The EI/ECSE Standards are specific to the preparation for early interventionists and early childhood special educators who work with young children ages birth through 8 years of age who have or are at-risk for developmental delays and disabilities and their families, across home, classroom and community settings. These standards build on the history of EI/ECSE as an integrated and unique field of study, policy, research, and practice and emphasize the unique skills and knowledge required for specialization for early interventionists and early childhood special educators. These are the first set of standards that focus on this specialized age group.
These standards are designed for candidates in their initial early childhood special education preparation program. These programs may be at the bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate, or master’s level. The development of the standards was guided by a paper prepared by CEC’s Standards Framing Paper Workgroup: Shaping the Future of Special Education: Framing CEC’s Professional Preparation Standards, which recommended that the standards:
- Are practice-based;
- Focus on in-depth candidate proficiency;
- Form the foundation for future professional development;
- Address diverse populations with individual differences and needs;
- Promote continuous improvement of professional preparation programs;
- Clearly articulate the expectations for a well-prepared special educator with stakeholders.
The new standards reflect many hours of support from CEC ’s Standards Development Workgroup and the DEC Standards Development Task Force. The standards development process was also facilitated by resources and support from CEC, DEC, and the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC).