Inclusive Early Childhood Education – Selected Resources


Growing Ideas Inclusive Early Childhood Education Selected

Recommend a resource

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  • Barton, E. and Smith, B. (2015). The Preschool inclusion toolbox: How to build and lead a high-quality program. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing. Available online from
  • Roffman, L., & Wanerman, T. (2011). Including One, Including All. St. Paul, MN: Readleaf Press.
  • Sandall, S. R., Schwartz, I. S. (2008). Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs. 2nd Ed. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.


  • American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. (2014). Caring for our children: Children with special health care needs in early care and education. Applicable standards from: Caring for our children: National health and safety performance standards; Guidelines for early care and education programs, 3rd Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy Pediatrics; Washington, DC: American Public Health Association. Retrieved from — This document is a collection of 146 nationally recognized health and safety standards that have an impact on infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special health care needs in early care and education settings. These materials and the associated 6 Appendices are a subset of materials available in Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition (CFOC3). CFOC3 is a collection of nationally recognized best practice health and safety standards for the early care and education environment.
  • Brooks Publishing Co. (2019). The inclusion lab: Tips & takeaways for teaching all kids [Blog]. Baltimore, MD: Author. Available online at
  • Cate, D., Dell, P., & Whaley, K. (2018). Local district preschool inclusion self-assessment (PDF). Retrieved from – This self-assessment tool provides a framework for discussion to promote partnerships among schools and early care and education providers to promote the inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families in early childhood programs
  • Catlett, C. & Barton, E. (2017, January). Resources within reason: The evidence for inclusion (PDF). Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.  Available online at – “This issue of Resources within Reason: The Evidence for Inclusion features resources that will help you quickly pull up definitions, research findings, and access essential examples of the evidence for inclusion. These materials may be used to raise awareness, support planning, offer strategies, and hopefully, change attitudes…”
    Resources within Reason is a bi-monthly publication from the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC) available at no charge. All resources are evidence-based, readily available, and free. Resources within Reason may be freely shared or reproduced.
  • Creating Environments That Include Children’s Home Languages and Cultures (PDF) – This tipsheet was prepared by the National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness and highlights strategies for incorporating home languages and supporting children who are dual language learners. Available online at
  • DEC Position Statement on Leadership in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education, March 2015 (PDF) – This new position statement focuses on promoting high-quality leadership at all levels of the early intervention/early childhood special education service systems. It is endorsed by the IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA). Source: Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children, March 17, 2015. Available online at – scroll down to find the title for download.
  • DEC/NAEYC. (2009). 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) [PDF]. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute. This is one of the core guiding documents on inclusion for EC professionals. Available online at
  • Decision Guide Tool for Use When Staff Have Concerns (PDF) – Adapted by the After School Inclusion Project from the work of the Merced County Office of Education Head Start Program as modified by The California Map to Inclusive Child Care WestEd Center for Child & Families Studies.
  • DiverseBookFinder – The Diverse Book Finder is a new, free online resource dedicated to “diversify and balance bookshelves everywhere, that all our children can find themselves reflected and celebrated in libraries, schools and homes across the nation and to move the diverse books discussion beyond a focus simply on the lack of numbers to also consider content and impact by translating research findings so that they are accessible and useful.” Available online at
  • Early Childhood Inclusion: Challenges and Strategies from the 2014 Preschool Inclusion Survey (PDF) – A new summary document, that highlights findings from a survey of hundreds of early childhood and special education administrators and practitioners about the challenges of including young children with disabilities in regular early childhood programs and prospective solutions. Available online at
  • Kids Included Together (KIT). (2017). Case-by-Case Checklist (PDF). Use this checklist to gather information about a child or youth who needs support. Use the information gathered to decide what additional supports could be put in place. Available online at
  • Kids Included Together (KIT). (2017). Communicating your Commitment to Inclusion (PDF). Your program sends messages to children and families about inclusion. Spend some time looking at your program brochures and materials, the pictures on the wall, the people represented in books and other materials, and how staff approach individual youth. Answer the question on this document. Available online at
