Early Childhood Special Education

Educating Young Children With Disabilities

Each school district in Wisconsin is responsible for providing a continuum of Special Education and Related Services to Children with Disabilities and who need special education. Children are evaluated to determine if they met the one of the state's eligibility criteria. Special education and related services may provide consultation to staff, direct services to the child, training related to the disability, and other services that are identified in the child's Individualized Education Program.

Early Childhood ‘After School Special’ Webinar Series

A series of webinars will be held beginning in January 2015 focusing on topics related to early childhood special education.

Topics and Registration

Recordings, Handouts, Resources


General Information on Early Childhood Special Education:

  • Special Education Laws: Federal and state laws are changing special education procedures with an emphasis on parent partnerships, streamlining the process, and increased accountability. The Special Education Team technical assistance page will provide a variety of information on these laws.
  • Commonly Asked Questions: You can review the DPI bulletin that answers many question about evaluations for children with suspected disabilities, the application of significant developmental delay as an eligibility criteria, and preschool issues related to the special education laws.
  • Regular Education Teacher Participation on Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team: Children Receiving Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Services. - Audio-Video File Module
  • Child Find: School districts and other early childhood programs are working together through informed referral networks to identify children who may need additional developmental support and to provide information to parents about their child's development. Find out about the Child Development Days Model for developmental review or link to CESA 6's website on the Informed Referral Network.
  • SEFEL Pyramid Information Link Social Emotional Competence: The SEFEL Pyramid Model--comprehensive, cross disciplinary professional development to support professionals working to ensure the social and emotional well-being of infants, young children, and their families.
  • Audio-Video File Overview of the Wisconsin Pyramid Model Initiative
  • Early Dual Language Learner Initiative (EDLLI)
    The Early Dual Language Learner Initiative (EDLLI) provides professional development, technical assistance and resources to community partners regarding culturally and linguistically responsive practices for young children, birth-6. The EDLLI Leadership Team, comprised of 25 stakeholders, and its smaller Steering Committee, were created as part of this initiative to help coordinate and advance efforts on behalf of young children who are dual language learners and their families throughout the state. In addition, the EDLLI collaborates with other state initiatives in order to include the strengths and needs of dual language learners and their families in different statewide trainings such as those provided by Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards, Preschool Options, and Wisconsin Pyramid Model for social emotional competence.
  • Preschool Entitlement and Discretionary Grants: Preschool funds are available for special education programs and services to children with disabilities ages 3-5 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • The Collaborating Partners website contains information related to the Birth-6 system on Preschool Environments, Child Outcomes, and Early Transitions from Part C.
  • Wisconsin Educational Services Program Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Birth to Six Services
  • Early Childhood Special Education Events Calendar

Early Childhood Special Education Indicators

Assessment Tools for Child Outcomes - PowerPoint - Webinar

PPS Training - Powerpoint - Webinar

Effective Relationships with Community Partners - Powerpoint - Webinar

Gathering Functional Behavior Info for Speech & Language Children

Functional IEP Goals in Community Settings- PowerPoint - Webinar

Connecting with Parents and Others

Connecting Indicator 6 Data to Preschool Options

SPP Early Childhood Special Education Indicators and CESA/MPS contact information

Audio-Video File Overview of Early Childhood Indicators

Audio-Video File Early Childhood Indicators At-a-Glance

Indicator 6: Preschool Environments

Audio-Video File Link Series Module 1: The IEP Team

Audio-Video File Link Series Module 2: Quality Evaluation

Indicator 7: Child Outcomes

Indicator 12: Early Transitions

For more information regarding services for young children 3-5 years of age with special education needs; or for more information regarding services and programs for young children Birth to 3 years of age, the transition into school programs, or creation of collaborative systems contact:

Jenny Giles
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
125 South Webster Street
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
Phone: (608) 267-9172
Fax: (608) 267-3746


For questions about this information, contact Jennifer Giles (608) 267-9172