The INSPIRE ACTION framework was developed to assist those responsible for administrative oversight of local early childhood special education programs to identify and celebrate strong program components and to identify those program components most in need of improvement. The development was sparked by recognition that many local program leaders (e.g., Directors of Special Education, elementary principals, some special education coordinators) have limited knowledge of early childhood special education and are unable to consistently determine the presence or absence of ECSE program quality.



As you look at the resources and tools provided here, consider:

  • What is the main focus and purpose of each resource?
  • How does this information align with what you currently know and do in your work with young children and families?
  • How will you integrate this information into your work?
  • How might you share or apply this information in working with: Children? Families? Colleagues?


Implementation Resources: Apply and Practice

Iris Center module - Early Childhood Environments: Designing Effective Classrooms
This Module, a DEC-recommended resource, offers information on how to set up effective inclusive early childhood classroom environments for young children. It also provides details about the interrelated physical, social, and temporal components of those environments, as well as adaptations to help teachers meet the needs of children with disabilities.

Connect Module - Communication for Collaboration
Describe effective practices for communicating with professionals and families in the context of early education and intervention. Use a decision-making process to select communication practices linked to specific purposes including attending and active listening, seeking and verifying, and supporting and joining.

Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt University

  • Responsive Play Interactions
    Visit this web page to view video examples and read descriptions of various responsive interaction strategies classroom staff can employ in response to children’s play.
  • Effective Communication Strategies to Use in Small Groups and Throughout the Day
    Discover strategies through video examples and descriptions that can be used to improve adult-child interactions.
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
    Through video examples and descriptions, learn the definition of AAC, and find guidance on various aspects of utilizing ACC in the classroom to support and extend positive communication.
  • Environment – Arranging Materials
    Environmental arrangement involves purposefully planning the placement and organization of classroom materials, furniture, and activities to promote appropriate behaviors and engagement, and decrease the likelihood of problem behavior. Watch video examples and read descriptions of strategies to use.
  • Environment – Arranging Schedules
    Intentional scheduling is an environmental arrangement strategy important for all early childhood classrooms. Learn about descriptions of schedules for children (e.g., visual schedules) and scheduling strategies for adults.


PDF-Guided Resources and Support

Please contact your regional PDF if you have investigated all resources provided here, but continue to have questions or concerns related to this core component of INSPIRE ACTION.

If you have an additional resource that supports professional development in this core component, please share it with your regional PDF. Your participation in this site's continued growth is encouraged and welcome!


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