Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement Competencies - Grades P-3

1.0 Common Core: Knowledge of Foundations of Special Education

1.1 Models, theories, philosophies, and regulatory history that form the basis for special education early childhood practice

1.2 Issues in definition and identification of infants and young children with disabilities, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

1.3 Issues, assurances, case law, and due process rights related to assessment, eligibility, and placement within a continuum of services

1.4 Rights, responsibilities, and advocacy related to infants and young children with disabilities and their families

1.5 Definitions and issues related to the identification of individuals with disabilities.

1.6 The legal, judicial, health, and educational systems to assist infants and young children with disabilities and their families.

1.7 Laws and policies related to provision of specialized health care in educational settings

1.8 Factors that influence the over-representation and under-representation of culturally/linguistically diverse students in programs for young children with disabilities

1.9 Federal and state legislation that affects children, families, and programs for young children with disabilities

1.10 Roles of families, school and community personnel, and individuals with disabilities in identifying, assessing, and providing services to individuals with disabilities


2.0  Common Core: Knowledge of Characteristics Of Learners

2.1Typical and atypical early childhood growth and development

  • Similarities and differences of infants and young children with and without disabilities
  • Developmental and educational implications of characteristics of various disabilities including social, emotional, academic, and behavioral implications
  • Effects a disability (ies) can have on the development of infants and young children and their family

2.2 Unique needs of infants and young children who are severely involved or such as positioning, handling, nutrition, feeding, and toileting

2.3 Impact of a disability on infants and young children, families and society

2.4 Family/community education programs that provide information and resources concerning infants and young children with disabilities

2.5 Etiologies and medical aspects of conditions affecting  infants and young children with disabilities

2.6 Strategies for collaborating with families of and service providers to infants and young children who are chronically or terminally ill

2.7 Types and transmission routes of infectious disease associated with disabilities during pregnancy and early childhood


3.0 Common Core:  Knowledge of Assessment, Diagnosis, and Evaluation

3.1 Basic terminology used in assessment of infants and young children with disabilities and family needs and resources

3.2 Legal provisions and ethical principles regarding assessment of infants and young children and family needs and resources

3.3 Evaluation related to child-find screening, pre-referral, response to intervention (RTI), referral, eligibility procedures, extended school year and transition procedures

3.4 Appropriateness of various instruments and procedures for assessing infants and young children with disabilities including children who are culturally and linguistically diverse and family needs and resources

3.5 Impact of age and development on assessment procedures

3.6 Accommodations, modifications, technology and alternatives and when to apply each in classroom, district, and state testing

3.7 Curriculum based assessment

3.8 Knowledge of reliable assessment methods and developmentally appropriate responses of infants and young children


4.0 Common Core: Knowledge of Planning, Content and Practice

4.1 Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and (IFSP) Individual Family Service Plan components, development, implementation, and review process

4.2 Characteristics and demands of the continuum of service options and the least restrictive environment

4.3 Accommodations, modifications, and alternatives and when to apply each in instruction

4.4 Research-based methods for increasing positive impact on early literacy and early mathematics 

4.5 Research-based methods for increasing early learning in adaptive, social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, communication, and independent living skills

4.6 Pre-referral prevention and intervention strategies including all levels of response to intervention

4.7 Strategies for integrating learning opportunities in daily routines and planned activities

4.8 Research-based best practices for effective management of teaching and learning in individual, small group and large group settings

4.9 Theories and research that form the basis of early childhood special education curriculum and instruction

4.10 Roles and responsibilities, of the early childhood special education teacher, Para educator, and other team members

4.11 Strategies for appropriate program and instructional supervision and training including management of classroom volunteers, Para educators, and peer tutors

4.12 Strategies for coordination of learning programs for general education and special education staff to meet students’ needs

4.13 Universal precautions for health and safety


5.0 Common Core: Knowledge of Managing Student Behavior and Social Interaction Skills

5.1 Laws, policies/regulations, and ethical principles regarding positive behavior management planning and implementation, discipline and aversive intervention for infants and young children

5.2 Responsibilities regarding and procedures for Functional Behavior Assessment, manifestation, determination, and behavior intervention planning for infants and young children

5.3 Strategies for increasing acceptance and inclusion of infants and young children with disabilities

5.4 Social skills needed for early childhood/special education environments

5.5 Strategies for crisis prevention and de-escalation of aggressive behavior for infants and young children


6.0 Common Core: Skills and Instructional Methodology

Foundations of Special Education

6.1.1 Articulate personal philosophy of early childhood special education

6.1.2 Know, use and comply with WACs in the design and implementation of early intervention, special education and related services

6.1.3 Identify similarities and differences of major provisions of Part B and Part C of IDEA

6.1.4 Apply theory and knowledge of family dynamics, roles, and relationships in interactions with families and communities

6.1.5 Collaborate with local, community, state and federal personnel to provide services to infants and young children with disabilities

Characteristics of Learners

6.2.1 Access information, support, and resources on early development and disabilities such as health and safety, challenging behaviors, nutrition, and learning

6.2.2 Communicate with school personnel, families and community members about the characteristics and needs of infants and young children with disabilities

6.2.3 Observe and record the behaviors of infants and young children who are taking medications and share data/observations with family and other professionals when appropriate

6.2.4 Use current information on assessment, evaluation, and development of infants and young children to inform instructional practice

