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Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion


At the Oregon Department of Education, we believe:

  • Disability is to be appreciated as a natural part of the human experience that makes our families and communities stronger.
  • Families have the right to enter into relationships with early care and education providers trusting their child will be welcomed, loved, and seen in all of their human dignity, including their culture, race or disability.
  • All learning environments for young children and their families should be inclusive, culturally responsive, and identity affirming.
  • Every child should learn and thrive together with their peers, friends, and neighbors.
  • Children achieve their best self when nurtured by empowered families, providers, and communities.
  • The Early Care and Education system is enhanced and strengthened through a network of parents, professionals, and community members.

Preschool LRE refers to the Least Restrictive Environment where children receive their special education services. The web page provides information and guidance on the statutory and regulatory practices governing preschool placement decisions in the Least Restrictive Environment. It also provides updates on initiatives, training, and supports for families, caregivers, early learning providers, and partners committed to advancing inclusion in early care and education environments. This page links to resources for understanding, collaboration, and improvement.

Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion Initiative

Oregon received an intensive technical assistance grant to support children, age 3-5, in preschool settings with IFSPs. In collaboration with multiple agencies that serve children and families, the Oregon Department of Education is committed to implementing high quality inclusive preschool policies and practices at different levels of the Early Care and Education System (i.e. state, local, program and classroom).

State Education Agencies that make up the early learning system (Early Learning Division, Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Department of Human Services), family advocacy networks, and policy change makers collaborated with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) to provide technical assistance for implementing, sustaining, and scaling-up high-quality inclusive preschool settings. This implementation effort joins existing and related promotion, prevention, and intervention efforts to build knowledge, skills, and abilities that professionals, parents, and community members need to advocate for, support, and implement inclusive practices in early care and education environments. This includes further coordination with the development of a coaching cadre that can provide culturally-responsive, trauma-informed, inclusive practice-based coaching to fidelity through collaborative partnerships with practitioners. More information about the Initiative is available online.

This Initiative is just beginning. Currently, six programs are beginning implementation under the guidance and support of three communities with strong early learning sectors. More information about our state and local partners is available online.

New Updates: 2021 Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion Indicators Annual Report

New Updates: 2021 Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion Annual Report Available in the following languages:

Oregon Pyramid Model Implementation Grants

This grant was awarded to agencies ready to support the social-emotional development and approaches to learning of infants, toddlers, and preschool children with IFSPs across environments. The Pyramid Model is a multi-tiered system of support framework for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development. Originally created by two national, federally funded research and training centers: The Center for the Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) and Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI) for Young Children, the Pyramid Model uses evidence-based practices to promote the social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes for young children birth to five. Implementation efforts are focused on building community, program, teacher and family capacity to use practices in daily routines across environments, address disparities in discipline practices, promote meaningful family involvement, use data in decision making, and foster inclusion of children with, and at risk for developmental delays and disabilities.

Currently there are 22 classrooms are under the guidance of four education agencies implementing the Pyramid Model as a result of this grant. Additionally, the participating education agencies have engaged in cross-sector collaboration and professional development to expand the skills of a cadre of practice-based coaches across the state who partner with practitioners to ensure culturally responsive, inclusive, and trauma informed practice within our early learning system.

For more information on this topic, contact Meredith Villines.