Impact Impact: Feature Issue on Early Childhood Education and Children with Disabilities

What Does the Research Say About Early Childhood Inclusion? (sidebar)


Camille Catlett FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The National Professional Development Center on Inclusion has summarized key conclusions, or "synthesis points," drawn from a review of the literature and research on early childhood inclusion. Here are a few key points.

  • Inclusion takes many forms.
  • Universal access to inclusive programs for all children with disabilities is far from a reality.
  • Inclusion can benefit ALL children.
  • A variety of factors such as policies, resources, and beliefs influence the acceptance and implementation of inclusion.
  • Specialized instruction is an important component of inclusion and a factor affecting child outcomes.
  • Collaboration among parents, teachers, and specialists is a cornerstone of high quality inclusion.
  • The quality of early childhood programs that enroll young children with disabilities is as good as, or slightly better than, the quality of programs that do not enroll these children.
  • Early childhood professionals may not be adequately prepared to serve young children with disabilities enrolled in inclusive programs.