The MLO Minute: “Preschool Programs Get Major Boost from U.S. Departments of Education and HHS”
On November 28, 2023, a major policy statement was released jointly by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, which reaffirms that all young children with disabilities have access to high-quality, researched-based, inclusive early childhood programs. These programs must provide individualized and appropriate supports so young children can fully participate alongside their non-disabled peers to allow them to achieve their potential.
The joint statement builds upon a prior joint statement from 2015 which reaffirmed that from birth through school-age, children with disabilities have a right to be educated and to receive research-based services in environments where they are included with non-disabled peers.
The recent policy statement includes extensive resources and information for families, educators, and relevant professionals regarding the available means by which to provide these inclusive, research-based programs and to ensure that high-quality services are provided to all children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment appropriate for their needs.
The full policy statement with attachments can be found at the following link: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ecd/policy-guidance/policy-statement-inclusion-children-disability-early-childhood-programs
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