How long a list of “who’s who” would you like? There are quite a few experts in the early intervention field!
In the interests of efficiency, we will give you the semi-short but to-the-point list to get you started (we apologize to all those organizations we haven’t listed here). This starter list will definitely lead you into the wider network and keep you informed in the ongoing work in early intervention.
National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC).
Your premiere choice for early intervention expertise and connection! NECTAC supports the implementation of the early childhood provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Its mission is to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities (birth through five) and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate, and family-centered supports and services. The center addresses this mission by working primarily with the state agencies responsible for ensuring EI services.
IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association.
This association promotes the mutual assistance, cooperation, and exchange of information and ideas in the administration of the IDEA Infant and Toddler Program. It also provides support to the state coordinators. Be sure to check out the Orientation & Resource Manual which has been purposefully designed to help Part C Coordinators, both new and experienced, better understand and implement the early intervention strategies most beneficial to each individual and family.
CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge.
CONNECT offers web-based, instructional resources for faculty and other professional development providers that focus on and respond to challenges faced each day by those working with young children with disabilities and their families. The modules help build practitioners’ abilities to make evidence-based decisions. They emphasize a decision-making process, realistic problems to solve, the importance of integrating multiple perspectives and sources of evidence, the relevance and quality of content, and feedback. These practice-based modules are free and include video clips, activities, and handouts. They can be embedded into existing curricula, coursework and other professional development opportunities.
Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children.
TACSEI takes the research that shows which practices improve the social-emotional outcomes for young children with, or at risk for, delays or disabilities and creates free products and resources to help decision-makers, caregivers, and service providers apply these best practices in the work they do every day.
CLAS, the Early Childhood Research Institute on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services.
CLAS collects and describes early childhood/early intervention resources that have been developed across the U.S. for children with disabilities and their families and the service providers who work with them. The materials and resources available on the CLAS website reflect the intersection of culture and language, disabilities, and child development. Through this site CLAS informs consumers (e.g., practitioners, families, and researchers) about materials and practices that are available and the contexts in which they might select a given material or practice. Parts of the site can also be read in Spanish.
Research and Training Center (RTC) on Early Childhood Development.
The RTC on Early Childhood Development is conducting applied research on knowledge and practice that improves interventions associated with the healthy mental, behavioral, communication, preliteracy, social-emotional, and interpersonal development of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with or at risk for developmental disabilities. You’ll find a wealth of information about effective early childhood intervention practices based on research on the RTC’s Web site.
Early Childhood Research Institute on Measuring Growth and Development (ECRI-MGD).
The ECRI-MGD was launched in October 1996 with a mission to produce a comprehensive system for continuously measuring the skills and needs of individual children with disabilities from birth to eight years of age. A wide range of reports and manuals encapsulating their results are available at the link above.
The ECO Center.
ECO is the Early Childhood Outcomes Center: Demonstrating Results for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities and Their Families. If you’re looking for research-based info on how to measure outcomes and the success of your efforts, you’ll soon find yourself at ECO.
TRACE stands for Tracking, Referral and Assessment Center for Excellence. The major goal of TRACE is to identify and promote the use of evidence-based practices and models for improving child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination for infants, toddlers, and young children with developmental delays or disabilities who are eligible for early intervention or preschool special education. Lots of great stuff here!
National Professional Development Center on Inclusion.
NPDCI works with states to create a system of high-quality, cross-agency, accessible professional development for early childhood personnel. Its mission is to ensure that early childhood teachers are prepared to educate and care for young children with disabilities in settings with their typically developing peers.
Division for Early Childhood (DEC).
DEC is especially for individuals who work with or on behalf of children with special needs, birth through age eight, and their families. DEC promotes polices and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. Visit DEC’s publications page to connect with (for-sale but on-point) DEC’s Recommended Practices series.
Early Intervention Family Alliance.
The EIFA is a national group of family leaders dedicated to improving outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The EIFA works to assure meaningful family involvement in the development of Part C policies and their implementation at community, state and federal levels.
National Early Childhood Transition Center.
NECTC examines factors that promote successful transitions between infant/toddler programs, preschool programs, and public school programs for young children with disabilities and their families. Its primary objective is to investigate and validate practices and strategies that enhance the early childhood transition process and support positive school outcomes for children with disabilities.