Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Response to Intervention (RTI)
in Early Childhood

Response to Intervention (RTI) in Early Childhood topic editor: Sue Goode

Response to Intervention (RTI) refers to a process of intervening with children who are at-risk for learning disabilities to:

While the RTI model has typically been used with school-aged children, RTI resources are being developed to meet the unique needs of very young children.

OSEP Letters of Clarification

PDF: OSEP Policy Letter on RTI and Child Find

Clarifies that a Response to Intervention (RTI) process cannot be used to delay/deny an evaluation for eligibility under the IDEA. (January 21, 2011)

PDF: OSEP Policy Letter on RTI and Children Enrolled in Head Start

Clarifies the applicability of the Response to Intervention (RTI) requirements in Section 614(b)6(B) of Part B of the IDEA to children ages 3 through 5 enrolled in Head Start Programs. (June 2, 2010)

WWW: Frameworks for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood Education: Description and Implications (February 2013)

This paper was developed collaboratively by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Council for Exceptional Children's Division for Early Childhood (DEC), and the National Head Start Association (NHSA). The joint paper was developed to: (1) provide clarification and guidance on the relationship of RTI frameworks to the unique context of early childhood programs serving children from birth until school entry; (2) help to dispel misunderstandings and misconceptions related to RTI in early childhood; and (3) promote a broader understanding and discussion of the topic.

WWW: Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood (CRTIEC)

CRTIEC was funded in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to conduct research and provide resources that support the use of RTI to increase the number of young children who enter school with knowledge and skills in early literacy and language. CRTIEC has hosted WWW: Annual RTI in Early Childhood Summit and posted presentations and materials from the summits online.

WWW: RTI Action Network - Pre-K Resources

The RTI Action Network is a program of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, funded by the Cisco Foundation and in partnership with the nation's leading education associations and top RTI experts. It is dedicated to the effective implementation of RTI in school districts nationwide.

  • WWW: RTI National Online Forum: Implementing RTI in Early Childhood Settings (November 17, 2011)
    This 80-minute webcast features four nationally recognized experts in RTI who provide guidance on establishing multi-tiered systems of support for young children, an overview of the essential components of RTI, new instructional strategies, policy considerations, emerging approaches to measurement, and the supports needed for success.

WWW: Recognition & Response (R&R) / RTI for Pre-K

Recognition and Response (R&R) is a tiered model for pre-k based on RTI that provides quality instruction for all children, as well as targeted interventions matched to individual children's learning needs. The R&R project at the FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to study the effectiveness of this model for preschool children.

Conference Presentations and Related Materials

The ECTA Center maintains a searchable collection of presentations from OSEP's Annual National Conferences, the Annual Early Childhood Outcomes Conferences, and the Annual Early Childhood Inclusion Institutes. See presentations related to RTI in early childhood from 2007 to the present.

Links on this site are verified monthly. This page content was last updated on 03/14/2013 SG

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

  • CB 8040
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040
  • phone: 919.962.2001
  • fax: 919.966.7463
  • email:

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P120002 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

  • FPG Child Development Institute
  • OSEP's TA&D Network:IDEAs that Work