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Welcome to DEC... Welcome Home!

The Division for Early Childhood is your professional home. By joining DEC, you join hundreds of early intervention/early childhood special education professionals across the world who share your passion for promoting policies and practices that result in enhanced outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families!


DEC is the voice for early intervention/early childhood special education. Your professional voice. Joining the Division for Early Childhood gives you the opportunity to engage in advocacy conversations that matter to you!

DEC is also the home of the DEC Recommended Practices, which support the implementation of evidence based practices across the field of early intervention and early childhood special education.

Why DEC?  


  • Opportunities to interact, collaborate, and communicate with a multidisciplinary group who understands the work you do. 

  • Access to professional development opportunities such as webinars, conferences, and learning decks. 

  • Advocacy opportunities to influence legislation at federal, state and local levels. 

  • Membership includes a wide array of evidence-based resources to help you get the best out of your work in early intervention/early childhood special education. 


Join Today!

To become a member of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) you first need to become a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and choose DEC as one of CEC’s Special Interest Divisions.

Take a moment to browse some specific DEC member benefits below:


This leading early childhood research journal is focused on issues relevant to young children with disabilities and their families. Members receive JEI four times a year. Click here to view a sample issue.


This highly acclaimed journal is filled with practical, read-to-use resources, and information about recommended practices. Members receive YEC four times a year. Click here to view a sample issue.




DEC members have a voice in public policy. Receive updates on legislation, take advantage of opportunities to engage in advocacy efforts, and become involved in shaping policy that affects young children and families.

Get discounts or free admission to prestigious professional development opportunities including:

  • DEC's Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families

  • DEC Learning Decks 

  • Ask the Authors

  • Participation in Communities of Practices

Learn more about DEC's Professional Development opportunities here.

An e-newsletter with current events, interesting articles and updates from DEC.

DEC Subdivisions connect members with colleagues in state and provincial groups that offer resources and support related to local interests. Visit DEC's Subdivisions Page to learn about opportunities in your state.

DEC members receive discounted conference and training registration and a 20% discount on all items at the DEC bookstore.

Connect with colleagues to learn more about early intervention and early childhood special education. Join DEC Collaborate to participate in discussion groups & forums with other professionals and family members.

DEC publications are developed in collaboration with leaders in the field and members. Both the DEC Recommended Practices Serices and the Young Exceptional Children Monograph series offer practitioners and family members strategies that work and ideas that challenge the field.

Be part of DEC and you will become part of a network of professionals and families from all over the world. Learn more about collaborative activities that impact your work and find out how you can learn from international colleagues.

Use DEC as a forum to share your research findings, present intriguing new ideas, and disseminate your work. Share your knowledge at the annual conference, regional training events, and in DEC publications.


DEC members are also members of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); learn more about additional CEC member benefits here.

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