Early Childhood


Welcome to the Early Childhood topic page. The purpose of this webpage is to provide information, resources, and training for those working with young children with disabilities, ages three to five. You will find the link to the Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) Data Collection System, Idaho Early Learning eGuidelines, Early Childhood SPED Parent Brochure, and many other resources to support you in your work.

Support and Assistance

Transitioning from Infant Toddler Program (Part C) to school-based special education services (Part B) is an ongoing collaborative process. It involves exploring options, providing information, support, and connections to new services. Coordinated planning between the Infant Toddler Program and school districts ensures a seamless transition for children and families. Key transition considerations encompass changes in service systems, eligibility criteria, child participation expectations, behavioral readiness, staff involvement, training, and intervention approaches. Thoughtful joint planning by the local early intervention program and the local school district (LEA) facilitates a well-coordinated and smooth transition experience for all involved.

Early Childhood Special Education Child Find is the proactive process of identifying and locating young children, typically between the ages of birth to five, who may have developmental delays or disabilities. This systematic effort involves screening, assessment, and outreach to ensure that children who could benefit from special education services receive appropriate support as early as possible. The goal is to identify and intervene in potential developmental concerns to promote optimal growth and learning during the crucial early years.

Early childhood evaluation and assessment for special education services involve a comprehensive and structured process of gathering information about a young child's developmental abilities, strengths, and challenges. This process includes various tools, observations, and tests conducted by qualified professionals. The aim is to accurately understand the child's unique needs and determine if they qualify for specialized educational support. Through this assessment, tailored intervention plans can be created to address specific areas of concern and promote the child's overall growth and success in their early learning journey.

Early Childhood Special Education Individualized Education Program (IEP) development is a personalized and systematic process for creating a tailored educational plan for young children with disabilities. This collaborative effort involves parents, educators, and specialists. The IEP outlines the child's current abilities, goals, and specific support services required to enhance their learning and development. It includes measurable objectives, instructional strategies, accommodations, and related services to ensure the child receives an individualized and effective education that meets their unique needs and promotes their progress.

The Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) assess the effectiveness of early intervention and special education. The Office of Special Education (OSEP) emphasizes three child outcomes: Positive Social Emotional Skills, Acquiring and Using Knowledge and Skills, and Taking Appropriate Action to Meet Needs. These outcomes are reported for Part B/Section 619 Early Childhood Special Education programs, aiming to bring children with disabilities closer to their same-aged peers in these areas. School teams also employ these outcomes to design programs for improved functional results and future academic success.

Early Childhood Special Education Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) refers to the educational setting where a child with disabilities can receive appropriate support and services while interacting with typically developing peers to the maximum extent possible. This concept emphasizes inclusion and aims to provide the child with opportunities for social interaction, academic growth, and participation in a general education environment to the greatest extent that is beneficial for their individual needs. The goal is to strike a balance between specialized instruction and integration, ensuring that the child's education takes place in an environment that is the least restrictive while still addressing their unique requirements.

Transitioning from early childhood special education (ECSE) to a kindergarten setting involves moving a child with special needs from a specialized early intervention program to a mainstream kindergarten environment. This process aims to support a smooth and successful shift for the child's educational journey. It typically involves: Assessment and Planning, Collaboration, Family Involvement, Individualized Education Plan (IEP, Orientation and Visits, Teacher Training, Support Services, Data Sharing, Monitoring and Adjustments, and Inclusive Environment. By carefully planning, collaborating, and providing tailored support, the transition from early childhood special education to a kindergarten setting aims to create a positive and successful educational experience for children with special needs as they embark on their elementary school journey.

Early childhood behavioral support refers to a range of strategies and interventions designed to address and promote positive behavior in young children. This approach focuses on fostering healthy emotional and social development while preventing and addressing challenging behaviors. It often involves collaboration between parents, caregivers, educators, and other professionals to create a supportive environment for children.

Contact Us

shannon dunstan

Results Driven Accountability and Early Childhood Coordinator
Idaho State Department of Education
P.O. Box 83720 Boise, Idaho 83720
208-332-6908 (Office)
208-703-1660 (Cell)

sde Idaho State Department of Education
650 W. State Street
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0027