The INSPIRE ACTION framework was developed to assist those responsible for administrative oversight of local early childhood special education programs to identify and celebrate strong program components and to identify those program components most in need of improvement. The development was sparked by recognition that many local program leaders (e.g., Directors of Special Education, elementary principals, some special education coordinators) have limited knowledge of early childhood special education and are unable to consistently determine the presence or absence of ECSE program quality.



Assessment is a shared experience between families and professionals in which information and ideas are exchanged to benefit a child’s growth and development. Assessment practices should be integrated and individualized in order to: (a) answer the questions posed by the assessment team (including family members); (b) integrate the child’s everyday routines, interests, materials, caregivers, and play partners within the assessment process; and (c) develop a system for shared partnerships with professionals and families for the communication and collection of ongoing information valuable for teaching and learning (DEC). Progress monitoring is a form of assessment used to determine the student’s performance and the effectiveness of intervention and instruction.


Professional Standards

  • DEC 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.
  • Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs)
    The ECIPs are Minnesota’s early learning standards. Revised and expanded in 2016, these standards are a framework for a common set of developmentally appropriate expectations for children ages birth to kindergarten, within a context of shared responsibility for helping children meet these expectations. The ECIPs are aligned to the Minnesota Kindergarten Academic Standards.

EZ ECSE FAQ: Use of the ASQ-3

Foundational Resources: Understand the Basics


Readiness Resources: Deepen Knowledge and Prepare to Implement


Implementation Resources: Apply and Practice


Extending Practice: Resources


PDF-Guided Resources and Support

Please contact your regional PDF if you have investigated all resources provided here, but continue to have questions or concerns related to this core component of INSPIRE ACTION.

If you have an additional resource that supports professional development in this core component, please share it with your regional PDF. Your participation in this site's continued growth is encouraged and welcome!