Pupil and Teacher

DEC Recommended Practices

The DEC Recommended Practices (RPs) bridge the gap between research and practice, offering guidance to parents and professionals who work with young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The Recommended Practices were first developed by DEC in 1991 to provide guidance to the relatively new field of early intervention/early childhood special education. Through recent collaborative work with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), the 2014 set of DEC Recommended Practices was completed. The 2014 set of practices consists of eight domains: leadership, assessment, environment, family, instruction, interaction, teaming and collaboration, and transition. The Recommended Practices are helpful for those engaged in both preservice and in-service professional development.

DEC Recommended Practices (RPs)

The DEC Recommended Practices

Prácticas recomendadas de la DEC

DEC RPs with embedded examples

Recommended Practices Monograph - the Series

First 2 chapters of DEC RP Monograph 1: Enhancing Services for Young Children With Disabilities and Their Families

To reference the DEC Recommended Practices, please use the following: Division for Early Childhood. (2014). DEC recommended practices in early intervention/early childhood special education 2014.


To learn more, contact

  Erin Barton - erin.barton@gmail.com

  Chelsea Guillen - cguillen@illinois.edu

The aRPy Ambassadors

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) established the aRPy Ambassador initiative to disseminate information about and promote the use of the DEC Recommended Practices (RPs). aRPy Ambassadors are DEC Members who build state capacity in the use of the ECTA Center’s Practice Improvement Tools. The tools bring awareness, support the dissemination and use of the DEC RPs, and include performance checklists, practice


guides for practitioners, practice guides for families, online modules, and training materials. Benefits to being an aRPy Ambassador include opportunities such as exclusive access to the Ambassador Toolkit and Online Portal; collaborating with fellow Ambassadors to develop and share strategies and resources; advising the ECTA Center on new RP-related products; and identify existing opportunities to disseminate and/or provide training on the products within their states.

The DEC Recommended Practices Evidence Syntheses

​The RP Evidence Syntheses gather and analyze existing research covering each of the eight RP topics – assessment, environment, family, instruction, interaction, leadership, teaming and collaboration, and transition. Utilizing a universal framework and templates allows authors to format the research for all eight RP topics within a systematic structure that is used for each of the synthesis. Thus, allowing the reader to easily follow, consume, and apply the syntheses information.


RP Evidence Syntheses

Assessment: Recommended Practices for Young Children and Families 

Environment: Promoting Meaningful Access, Participation, and Inclusion


RP Evidence Syntheses Guidelines

Part I: Review Methods Protocol

 Part II: Writing a DEC RP Evidence Synthesis