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Award of Excellence for Inclusion of Children with Special Needs

The Award of Excellence for Inclusion of Children with Special Needs, part of ExceleRate Illinois reflects the principles of best practices for educating children with special needs. Inclusion is a basic principle in early care and education. This principle guides policies and practices that are embedded throughout early childhood programs and classrooms, ensuring that young children with special needs are cared for and educated alongside their peers who do not have special needs.

The Illinois Inclusion Guidelines were developed with input from researchers, practitioners and families.  The 21 items describe, in detail, the aspects of high quality inclusive practices including: learning environment, curriculum, instructional quality, child screening, child assessment, inclusion of children with special needs, family and community engagement, transitions, group sizes and ratios, and continuous quality improvement.

To use as a self-assessment, programs can use the Illinois Inclusion Guidelines Checklist.

Early CHOICES youtube page features interviews with teachers and administrators regarding topics related to inclusion and the Inclusive Classroom Profile.

Funding Provided by:

We are operated through a grant awarded by the ISBE to SASED;  100% of annual funding for the project is from federal sources.  The development of many of the AOE for Inclusion tools and trainings are funded with a grant from The Illinois Council for Developmental Disabilities.