  • Kids Included Together (KIT). (2017). Conversations with Families (PDF). This resource has quick tips on having respectful conversations with families. Use at staff training and as a reminder when preparing for a meeting with families. Available online at
  • Kids Included Together (KIT). (2017). Inclusion Checklist for Programs (PDF). – Creating and maintaining a fully inclusive programs takes ongoing work and planning. Fill out this checklist to see how your organization is doing. Available online at
  • The Environment: Your Teaching Partner (PDF) – The physical arrangement of your program is your teaching partner–communicating expectations and providing cues that support children’s development. The messages children receive from the environment strongly impact their interactions with each other and with materials. When the environment is working, children receive cues that actually promote their sense of order, exploration, and ownership. Available from Youngstar, Wisconsin’s Child Care Quality Rating & Improvement System at
  • Field Trips For All (PDF) – Field trips and excursions are an important (and fun) part of the learning process in early care and education programs. Field trips require the same careful planning to insure quality learning experiences are accessible to each child. Available from Youngstar, Wisconsin’s Child Care Quality Rating & Improvement System at
  • The Head Start National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQIL) – offers a collection of Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletters. These are produced monthly and offer information to read, watch on video and try out. Each newsletter includes a section to share with families, too. This web wage provides current and past issues of the newsletter.
  • Hollingsworth, H. L., Buysse, V., & Goldman, B. D. (2009). How can parents and teachers support early friendships in inclusive settings? Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series No. 11, 96-106. Missoula, MT: Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.
  • Inclusion Matters is a new podcast produced by the Center for Inclusive Child Care (CICC) on a variety of topics including Inclusion activities to promote belonging, ADHD, Autism, the development of self-regulation and challenging behavior. A .5 CEU (5 clock hours) is now available for listening to 10 podcasts and completing the podcast CEU form. Available online at
  • Let’s Go! (2016). Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Toolkit. (PDF)  Let’s Go! works with schools, child care programs, out-of-school programs, and health care practices to increase healthy eating and physical activity opportunities for ALL children. Retrieved from
  • Making Your Playground Accessible (PDF) – A lot has been learned about making child care and preschool programs physically accessible as well as playfully accessible to children with disabilities. This PDF by Youngstar, Wisconsin’s Child Care Quality Rating & Improvement System provides some ideas to do this.
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2019). Advancing Equity in Early childhood education: A position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. (PDF). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
  • National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness. (2011). Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Express Checkout Worksheet (PDF). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start. Washington, D.C. Available online at
  • National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (2012). Quality Inclusive Practices: Resources and Landing Pads. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute, Author. Available at Offers a number of resources to support the use of evidence-based practices that promote the inclusion of young children of diverse abilities. Eight brand new “landing pods” have been developed to help teachers, administrators, professional development providers, and families locate resources to support inclusion. Each Landing Pad features resources organized into four sections: Why Do It? (the evidence-base), Read About It (books, chapters, and articles), See For Yourself (videos and demonstrations), and Find It Online (websites with additional resources).
  • National Professional Development Center on Inclusion. (2009). Research synthesis points on early childhood inclusion. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute, Author.
    Available at
  • Rush, D., & Shelden, M. L., (2012). Checklists for Providing/Receiving Early Intervention Supports in Child Care Settings (PDF). CASEtools, Vol. 6, Number 4. Retrieved from the Center for the Advanced Study of Excellence in Early Childhood and Family Support Practices, Family, Infant and Preschool Program website at
  • Tips for Early Care and Education Providers, Simple Concepts to Embed in Everyday Routines (PDF). (2013). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.
  • U.S.Department of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS). (2015). Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs (PDF). Available online at — This policy statement is to set a vision and provide recommendations to States, local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and public and private early childhood programs for increasing the inclusion of infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities in high-quality early childhood programs. The document and website also identifies free resources to support high-quality individualized programming and inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood programs. Read more about this policy statement on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Videos and Learning Modules:

  • CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge (Producer). (2009). Foundations of Inclusion Birth to Five [Video] Retrieved from
  • Desired Results Access Project Video Library – from California’s Early Learning and Development System. New videos offer key messages about inclusion and more. The topics covered are useful for families and early educators. Follow the link above to view, A Parents Perspective on Early Childhood Inclusion (5:31 minutes) and Team Lydia Rose: Supporting Inclusion Everyday in Everyway (16:18 minutes).
  • Habib, D. (2007). Including Samuel (Video). Institute on Disabilities (UCED), University of New Hampshire. Available at
  • The Professional Development Center at FPG (PDC@FPG). (2013). Communication for Collaboration [Learning Module]. This free on-line course is available at
  • The Young Dual Language Learner: 20 Short Videos – Visit the Teaching at the Beginning Videos’ YouTube channel to discover wonderful videos that illustrate evidence-based approaches to supporting preschoolers who are dual language learners. For monolingual and bilingual teachers alike, the videos feature the stages and strategies of preschool second language acquisition and give a bird’s eye view of the trajectory of language development–across time.


  • Accessible Playgrounds – An accessible playground means it is as easy as possible for everyone to play, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. This website offers everything about accessible playgrounds. Here you will be able to:
    • search for playgrounds in their directory;
    • educate yourself about accessible play;
    • read amazing stories of how others built their playground;
    • find resources on all aspects of designing and building a playground to meet ADA compliance and beyond;
    • see pictures of recommended playgrounds in their Featured Playground area; and
    • locate just the right vendors to help you design and build your playground.
  • Center for Inclusive Child Care – The Center for Inclusive Child Care is a comprehensive resource network for promoting and supporting inclusive early childhood and school-age programs and providers.
  • Center for Parent Information & Resources (CPIR) – All the materials found on the CPIR Hub have been created and archived for Parent Centers around the country to help them provide support and services to the families they serve. The CPIR employs a user-centered process, gathering the perspectives of their experienced audience—Parent Center staff members and other experts—every step of the way, to create products and services that increase Parent Centers’ knowledge and capacity in specific domains.
  • Child Care Plus – The Center on Inclusion in Early Childhood’s mission is to share knowledge, foster skills, and encourage attitudes that promote inclusion as a core component of excellence in early childhood.
  • Connect Ability: A project of community living in Toronto, Canada – This site has a wealth of information, forms, materials and training resources to support inclusive practices.
  • Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). – The Division for Early Childhood promotes polices and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities.
  • Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) – ECTA Topic on Inclusion web site is designed for the administrators of state agencies responsible for services to young children and their families, including child care, Head Start, education, and early intervention. The site offers information about current research, funding, laws, professional development policies and practices to assist states and stakeholders to provide inclusive comprehensive and coordinated services for all young children, ages birth to 8 years, and their families.
  • Head Start Center for Inclusion  – This site offers information, training materials, videos and other resources for professionals and families.
  • Kids Included Together, Inc.– This site provides information, training materials, forms, articles, videos and other resources to support recreation, child development and youth enrichment programs to include children with and without disabilities.
  • National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC) – NCCIC is a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children & Families website offering resources on inclusion of children with disabilities in child care.
  • National Professional Development Center on Inclusion – is working with states to ensure that early childhood teachers are prepared to educate and care for young children with disabilities in settings with their typically developing peers.
  • Participation-based Services Website at the Thomas Jefferson University Child and Family Studies Research Programs. This website provides information and background materials, forms, resources and tools about participation-based services to promote children’s participation and learning in home, school, and community activities and routines. This approach includes four components: Assessing Activities & Routines/Meaningful Outcomes; Embedding Intentional Child Interventions; Teaching Caregivers; & Documenting Progress.
  • Penn State Extension Inclusion: Exploring the meaning and the mindset – This website article explores the meaning and key components of inclusion and inclusion best practices. Using a child care experience to frame the discussion the article provides information about the defining features of inclusion as described in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) 2009 joint position statement on inclusion. The Better Kid Care Handout: “Inclusion: Exploring the meaning and the mindset in early education” (PDF) can also be downloaded here.
  • Penn Early Intervention – Assistive Technology in Early Childhood – this site provides many resources about using assistive technology with young children.
  • Playground Safety For Your Child With Special Needs – From the website of The Center for Children with Special Needs. An information source for families and professionals.
  • SpecialQuest Birth – Five Multimedia Library – The SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library supports the inclusion of young children with disabilities birth-five and their families, in early care.
  • Teaching Tolerance – A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving inter group relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation’s children.
    • This website has information and resources starting at the Pre-Kindergarten level.
  • Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, Youngstar – What is Early Childhood Inclusion?

Return to Foundations of Inclusive Early Care and Education

Updated: 11/24/2020

Maine Department of Health and Human ServicesFunding for the 2011 update of the Growing Ideas Resources for Guiding Early Childhood Practices has been provided by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child and Family Services, Early Childhood Division.