Contact Person: Denise Forrest
The Early Childhood Identification and Services (ECID&S) program provides early identification and intervention services to children with disabilities ages 2 (by September 30th) through age 5 inclusive. The staff members of ECID&S are committed to providing family-focused services, meeting the diverse needs of our children in the most appropriate environment, providing quality services to improve our children’s learning through the use of developmentally appropriate best practices, and expanding effective collaboration across the early childhood professional community.
It is now widely accepted that early intervention services can generate long-term benefits for children and families (Guralnick, 2005) and that quality intervention programs can have a great positive effect on a child’s future abilities (Blair, 2002; Hart & Risley, 1995). In a more recent report, researchers found that positive experiences for children and families prior to entering school-aged programming is likely to produce better outcomes than late age remediation programs, and significant up-front costs generate a strong return on investment. (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2007). Early intervention programs positively affect children’s school achievement, reduce dropout rates, and minimize costs for remediation and for special education services. “Leading economists confirm that early investments in human capital represent the most effective approach with the greatest return on public investment”. (http://www.ounceofprevention.org/news/pdfs/ClosingTheAchievementGap.pdf)
The current focus of the ECID&S program is on student social-emotional development in preparation for kindergarten aged programming. The purpose of ECID&S is to assess children of Fairfax County with potential disabilities and provide educational services to children if an educational disability is identified. The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2007) found that programs that have positive impacts on young children’s development provide some combination of the following features: highly skilled staff; small class sizes and high adult-to-child ratios; a language-rich environment; age-appropriate curricula and stimulating materials in a safe physical setting; warm, responsive interactions between staff and children; and high and consistent levels of child participation. It is a primary program objective of ECID&S to prepare children with Kindergarten readiness skills. ECID&S employs a play-based, language-rich curriculum to provide a comprehensive approach to education which facilitates intellectual, physical, and social-emotional development in a safe educational environment. The ECID&S program provides for child engagement in learning, independence, curiosity, self-confidence, and positive relationships with others in an effort to prepare children for future academic success.
Budget information can be found on page 75 at http://www.fcps.edu/fs/budget/docs/ApprovedBudget13.pdf
Blair, C. 2002. School readiness: Integrating cognition and emotion in a neurobiological conceptualization of children’s functioning at school entry. American Psychologist, 57 (2): 111–27.
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2007. A Science-Based Framework for Early Childhood Policy: Using Evidence to Improve Outcomes in Learning, Behavior, and Health for Vulnerable Children. http://www.developingchild.harvard.edu
Guralnick, M. J. (2005). Early intervention for children with intellectual disabilities: Current knowledge and future prospects. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 18, 313-324.
Hart, B., & Risley, R. T. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.