Both the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and its Division for Early Childhood (DEC) recognize that one of the critical factors in the provision of evidence-based practices for children with special needs and their families is a well-prepared workforce. Therefore, CEC has developed initial and advanced personnel standards to be used to design, implement, and evaluate preservice and advanced programs within colleges and universities and for national accreditation of those programs. They should also guide the development of in-service content and state certification policies. DEC's initial and advanced specialty sets include knowledge and skill statements that inform the CEC standards. Similarly, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and related services professional associations have promulgated personnel standards. With the trend toward inclusive and interdisciplinary service delivery for young children with special needs and their families, collaborations have developed across associations to align their standards for greater ease of use by relevant stakeholder groups. The development of these alignments and their potential application by higher education faculty, in-service providers, state policy makers, and researchers is discussed within the context of what the current research suggests regarding inclusive and interdisciplinary practices.
School of Teacher Education, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Correspondence: Vicki D. Stayton, PhD, Western Kentucky University, School of Teacher Education, 1906 College Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY 42101 (email@example.com).
Preparation of this article was supported, in part, by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education, through Grant #H325B120004, to the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent views of the Office of Special Education Programs or the US Department of Education.