Inclusion Basics


Inclusion Basics

What is inclusion? What are the policies around inclusion in early childhood settings? Why is inclusion important? The resources linked below can help answer these questions and more! Check out the policy statements from the Division for Early Childhood, National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the US Department of Education to learn more about how inclusion can be defined and applied in early childhood settings.


DEC NAEYC Joint Position Statement


US Department of Ed. Policy Statement on Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs


Compilation of resources to support learning about DEC Recommended Practices and putting them into action

Materials to use in coursework and lectures

Woment working on a computer at a desk in an office setting.

Access, Participate, Learn: Effective Inclusion Practices

Powerpoint presentation that gives an introduction to inclusion.

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Three preschoolers sitting on the rug. The two girls on the left are smiling and looking at the boy on the right.

Meaningful Inclusion in Early Childhood (Video)

This video explores parent's perspectives on transitioning their children to early childhood settings. Teachers also outline what meaningful inclusion looks like.

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Dawn Williams, Circle Time Magazine host, and Gail Joseph, Cultivate Learning Founder, sit at a table having a convesation.

Circle Time Magazine Season 3: Inclusion

Circle time magazine is a talk show style web-series produced by Cultivate Learning at the University of Washington. In Season 3, the Circle Time team focuses on inclusive practices, covering topics such as assessment, referral and evaluation for special education services, Individualized Education Programs and Individualized Family Service Plans, and more! The introductory episode provides a brief overview of the supports that educators and families of young children can access within the disability system.

Watch Web-series

Toddlers standing in a cirlce.

Head Start Center for Inclusion Modules and Professional Development Tools

This set of modules and professional development materials focuses on supporting each and every child in childcare settings and includes topics such as: planning using activity matrices, curriculum modifications, embedded learning opportunities, and routines-based planning. Slides, activities, and handouts are freely accessible and can be adapted to fit the needs of your course. This website also includes teacher tools such as classroom visuals and social stories that can be downloaded for free and shared with students.

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A preschooler sits in a child sized chair playing with a plastic toy.

Understanding Inclusion Series

This six part series from the Illinois State Board of Education includes an introduction to inclusion, policies and laws related to inclusion, and the benefits of inclusive practices. Each module includes a brief pre-recorded presentation with reflection prompts, activities, and resources throughout.

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Tools to share with your students

A women sits at a table writing on a clipboard.

Teacher’s Guide: Member of the Class

This checklist (created by the Head Start Center for Inclusion) is meant to be used by teachers to help them see if a child is truly a member of the classroom community. It is completed from the child’s perspective.

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The circle time area of a classroom with 10 placemats for the children to sit on.  The sign language alphabet are taped to the wall along with other classroom routines.

Planning for an Inclusive Classroom: Supporting Children with Disabilities

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) developed 17 tips for making classrooms more inclusive.

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Six preschoolers slide down a green plastic slide at the same time, forming a slide train.

Anti-Bias and Equity Resources

These resources explore anti-bias and anti-racist practices in early childhood education. They can support students in their journey of unlearning and relearning and ultimately doing their utmost to tackle racial disparities to foster healthy identities and welcoming classrooms.

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A childcare provider users her hand to bring a child's hand to her face.  The child is sitting on a yellow bean bag.

Intersectionality Resources

The resources found in this guide can be used to promote discussion and support student understanding of the intersectionality between issues of race, gender, and ability.

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