Supporting Children with Disabilities
Research suggests that including children with special needs in regular education and child care classrooms/settings gives them the greatest opportunity to reach their fullest potential.
The Early Care and Education Inclusion (ECEI) program is designed to help preschool and child care providers support children ages birth to 5 with developmental delays or disabilities in the classroom. With training, preschool and child care providers find they are better prepared and equipped to serve all children, not simply those who are typically developing or just those with special needs.
How does the program work?
Parents of children with special needs can contact the ECEI program for resources and support in enrolling their child with a Quality First provider who is committed to supporting children with developmental delays. The program offers strategies and support to teachers and caregivers to help individual children with special needs be successful in their early care and education setting.
Coaching and training
At enrolled preschools or child care centers, an inclusion coach with early childhood and special needs expertise provides weekly coaching and training to assist with issues such as:
- Building and strengthening the relationship between families and the preschool or child care center
- Learning the strategies and skills to support children with special needs
- Curriculum guidance and support to help all children meet goals through daily routines
- Accessing community resources for children with special needs and their families
- Identifying and referring children with suspected delays to Arizona’s Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) or their local school district
- Collaborating with therapy providers and other community partners
Who is eligible?
Families with children ages birth to 5 who have a disability and are looking for help or support at a preschool or child care provider. The programs must be located in specific ZIP codes. ADHS licensing and enrollment in Quality First are required for the preschool or child care center to participate in coaching and training.
Is there a cost?
Early Care and Education Inclusion is provided at no cost to families or to eligible preschool and child care providers.
Participating preschool and child care provider directory
Download a list of preschool and child care providers who have demonstrated a commitment to serving children with special needs by participating in the Early Care and Education Inclusion program.
For more information about the Early Care and Education Inclusion program, please call (602) 633-8454 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.