Early education and development

Topics that address the education and developmental needs of young children from birth to age 8.

Child development
Child development encompasses the various stages of physical, social, and psychological growth among young children, starting at birth through approximately age eight (as addressed at the Institute).
Early childhood education
Early childhood education consists of activities and/or experiences that are intended to promote a child's development (including children with and without disabilities) prior to entering elementary school.
Early childhood screening and assessment
Early screening and assessment is about identifying children who may have a developmental delay or a particular disability (or who may need further evaluation to determine this) and assessing their developmental or educational needs.
Early childhood transition
Early childhood transition is about promoting successful transitions between infant/toddler programs, preschool programs, and public school programs for young children with disabilities and their families.
Early intervention
Early intervention is a range of services for children with disabilities under the age of three, and the families who care for them.
Early literacy
Early literacy is the development of language and literacy skills among young children with or without disabilities.
Early social/emotional development
Early social/emotional development encompasses strategies for supporting the social and/or emotional development of young children with disabilities, including those exhibiting challenging behaviors. See also Positive behavior supports (Education practices) and Positive behavior supports (Community life).
Family engagement
Family engagement in early education and development is when parents and/or other family members support the development of an infant or toddler with a disability, either independently or in collaboration with early childhood professionals. See same topic in Education practices (K12 and transition).
IFSP development
The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), as mandated by the IDEA, is a plan to guide the early intervention process for infants and toddlers (birth to age 3) with disabilities and their families. The Institute addresses ways to develop and implement the IFSP to best serve the child and his/her family.
Infant and early childhood mental health
Infant and early childhood mental health is a methodology for promoting the mental health of young children with and without disabilities from birth to the year they enter kindergarten.
Natural environments
Natural environments are home and community locations in which children would naturally be if they did not have a disability. The IDEA requires that early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities are provided in such natural environments.
Progress monitoring
Progress monitoring is a scientifically based practice that is used to assess children's academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. The Institute addresses ways to improve progress monitoring techniques and measurements among preschool and school-age children. See same topic in Educational accountability and assessment.