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Graduation Ceremony

Personnel Preparation

Personnel Preparation is one of the six agenda items in the Division for Early Childhood’s (DEC) Priority Issues Agenda (2020). The agenda item, to adequately equip a highly effective workforce, is accomplished by DEC through promoting and supporting comprehensive, coordinated, personnel preparation systems internationally. Specifically, DEC, in collaboration with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), developed professional Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Standards (2020 EI/ECSE Standards). DEC will review and update these Standards regularly based on current research and wisdom of the discipline. The Standards serve as the foundation of the personnel preparation system and guide the development of preservice and in-service curricula. DEC creates and disseminates resources to support the alignment of preservice and in-service curricula with the EI/ECSE Standards and DEC Recommended Practices (2014). In addition, DEC advocates for certification/licensure policies to be based on the EI/ECSE Standards. DEC acknowledges the importance of discussions and interactions with related professional associations in the processes of personnel preparation (e.g., CEC and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)).

The EI/ECSE Standards (2020) and Program Review 

The Initial Practice-Based Professional Standards for Early Interventionists/Early Childhood Special Educators (EI/ECSE Standards, 2020) define what EI/ECSE professionals should know and be able to do to effectively work with children birth through eight years who have or are at risk for developmental delays and their families. DEC supports institution of higher education (IHE) faculty in the program review process for program accreditation.  

Personnel Preparation Resources


Resources for Practitioners and Developing Practitioners

DEC resources:

  • DEC Publications - Find information and view a sample issue for DEC’s two journals, Journal of Early Intervention and Young Exceptional Children.

  • DEC Equity, Inclusion, & Social Justice topic page - How to advocate for socially just policies and practices and ensure that all early intervention/early childhood special education professionals, families, and children from diverse identities, backgrounds, lifestyles, values, and beliefs are included in the events, policies, and practices.

Partner Resources:

  • 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.

  • IRIS Center - A wealth of resources, including free modules, focused on evidence-based practices and supports for children who have or are at risk for developmental delays and/or disabilities.


  • DaSy - Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems - The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems assists states in collecting, reporting, analyzing, and using high quality for program improvement, accountability, and to support outcomes for children participating in Part C and Part B programs.

  • Visit the Teacher Education Division (TED) website to learn more about supporting personnel preparation of individuals who work with or will work with children with exceptional needs and their families.  

  • The Zero to Three (ZTT) - learn more about the development and learning of  children birth to age three as well as supports and resources for their families, caregivers, and child care providers.

  • NAECTE -  Visit the website to learn more about issues, concerns, and research focusing on  personnel preparation for early childhood educators, as well as accessibility to communication networks for ECTEs.

  • CEC - information about the overarching professional organization that provides the most current information about government policies, professional standards, professional development, and other resources for special educators.


  • Higher Education Consortium for Special Education - learn more about how this organization advocates with Congress on issues related to personnel preparation, leadership development, professional development, and research in special education.

DEC Resources for Developing and Reviewing Programs of Higher Education

  • CEC EI/ECSE Candidate Performance Rubrics - This rubric is used by CEC EI/ECSE program reviewers to determine whether the content of the program’s assessments is sufficient to ensure that candidates meet each EI/ECSE standard. The content of all assessments cited as evidence for a standard must, taken as a whole, demonstrate that candidates have mastered the standard. Both in-service professional development and pre-service preparation programs can use these rubrics to assess candidates in ways that align with the EI/ECSE standards, whether or not they are pursuing CAEP accreditation.





  • 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.

The Personnel Preparation Committee assists DEC by completing projects and initiatives associated with personnel preparation. Learn more about the committee members.

DEC resources
Partner Resources
Reviewing Programs
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