Services are Coordinated

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.

As you look at the resources and tools provided here, consider:
  • What is the main focus and purpose of each resource?
  • How does this information align with what you currently know and do in your work with young children and families?
  • How will you integrate this information into your work?
  • How might you share or apply this information in working with: Children? Families? Colleagues?


The coordination of services is an active, ongoing process that assists and enables families to access services and assures their rights and procedural safeguards under IDEA.

Professional Standards

U.S. Department of Education U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Collaboration and Coordination of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part C Programs
Effective collaboration and coordination across MIECHV and the IDEA Part C Program can create a high-quality system of services and supports for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families: It is the position of both Departments that all infants and toddlers and their families should have access to coordinated, comprehensive services that support overall health, development, and wellness.

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

PACER Center – Individualized Family Service Plan webpage
This resource is designed to help families understand the scope of what an IFSP is meant to do and support, including the provision and coordination of services. Practitioners can use this site for valuable perspective-taking and as a resource to share with parents.

Iris Center Module - Related Services: Common Supports for Students with Disabilities
This Module offers a description of related services and an overview of the benefits they provide to students with disabilities in the general education classroom. It highlights five commonly used related services (Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology Services, Social Work Services, and Psychological Services) and briefly highlights many of the other related services as identified through IDEA '04.

Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Department of Health - Sharing Child Information to Coordinate Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Referrals, GUIDANCE FOR CLINICS AND SCHOOLS
When clinics and schools communicate effectively, families get the support they need to move from screening to evaluation to appropriate services, resulting in better developmental outcomes for their child. This resource clarifies responsibilities.

Readiness Resources: Deepen Knowledge and Prepare to Implement

Iris Center Video Vignettes
The Iris Center offers a variety of video vignettes in which real professionals and families share their perspectives and experiences. They provide insight for programs into the coordination and implementation of services.

  • Evan's Story - Evan's parents discuss how a speech-language pathologist helped their family.
  • Janella's Story - Janella's family works with a child development specialist and early intervention team.
  • Jenni's Story - Jenni's family shares how a physical therapist worked with them to help Jenni learn to walk.

Minnesota Centers of Excellence Service Coordination Modules
Use these six modules to build program and staff capacity in providing coordinated services to children and families.

These modules require FlashPlayer installed on your computer.

Implementation Resources: Apply and Practice

Minnesota Department of Health – Locating and Coordinating Health Services
Use this navigation tool to locate services for children and families in Minnesota based on zip code.

Service Coordinator Checklist - July 2015 - Supporting Families of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
This supplemental checklist was developed as a resource to assist EHDI teams and families with children identified as deaf or hard of hearing.

PACER Technical Assistance Center Brief - Assistive Technology for Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children with Disabilities
This brief provides general guidance on the types of assistive technology (A.T.) available, along with information on how A.T. needs are assessed, how A.T. is paid for, and where in a child’s services A.T. is provided.

ECTA Practice Guides and Companion Videos

Team members frequently communicate with one another. The communication can include emails, text messages, notes, or reports. Other times the communication includes as phone calls, face-to-face meetings with one person, or during group meetings. All of these communications involve verbal and non-verbal messages or actions to make sure others understand the intent of a message. A few simple things can help ensure communication attempts are successful.

Early childhood intervention teams include practitioners from different disciplines working together to provide the most effective interventions to help a child and family. There are many opportunities for team members to assist each other to expand their knowledge and learn to use new practices. This practice guide includes different things team members can do to actively and meaningful support other members to grow and learn.

Extending Practice: Resources for Family Engagement

ECTA Practice Guides and Companion Videos - Helping Families Be Full Team Members
Families are full team members when they participate in all aspects of assessment, evaluation, IFSP/IEP planning, and implementation of the plan. This is important because families are the most knowledgeable about child and family life and have much to contribute to child and family interventions. It is important to value and incorporate family input throughout the entire assessment and intervention process. This practice guide includes different things practitioners can do to actively and meaningfully involve family members in assessment, planning, and intervention practices.

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!