  

 

Informational Resources

Listing of Child and Family Connections (CFC) offices
http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?module=12&officetype=4&county
By using the link above you can search by early intervention and then by county to locate your local child and family connections office.  The CFC is the regional intake entity responsible for ensuring that all referrals to the Early Intervention(EI) Services System receive a timely response in a professional and family-centered manner. Service coordination is an active, ongoing process that involves assisting parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities in gaining access to, and coordinating the provision of, the EI services.

Early Childhood Inclusion: A Joint Position Statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
http://npdci.fpg.unc.edu/resources/articles/Early_Childhood_Inclusion
The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) created a joint definition and position statement on early childhood inclusion through a process facilitated by the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI).

Promoting Positive Outcomes for Children with Disabilities: Recommendations for Curriculum, Assessment, and Program
http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PrmtgPositiveOutcomes.pdf
The DEC document includes three sections: “Curriculum”; “Assessment”; and “Program Evaluation.” The intended audiences for the document include early childhood administrators and personnel who work with young children with disabilities. Teacher educators, those providing professional development, family members, and state and federal policy makers will also benefit from these materials.

Head Start Center for Inclusion
http://depts.washington.edu/hscenter/
Our overarching goal is to increase the competence, confidence, and effectiveness of personnel in Head Start programs to include children with disabilities. Look here for training materials, tools for teachers and coordinators, as well as other resources.

Quality Inclusive Practices Checklist
http://www.heartland.edu/documents/heip/faculty/QualityInclusivePracticesChecklistVersion4.pdf
This instrument is designed to assess quality inclusive practices within early childhood environments. The features used to define high-quality, inclusive early childhood programs and services are Access, Participation, and Supports (DEC/NAEYC, 2009). The framework for this checklist builds upon these features. Access, Participation, and Supports are measured by a variety of evidence-based indicators.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Education Policy Statement
http://www.eclre.org/media/96025/joint-statement-full-text-1.pdf
This is the Policy Statement on inclusion of children with disabilities in Early Childhood Programs.