Indicator 7 | Preschool Children with Improved Outcomes

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Photo of a preschool room, lots of manipulatives, and several youngsters.Updated, April 2013

Indicator 7 focuses on improving outcomes for preschoolers with disabilities in three domains: social-emotional skills, knowledge and skills (especially communication and early literacy), and behavior.

The indicator reads as follows:

Percent of preschool children aged 3 through 5 with IEPs who demonstrate improved:

A. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships);

B. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/ communication and early literacy); and

C. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.  [20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(A)]


Resources Supporting Data Gathering for Indicator 7

Guidance documents on Indicator 7.

How are we doing?
What’s the current status on improving outcomes for preschoolers with disabilities? What are the data telling us? Read this summary from 2011.

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Resources Supporting Improved Outcomes for Preschoolers with Disabilities

Go to the center that focuses on improving outcomes for preschoolers with disabilities.
The ECO Center promotes the development and implementation of child and family outcome measures for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities. These measures can be used in local, state, and national accountability systems.

Technical assistance on improving outcomes for children receiving early childhood special education services.
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center provides a list of Department of Education funded early childhood education projects, lists of state contacts for early childhood concerns, and a series of publications and newsletters on related issues.

Addressing behavior problems in preschoolers.
The OSEP-funded National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports was established to address the behavioral and discipline systems needed for successful learning and social development of students. The Center provides capacity-building information and technical support about behavioral systems to assist states and districts in the design of effective schools.

Connect with a wealth of expertise regarding behavior of children with disabilities.
NICHCY’s Behavior Suite is a series of five separate resource pages: behavior expertise; behavior assessment, plans; and positive supports; behavior at home; behavior at school; and bullying.

Launch young readers with Reading Rockets.
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.

Improving the behavior and language skills of children.
The IRIS Center is a national center that serves college and university faculty and professional development providers by providing resources about students with disabilities. IRIS develops free, online, interactive training enhancements that translate research about the education of students with disabilities into practice. Modules that directly support the goals of Indicator 7 include multiple offerings on behavior and those that focus on how to address language disorders in children.

Addressing children’s social-emotional development.
Visit the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), which is focused on promoting the social-emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5. CSEFEL is a national resource center funded by the Office of Head Start and Child Care Bureau.

More expertise in social-emotional development of children.
The Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children, also known as TACSEI, is funded by OSEP. It’s taking the research that shows which practices improve the social-emotional outcomes for young children with, or at risk for, delays or disabilities and creating free products and resources to help decision makers, caregivers, and service providers apply these best practices in the work they do every day.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to