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Resources for Early Care and Education

As an early care and education provider, you are at the front and center as a young child develops. As partners with families, you are having critical conversations about the importance of child development and high-quality early care and education. As partners with special education staff through early intervention and early childhood special education, you create opportunities for learning and growth that are individualized to meet the needs of every child in your care.

The following are resources to support you as you work to ensure high-quality inclusion across environments where you work and learn with young children and their families.

Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education are critical services and support for families, and for providers of infants, toddlers and preschool age children experiencing disability or developmental delays. Nine regional agencies responsible for providing services for this age group.

Fact Sheets and Policy Briefs:

Training and Technical Assistance for Inclusion:

Always reach out to your local child care resource and referral agency, mentor coach, and/or the regional EI/ECSE program if you need more training and support. Below are other online opportunities to enhance your inclusionary practices when working with children experiencing disabilities and special education teams.

Resources for Districts, EI/ECSE Staff and Programs

In Oregon, prior to kindergarten, infants, toddlers, and children with and without disabilities are cared for in a variety of early care and education environments. For infants, toddlers, and children experiencing disability, special education services are available at no cost to families who qualify. These children are served through an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) while receiving Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services. The following are supportive resources for districts, EI/ECSE staff and Programs who are committed to ensuring belonging and inclusion within their schools, programs, and classrooms.

Public and Private Early Care and Education Programs

Oregon has a robust early learning system that includes home visiting, head start, preschool promise, district preschools, private childcare and preschools, and in home family care centers and homes. These programs are often regulated and supported by the Early Learning Division, soon to be the Department of Early Learning and Care. The following resources will connect you to high-quality early care and environments where work and learning with young children and their families is already taking place.

Special Education Services and Supports for Children Experiencing Disabilities

Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education are critical services and support for families, providers and infants, toddlers and preschool age children experiencing disability or developmental delays. Federal and State laws govern the provision of services to children birth to five. Nine regional agencies are responsible for providing services for this age group.

Financing Strategies and Collaborative Funding for High-Quality Inclusion

Many collaborative strategies and opportunities exist to ensure that every child receives a high quality preschool experience. The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center has curated many of these resources. Based on feedback from communities, we have selected a few key resources that can be used to support collaborative discussions about funding inclusive programs:

Transition to Kindergarten

When children transition from ECSE to school age special education services, in Oregon, they shift from an IFSP to an IEP. While evidence suggests that involvement in prekindergarten prepares both children who experience disabilities and those who do not experience disabilities for school, a prekindergarten experience is not universally offered to every young child. Even for those who can access prekindergarten, the contextual differences between early learning and care environments and kindergarten are vast. The following best practices can ensure a smooth transition.

  • ​School districts must meet with a child's team prior to the age of eligibility for school age services (OAR 581-015-2805(3)(A)-(B)). This meeting allows the school district to work with the team to review records, figure out whether a reevaluation is necessary, and evaluate the steps needed to support transition to Kindergarten.
  • School districts should work closely with EI/ECSE providers to plan extended transition timelines for students with more, or with more intensive support needs, in order to enable access to a full day kindergarten placement.
  • Before a transition meeting, school districts should engage the family to learn more about the family's vision for their child. FACT Oregon resources can be used to support person-centered planning with families.​​

  • Use the expertise that families bring about their child.
  • Remain curious about the child's strengths and needs, and supports that have worked in the family's experience.
  • Pay close attention to ways that EI/ECSE has successfully supported activities that involve transitions, small and large groups, and community activities.
  • Partner with EI/ECSE staff to replicate strategies and accessible materials that have successfully supported the child's engagement, meaningful participation, and positive peer relationships.​

  • ​​Every IEP placement decision begins with a conversation about what it would take to educate the child in the general education classroom alongside their nondisabled peers for a full school day. If that can be done with the use of supplementary aids and services, that setting becomes the child’s primary placement. Only when the available data supports a more restrictive setting as necessary to enable the provision of FAPE are IEP teams able to consider the continuum of alternative placements to those settings. 

  • The IEP process is designed to support teams to develop a comprehensive program “that is reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances" (Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Re-1). Collaboratively working through the IEP process can ensure that the team is able to provide access to the regular education environment to the maximum extent appropriate.
  • In most cases, if the IEP has been implemented as designed but still does not adequately address the student's needs – including disability-based behavior – the IEP team should reconvene to name added or different services and supports to successfully access FAPE in the LRE.
  • Any decision made by a student's team to reduce the amount of time a student is in school or to place the student in a separate setting must be based on an individualized determination about the student's needs, using information from a variety of sources that is documented and carefully considered, and must be informed by an evaluation whenever the proposed changes would make up a significant change in placement.
  • The team must consider whether supplementary aids and services could be provided that would enable the education of the student in the regular education setting prior to deciding to place the student outside the regular education setting or on an abbreviated schedule.​​
Neutral IEP facilitators are able to provide added support to IEP teams when it is mutually requested by the parents and school district. More information on IEP Facilitation is available on this ODE site.​​