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.



This component considers the participation of the child and family (Part C) and the child (Part B) in the receipt of specialized services and in early care and education through an IFSP or IEP. What matters in regard to intensity is not only the amount of time a child spends participating in a program but also how the program uses that time. Intensive programs, both home-based and center-based, are highly focused; they treat their time with children and parents as a limited and valuable resource. Participation includes time spent in regular early childhood programs and the time devoted to receipt of special education and related services.

Some aspects of this component can be quantified for each child through data elements collected by MARSS: membership and attendance hours and special education service hours.


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.


Foundational Resources: Understand the Basics


Readiness Resources: Deepen Knowledge and Prepare to Implement


Implementation Resources: Apply and Practice


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!