6.2.5 Recognize characteristics common to disability areas identified in WACs

6.2.6 Select, adapt and use instruction strategies and materials according to characteristics of infants and young children including social, emotional, adaptive, cognitive, academic and behavioral

6.2.7 Develop and select learning experiences and strategies that affirm and respect family, cultural, and societal diversity including language differences

6.2.8 Identify pre-, peri-, and postnatal development and factors such as biological conditions and environmental conditions that affect children’s development and learning

6.2.9 Identify aspects of medical care for premature, low birth weight, and other medically fragile babies including methods used in the care of young children dependent upon technology and implications of medical conditions on child development and family resources, concerns, and priorities

Assessment Diagnosis and Evaluation

6.3.1 Collaborate with families, related service personnel and others in assessment of  infants and young children with disabilities

6.3.2 Maintain confidential communication and documentation about infants and young children with disabilities

6.3.3 Use comprehensive assessment procedures

  • Include families and service providers to gather relevant background information
  • Develop and administer objective informal assessments and observations
  •  Select and use a variety of formal assessments including functional behavioral assessment to make decisions about the infants and young children learning and development
  • Interpret information from formal and informal assessments including psychometric properties such as reliability and validity

6.3.4 Utilize ongoing evaluation/assessment data to determine the effectiveness of specially designed instruction and related services for infants and young children and their family

6.3.5 Use performance data and information from all team members to inform and evaluate effectiveness of interventions in early learning environments

6.3.6 Select, adapt and modify individualized assessment strategies including accommodations, technology and alternative assessment for infants and young children

6.3.7 Use technology to implement progress monitoring and use of data to develop and modify instructional plans

6.3.8 Develop and implement transition services.

6.3.9 Use documentation of response to intervention (RTI) to inform eligibility determination decisions and specially designed instruction

6.3.10 Communicate and integrate assessment and ongoing evaluation results from others in eligibility decisions, the development and implementation of the Individual Educational Program (IEP) and Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)

6.3.11 Collaborate in the assessment of infants and young children’s cognitive, social-emotional, behavioral, sensory, motor, communication, and adaptive domains

6.3.12 Assist in identifying family resources, priorities, and concerns in relation to their child’s development

Planning, Content and Practice

6.4.1 Create a safe, equitable, positive, and supportive learning environment for infants and young children

6.4.2 Develop and select instructional content, resources, and strategies that are aligned with the IEP or IFSP goals and respond to cultural, and linguistic differences

6.4.3 Develop, implement, and monitor comprehensive, IFSP/IEPs in collaboration with team members, families, and as appropriate, infants and young children

6.4.4 Evaluate the need for assistant technologies and incorporate when appropriate

6.4.5 Develop, implement, and monitor IEPs, IFSPs, and lesson plans which align with general curriculum including state learning goals, EALRs, GLEs and Early childhood learning benchmarks

6.4.6 Use and model research-based strategies and interventions to facilitate inclusion within a continuum of service including appropriate accommodations, curriculum modifications, and alternatives

6.4.7 Collaborate and communicate with school personnel, family and community members to include and accommodate infants and young children with disabilities into various settings

6.4.8 Use research-based strategies to develop early literacy and early mathematical skills.

6.4.9 Use research-based strategies for increasing early learning in adaptive, social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, communication, and independent living skills

6.4.10 Use task analysis to prepare lesson plans based on educational needs that are directly connected to measurable components of the IFSP or IEP

6.4.11 Plan for the integration of related services’ goals into early intervention educational program

6.4.12 Sequence, implement, and evaluate individual learning outcomes, including the appropriate use of the EALRs and GLEs

6.4.13 Use research-based strategies for facilitating maintenance and generalization of skills across early intervention and early childhood environments

6.4.14 Use instructional time to positively impact infants and young children’s development and learning by designing and managing effective daily routines

6.4.15 Use strategies, including collaboration with families and other agencies to facilitate all transitions for infants and young children with disabilities.

  • early intervention to preschool
  • preschool to elementary
  • individualized alternative settings to school
  • extended school year
  • to and from general education

6.4.16 Direct, observe, and provide feedback to Para educators, classroom volunteers and peer tutors

6.4.17 Prepare lesson plans, organize materials, and monitor implementation of early intervention services and specially designed instruction for self, Para educators, and general educators

6.4.18 Design and/or provide instruction in a variety of settings including school and community based

6.4.19 Integrate developmentally appropriate and individually appropriate instruction of skills

6.4.20 Support and facilitate family and child interactions for early learning and development

6.4.21 Monitor, summarize, and evaluate the acquisition of child and family outcomes as outlined on the IFSP

Managing Student Behavior and Social Interaction Skills

6.5.1 Use the least intrusive behavior management strategy consistent with the needs of the young child

6.5.2 Modify instructional approaches and the learning environment to manage behaviors

6.5.3 Select and implement research-based strategies of behavioral support and management for infants and young children with disabilities

Professionalism and Ethical Practice

6.6.1 Uphold high standards of competence and integrity and exercise sound judgment in the practice of the profession consistent with Council for Exceptional Children Code of Ethics

6.6.2 Access professional organizations and publications (printed/electronic) that support infants and young children with disabilities, their families, and colleagues

6.6.3 Conduct professional activities in compliance with applicable Early Childhood Special Education laws and policies/regulations