Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs

Policy
September 14, 2015

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education released a policy statement with a goal of increasing the "inclusion of infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities in high-quality early childhood programs."

The statement contains the following goals and is written "in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the 50th anniversary of Head Start":

  • Setting an expectation for high-quality inclusion in early childhood programs
  • Increasing public understanding of the science that supports meaningful inclusion of children with disabilities, from the earliest ages, in early childhood programs
  • Highlighting the legal foundations supporting inclusion in high-quality early childhood programs
  • Providing recommendations to States, Local Education Agencies (LEAs), schools, and early childhood programs for increasing inclusive early learning opportunities for all children
  • Identifying free resources for States, programs, early childhood personnel, and families to support high-quality individualized programming and inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood programs

Source: ED and HHS Policy Statement below.

For more information, please download a copy of the policy statement from the following link (PDF): http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/earlylearning/joint-statement-full-text.pdf