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According to the joint position statement from the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC),

Early childhood inclusion embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every infant and young child and his or her family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities, and society. The desired results of inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families includes a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach Inclusion Logotheir full potential. The defining features of inclusion that can be used to identify high quality early childhood programs and services are access, participation, and supports."

Early intervention practitioners should be familiar with inclusive practices so that they can assist families in identifying high quality early childhood programs and services in their localities. Practitioners can also use these practices to collaborate with and support early childhood teachers and child care providers as they include children with special needs in the activities of their classrooms and home-based programs.

For more information, see the full position statement, Early Childhood Inclusion (April 2009) (External Website).

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