EARLY LEARNING INCLUSION
Inclusion in early childhood programs refers to including children with disabilities in early childhood programs, together with their peers without disabilities; holding high expectations and intentionally promoting participation in all learning and social activities, facilitated by individualized accommodations; and using evidence-based services and supports to foster their development (cognitive, language, communication, physical, behavioral, and social-emotional) , friendships with peers, and sense of belonging. This applies to all young children with disabilities, from those with the mildest disabilities, to those with the most significant disabilities.
The vision for inclusion in early childhood programs and recommendations provided in the policy statement build on the principles and definition set forth in the joint position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Early Childhood (DEC).6 While NAEYC and DEC’s position statement focuses on the inclusion of young children in society more broadly, the purpose of this policy statement is to focus on the inclusion of children with disabilities in general early childhood programs.
- US Dept. of Health & Human Services, & the US Dept. of Education - Policy Statement on Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs, September 14, 2015, page 3
NATIONAL POLICY STATEMENTS ON INCLUSION
A Joint Position Statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Education Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs