top of page

EI/ECSE Standards (2020) Resources

Higher Education Faculty

EI/ECSE Standards Key Ideas and Vignettes

This document provides a summary for each of the eight Initial Practice-Based Professional Standards for Early Interventionists/Early Childhood Special Educators (EI/ECSE Standards) and its components. Each summary also includes three short vignettes that illustrate how the Standards could be demonstrated in a birth to three early intervention context, a three to five preschool context, and a five to eight school age context. This resource is designed to be used in pre-service coursework or in-service professional development to help educators and other early childhood personnel examine the Standards through the lens of a child, family, and service providers.

Play Video

Additional Resources 

  • EI/ECSE Glossary - The glossary contains terms and definitions used throughout the standards. The glossary can be used as a reference as you read the EI/ECSE standards and associated resources to aid understanding.

  • ​ CEC/DEC EI/ECSE Standards, Components, and Supporting Explanations - This document provides a complete report of the EI/ECSE standards and their components. Additionally, supporting explanations are provided that describe why it is important for learners to gain the knowledge and skills represented by each component of the standard. These explanations can be used to support decisions about learning activities and practical experiences during pre-service preparation programs and in-service professional development activities.

  • EI/ECSE Standards, Knowledge Bases, and References - The standard knowledge base provides a concise summary of the relevant laws, other standards (i.e., InTASC, CEC, NAEYC, CAEP Elementary), DEC Recommended Practices, CEC HLPs, research and other literature and resources from the field that support each standard component. A full reference list is also included.  These can be used to understand the support that exists and was used in the development of the standards and components. These may be used to help ensure coursework and professional development includes the most poignant resources and sources of information.

  • Themes Throughout the Standards - The following statements were developed to provide further explanation as to  central  themes which apply across all the new standards due to their fundamental influence on quality of EI/ECSE services. For pre-service, these statements may be topics addressed across curricula (e.g., as teacher educators do curricular planning, develop or revise courses). For PD they could be used to support development of materials and discussion topics (e.g., providing coaching around inclusive education). 


  • Crosswalk of the EI/ECSE Standards (2020) and the K-12 Special Educator Standards (2020) - The crosswalk was completed to assist institutions of higher education (IHE) faculty integrate the Standards into their preservice curriculum and also to assist professional development (PD) providers to integrate the Standards into PD content.

  • Cross-Disciplinary Competencies - The Cross Disciplinary Early Childhood Competencies align the standards across personnel serving young children and families to highlight commonalities in four areas: coordination and collaboration; family-centered practice; evidence-based practice; and professionalism and ethics. DEC is one of  seven national professional organizations representing disciplines providing services in early childhood that have developed and endorse this alignment of personnel standards.

  • Performance Indicators - This document provides concrete examples of learning activities that learners can engage in to gain the knowledge and skills represented by the EI/ECSE standards. Performance indicators may be used to develop courses and curriculum, plan learning activities and assessments, and determine activities for learners to observe or engage in during field experiences and ongoing professional development activities.

bottom of page