Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Policy and Position Statements


The federal resources are intended to clarify the intent of the IDEA and explain regulatory requirements. Resources from national professional organizations offer recommendations for high quality practices and define characteristics of inclusion. These include a key policy letter and position statements and guidance pertaining to the inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood settings.

Federal Policy Statements

The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released joint guidance detailing the legal foundation, evidence-based practices, state and local level infrastructure recommendations, and resources to support inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood programs. The departments also released a joint policy statement and letter on preventing the suspension and expulsion of young children from early childhood settings.

Federal Policy Letters and Guidance

The Office of Special Education Programs provides updated guidance on regulatory requirements, preschool placement options, data reporting for educational environments, and use of IDEA Part B funds for preschool children with disabilities.

Position Statements - Professional Organizations

National professional organizations provide position statements to recommendations on desired practices describe characteristics and defining features of high quality practices for young children and their families, including children with disabilities.


ECTA Center offers a tool to help states develop the policy and guidance needed to implement high-quality inclusive practices across early care and education programs. This tool is based on the recommendations in the Joint Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs.

Related Topics

  • 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