Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Evidence-Based Practice

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What is evidence-based practice?

Evidence-based practice in the field of early childhood is the process that pulls together the best available research, knowledge from professional experts, and data and input from children and their caregivers, to identify and provide services, evaluated and proven to achieve positive outcomes for children and families.

Where do you find early childhood evidence-based practices?

The resources below provide information on evidence-based practices in areas specific to early childhood care and education, professional development, early intervention and early childhood special education (EI/ECSE).

Multiple Early Childhood Topics


Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Early Child Identification

  • Tracking, Referral and Assessment Center for Excellence (TRACE) (Funded by OSEP, 2002-2007) - The Puckett Institute's TRACE initiative was to identify and promote the use of evidence-based practices and models for improving child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination for infants, toddlers, and young children with developmental delays or disabilities who are eligible for early intervention or preschool special education.

Early Childhood Transition

  • National Early Childhood Transition Center (NECTC) (Funded by OSEP, 2002-2007) - NECTC orchestrated research focus groups to investigate and validate practices and strategies that enhance the early childhood transition process and support positive school outcomes for children with disabilities.

Early Literacy

Home Visiting


(Also, see Research and Studies on our Inclusion page)

Professional Development

School Readiness

(Also, see the Multiple Early Childhood Topics section of this page for more reviews of programs and practices that have been shown to be effective at improving different aspects of early school readiness)

Screening, Assessment, Evaluation Instruments

Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children

  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

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 H326P170001 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.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2020 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute