According to an updated policy statement released by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (USDE) released on November 28, 2023, 55% of preschoolers with disabilities get special education services in classrooms separate from their peers. It goes on to say that young children with disabilities should be included in high-quality early childhood education programs alongside peers without disabilities so they can receive individualized supports and achieve their full potential. The 68-page statement reiterates the expectations for inclusive early childhood settings for children from birth through age five.
The statement also updated recommendations for state and local agencies charged with implementing or overseeing any early childhood education program, including Head Start, child care, home visiting, preschool and public schools, as well as programs that provide early childhood special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
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