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ERIC Number: EJ853318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2506
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)
Young Exceptional Children, v12 n4 p42-47 2009
Today an ever-increasing number of infants and young children with and without disabilities play, develop, and learn together in a variety of places--homes, early childhood programs, neighborhoods, and other community-based settings. The notion that young children with disabilities and their families are full members of the community reflects societal values about promoting opportunities for development and learning, and a sense of belonging for every child. It also reflects a reaction against previous educational practices of separating and isolating children with disabilities. Over time, in combination with certain regulations and protections under the law, these values and societal views regarding children birth to 8 with disabilities and their families have come to be known as early childhood inclusion. The most far-reaching effect of federal legislation on inclusion enacted over the past three decades has been to fundamentally change the way in which early childhood services ideally can be organized and delivered. However, because inclusion takes many different forms and implementation is influenced by a wide variety of factors, questions persist about the precise meaning of inclusion and its implications for policy, practice, and potential outcomes for children and families. The lack of a shared national definition has contributed to misunderstandings about inclusion. Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recognize that having a common understanding of what inclusion means is fundamentally important for determining what types of practices and supports are necessary to achieve high quality inclusion. This DEC/NAEYC joint position statement offers a definition of early childhood inclusion. The definition was designed not as a litmus test for determining whether a program can be considered inclusive, but rather, as a blueprint for identifying the key components of high quality inclusive programs. In addition, this document offers recommendations for how the position statement should be used by families, practitioners, administrators, policy makers, and others to improve early childhood services. (Contains 4 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Parents; Teachers; Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A