Over the past four years, the following seven national organizations representing disciplines providing services in early childhood have been participating in the alignment of personnel standards: the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Division of Early Childhood (DEC), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); and ZERO TO THREE. Links to these organizations are provided below.
Each of these organizations provided the most recent description(s) of their personnel standards or competency areas (specific to their discipline) to the ECPC. A comparison was done across each of these documents to identify common areas of competence across all disciplines. The organizations agreed upon four common core areas of competence:
Collaboration & Coordination
Interventions as Informed by Evidence
Professionalism & Ethics
Representatives from each of the seven professional organizations reviewed the competency areas and sub-areas and presented these core competency areas for approval to each of their respective organizations.
The ECPC will create guides and exemplars of practice to demonstrate the core cross disciplinary competency areas for use by professional organizations, Institutions of Higher Education, and State Systems of Early Childhood Personnel Development.
Case studies illustrate the cross disciplinary competencies and are for use by Higher Education faculty and Professional development staff.
- Intervention/Instruction as Informed by Evidence
- Coordination and Collaboration
- Family Centered Practice
Paper submitted in the OT Practice Magazine - March 2019
For more information about our Cross-Disciplinary Competency Alignment, please use this contact form.
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Blog, U.S. Department of Education:
Mary Beth Bruder: Improving Early Childhood Intervention https://sites.ed.gov/osers/2018/05/improving-early-childhood-intervention/
Sandra Schefkind: Voices from the Field: https://sites.ed.gov/osers/?guest_author_name=Sandra+Schefkind
Participating National Organizations
Council for Exceptional Children
In 1922 the founders of CEC embraced professional standards and ethics for the field of special education. As the recognized leader for special education professional standards, CEC develops standards, ethics and practices and guidelines to assure that individuals with exceptionalities have well-prepared, career-oriented special educators.
The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children - Recommended Practices
DEC Recommended Practices are a DEC initiative that bridges the gap between research and practice, offering guidance to parents and professionals who work with young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The Recommended Practices were first developed by DEC in 1991 to provide guidance to the relatively new field of Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education. In the late 1990s, work was undertaken to revise the initial set of practices and establish the evidence base for the practices through an extensive review of the literature. Through recent collaborative work with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), the practices have been revised and updated, and a new set of DEC Recommended Practices is now available.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - Position Statements
NAEYC Position Statements state the Association's position on issues related to early childhood education practice, policy, and/or professional development for which there are controversial or critical opinions. Position statements are developed through a consensus-building approach. Learn more about how NAEYC position statements are developed.
Zero to Three - Public Policy
The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center is a nonpartisan, research-based resource for federal and state policymakers and advocates on the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. The Policy Center brings to bear ZERO TO THREE’s more than 30 years of research-based expertise on infant and toddler development to ensure that public policies reflect best practices and current research in support of our nation’s very young children.
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) - Policies & Bylaws
This page contains APTA bylaws, positions, standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures, as passed by APTA's House of Delegates and Board of Directors.
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Advocacy & Policy
This page provides a list of types of AOTA Official Documents including position papers, standards, statements and societal statements. The official documents are approved by the Representative Assembly for the use of the Association and its membership to guide practice. In addition, AOTA offers a series of evidence based tools and resources based on systematic reviews conducted by content experts.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association - Standards Compliance
The mission of the CAA is to promote excellence in graduate education in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders for the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology through a peer review process of establishing and promulgating accreditation standards that encourage continuous quality improvement. Academic programs that are accredited by the CAA are to be commended for their work in preparing students/future graduates for the provision of highest quality services in audiology and speech-language pathology.