Our mission

The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) promotes policies and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children (0-8) who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. DEC is an international membership organization for those who work with or on behalf of young children (0-8) with disabilities and other special needs and their families. 

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Inclusive Programs and Practices

The Inclusive Programs and Practices SIG was created to increase the number and quality of early education, intervention, and community programs that include young children with disabilities, including those with more significant support needs. 


To accomplish this aim, the SIG proposes to focus its efforts on two shorter-term goals:

  1. To raise awareness among practitioners and administrators who work with or support young children with disabilities about evidence-based practices that can influence program access and quality.
  2. To influence the adoption and use of inclusive policies and practices through collaboration with others.

Focus: Identifying, leveraging, and disseminating evidence-based practices and validated approaches that are associated with building high-quality, inclusive programs.



Alissa Rausch 
Andrew Goff


Inclusion for Young Children with Special Needs in Child Care: What the field needs to know at a federal, state and local level
June 1, 2016, 1:00 to 2:00 PM CDT

Register here for this FREE webinar.

Please join the Ounce of Prevention Fund, the Inclusion SIG and the Policy and Advocacy arm of DEC in the first of a number of webinars on inclusion in high quality early childhood programs and services. The first webinar will address the opportunities that the new CCDF Reauthorization provides to improve inclusion of children with special needs in child care, and practical tools and resources to increase collaboration among Part C and Part 619 coordinators and child care administrators to develop and implement these policies and practices.

Introductory Remarks:
Shannon Rudisill, MSW, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services
Christy Kavulic, Ed.D., Asssociate Division Director, Early Childhood Team, Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education

Alissa Rausch, Clinical Faculty, University of Colorado Denver, Co-Leader Inclusive Programs and Practices SIG
Carie Bires, Policy Manager, Ounce of Prevention Fund
Karen Berman, Assistant Director, Illinois Policy, Ounce of Prevention Fund

Approved by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities for 1 hour of continuing professional development in Early Intervention. 

How can you participate in the Inclusive Programs and Practices SIG?
Join the Inclusive Programs and Practices SIG listserv.


The Early Childhood Technical Assistance  (ECTA) Center has many resources on inclusion and inclusion policy including fact sheets on research support, state resources and IDEA provisions.