Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Inclusion in Least Restrictive Environments

Photograph: Seven preschool-aged girls cross a grass field together. (Photograph by Alex Lazara)

ECTA Topic Team on Inclusion

  • Kathy Whaley
  • Katy McCullough
  • Mary Peters
  • Megan Vinh
  • Debbie Cate
  • Barbara Smith
  • Judy Swett
  • Katrina Martin

Most recent additions to this topic:

  • Dear Colleague Letter on Preschool Least Restrictive Environments (January 9, 2017) Office of Special Education Programs - This letter provides updated guidance and clarification on: Key Statutory and Regulatory Requirements, Preschool Placement Options, Reporting Educational Environments Data for Preschool Children with Disabilities, and Use of IDEA Part B Funds for Preschool Children with Disabilities. It reaffirms OSEP's position that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs where they are provided with individualized and appropriate supports to enable them to meet high expectations.
  • National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute:
  • Webinar: Preparing a High-Quality Workforce to Support Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs - September 7, 2016 2:00 to 3:00 ET
  • 2016 National Inclusion Webinar Series (Februrary-April, 2016)
  • PDF: Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs (September 14, 2015): The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released guidance setting a vision for action that recommends states, districts, schools and public and private early childhood programs prioritize and implement policies that support inclusion, improve their infrastructure and offer professional development to strengthen and increase the number of inclusive high-quality early childhood programs nationwide. The Departments crafted the guidance with the input of early learning professionals, families and early learning stakeholders. The policy statement also includes free resources for states, local districts, early childhood personnel and families.

Related pages:

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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