This week, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released a policy statement highlighting the importance of making sure that all young children with disabilities have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the new policy statement in Kansas City, Missouri, during the first stop of his back-to-school bus tour.
The policy statement sets a vision for States, local educational agencies, schools, and public and private early childhood programs to strengthen and increase the number of inclusive high-quality early childhood programs nationwide. As the country continues to move forward on the critical task of expanding access to high-quality early childhood programs for all young children, it is imperative that children with disabilities be included in these efforts.
CEC’s Division on Early Childhood (DEC) provided leadership in the conceptualization of the statement and input in the development and final review of the policy statement. In addition, CEC provided input during the public comment period. Both CEC and DEC support the policy statement and look forward to sharing it with our members as we work to provide inclusive high-quality early childhood programs.