What Can Universal Prekindergarten Learn from Special Education Working Paper Series.Report as inadecuate




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Universal prekindergarten (UPK) refers to the goal of making available to families of all 3- and 4-year-olds a program of services that provides high quality education for children and helps to prepare them for a successful entry to kindergarten. Virtually every state is engaged in discussions about prekindergarten programs, and many models are being proposed. This working paper examines the lessons from preschool special education that could help inform current UPK initiatives. The paper describes the history and current status of programs serving preschoolers with disabilities and highlights selected issues as they can inform current UPK discussion. Based on the assumption that some form of UPK is a desirable goal, the paper identifies and discusses seven lessons from the disability initiatives: (1) establish a network of model prekindergarten demonstration programs; (2) establish a national technical assistance center for UPK; (3) create a national set of guidelines to shape state initiatives; (4) provide financial incentives and flexible funding to stimulate and support UPK; (5) involve parents and advocates in all aspects of planning and implementation; (6)play a federal role in personnel development is essential; and (7) establish state and local interagency coordinating councils. Implications of UPK for preschool special education are then examined; discussion includes state education agency involvement in UPK, increased opportunities for inclusionary placements for children with disabilities, a reconceptualization of preschool special education program structure and function, and revision of program guidelines and funding streams. (KB)

Descriptors: Change Strategies, Early Intervention, Educational Policy, Federal Legislation, Preschool Education, Public Policy, School Readiness, Special Education

Foundation for Child Development, 145 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016-6055. Tel: 212-213-8337; Fax: 212-213-5897; Web site: http://www.ffcd.org.









Author: Bailey, Don

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=5226&id=ED468278



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