A State System Framework for High-quality Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education

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Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Early Childhood Special Education


Early intervention, IDEA, Preschool special education, Systems improvement


The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center used a rigorous 2-year collaborative process to develop, test, and revise a conceptual framework for high-quality state early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) systems. The framework identifies six critical components of a state system and what constitutes quality in each component. This new conceptual framework addresses the critical need to articulate what constitutes quality in state EI and ECSE systems. The framework and companion self-assessment are designed for state leaders to use in their efforts to evaluate and improve state systems to implement more effective services for infants and young children with disabilities and their families. This article describes the contents of the framework and the processes used to ensure that the framework incorporated current research, was relevant to all states, and was useful for systems improvement.

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