In March 2021, Start Early received a short-term exploratory grant from the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities to gather insights into how to better support the inclusion of young children with disabilities across school and community settings by engaging school district leaders and their management organizations. From March through August 2021, Start Early conducted key informant interviews and focus groups with school management associations and school district leaders, including principals, superintendents, school board members, and early childhood and early childhood special education coordinators to gain an understanding of what Local Education Agencies (LEAs) would need to be able to provide services to all preschool aged children with IEPs regardless of setting, with a focus on outside-of-school settings. This report outlines key findings from these focus groups and potential next steps for policy makers and systems leaders to build LEA and state capacity to leverage new federal resources on inclusion. (author abstract)
Strengthening early childhood inclusion: Opportunities to improve collaboration between school districts and community partners to support young children with disabilities
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