The Teachers of Special Education: Early Childhood is Minnesota Administrative Rule 8710.5500.
Subp. 1. Scope of practice. A teacher of special education: early childhood is authorized to provide evaluation and specially designed instruction to eligible children, birth through age six, who exhibit a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities, including those with a diagnosed physical or mental condition or disorder that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay. Teachers collaborate and consult with families, other classroom and special education teachers, and specialized service providers in designing and implementing individualized education program plans for children and families.
Subp. 2. License requirements. A candidate for licensure as a teacher of special education: early childhood to teach children from birth to age six who exhibit a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities shall:
- hold a baccalaureate degree from a college or university that is regionally accredited by the association for the accreditation of colleges and secondary schools;
- demonstrate the standards for effective practice for licensing of beginning teachers enumerated in part 8710.2000;
- demonstrate core skill requirements in part 8710.5000; and
- show verification of completing a MN Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) approved preparation program under chapter 8705 leading to the licensure of teachers of special education: early childhood in subpart 3.
Subp. 3. Subject matter standard. A candidate for licensure as a teacher of special education: early childhood must complete a preparation program under subpart 2, item D, that must include the candidate’s demonstration of the knowledge and skills in items A to E.
A. Foundational knowledge. A teacher of special education: early childhood understands the foundations of special education services for children with a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities on which to base practice. The teacher must demonstrate knowledge of the:
(1) historical and philosophical foundations, legal bases, and contemporary issues pertaining to the education of young children with a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities and their families;
(2) etiology and characteristics of specific disabilities, disorders, and developmental delays, and the developmental and educational implications on infants, toddlers, and young children;
(3) educational definitions, issues related to identification, and eligibility criteria pertaining to young children with a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities;
(4) definitions and distinctions between and among screening, evaluation, assessment, and progress monitoring related to the legal standards and practice;
(5) rationale and application of due process and procedural safeguards for young children with a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities and their families;
(6) ethical, policy, and practice issues related to educational, social, economic, cultural, linguistic, and medical factors unique to young children with a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities and their families;
(7) early childhood developmental theory and the impact of coexisting developmental delays or multiple disabilities across domains, including cognitive, physical, vision, hearing, adaptive, behavioral, social or emotional, and communication; and
(8) responsibilities of the Interagency Early Intervention Committee (IEIC).
B. Referral, evaluation, planning, and programming. A teacher of special education: early childhood understands and applies principles of screening, prevention, and intervening early and procedures for referral, assessment, evaluation, individualized planning, programming, and placement specific to teaching children with a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities. The teacher must be able to:
(1) apply screening, prevention, referral, assessment, and evaluation for eligibility determination including consideration of criteria for vision loss, hearing loss, deaf-blind, speech and language delays, developmental cognitive delays, physical or health disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, other health disorders, and traumatic brain injury;
(2) select, administer, and interpret formal and informal evaluation and assessment measures for young children with developmental delays or disabilities, accounting for limitations, ethical concerns, and the need for assistive technologies and communicate the results to the children, families, teachers, and other professionals;
(3) adapt and modify existing evaluation and assessment measures and methods to accommodate the abilities and specific needs of young children with developmental delays or disabilities including those with a diagnosed physical or mental condition or disorder that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay;
(4) integrate and interpret multiple sources of information from families, educators, and others for the purpose of evaluating, planning, implementing, and monitoring the individualized family service plan, individualized education program plan, or individualized interagency intervention plan;
(5) design individual plans that integrate evaluation and assessment results and family concerns and priorities to determine goals, including the use of assistive technologies;
(6) collaborate in determining services and placement within a range of delivery models, natural environments, and educational settings based on the needs and required levels of support for the child and the family; and
(7) address factors such as gender, socioeconomic status, familial background, and cultural and linguistic diversity that may influence the identification of young children with developmental delays or disabilities.
C. Instructional design, teaching, and ongoing evaluation. A teacher of special education: early childhood understands how to use individual family services plans and individual education program plans to design and implement developmentally appropriate instruction for young children with developmental delays or disabilities or medical conditions. The teacher must understand how to:
(1) apply multiple evidence-based instructional practices, including those supported by scientifically based research when available, and materials that meet the needs of children and families in the areas of language and literacy, cognitive, adaptive, physical, social or emotional, and behavioral development;
(2) select, implement, monitor, and adjust curricula and intervention strategies across developmental domains;
(3) provide, as well as teach families and other early childhood providers, developmentally and functionally appropriate individual and group activities within natural routines and across settings for infants, toddlers, and young children;
(4) implement positive behavior supports appropriate for young children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families with a focus on teaching the child necessary and appropriate replacement skills;
(5) align current developmental and learning experiences and teaching strategies with the expectations of subsequent educational settings and facilitate the transition process for young children with developmental delays or disabilities and families; and
(6) design, implement, monitor, and adjust instruction and supports, including the use of assistive technologies, to accelerate the rate of learning in reaching age-appropriate benchmarks, attain child and family outcomes, and facilitate transition processes.
D. Collaboration and communication. A teacher of special education: early childhood cultivates and maintains positive, collaborative relationships with children, families, educators, other professionals, and the community to support student development and educational progress. The teacher must be able to:
(1) apply cultural competencies, including self-awareness of one’s personal perspectives, when using verbal, nonverbal, and written communication and interpersonal skills to collaborate with families and consult with those providing services;
(2) facilitate and manage student-specific teams, including those for child study, individualized program planning, and planning for transitions;
(3) identify and access sources of services, agencies, and organizations for young children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families;
(4) understand the educational roles and responsibilities of instructional and related service providers and paraprofessionals, and coordinate the provision of services to young children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families;
(5) assist the family in understanding the impact of the developmental delays or disabilities and planning for the transitions of young children;
(6) communicate and collaborate with service coordinators and providers in planning for the transition process across hospital, home, and infant and toddler, early childhood, and elementary programs;
(7) provide and receive consultation and collaborate in a variety of settings regarding development and implementation of the comprehensive evaluation process, individualized education program planning, delivery of instruction and accommodations, and transition with individuals and agencies;
(8) access and evaluate information, research, and emerging practices relevant to the field of early childhood special education through consumer and professional organizations, peer-reviewed journals, and other publications; and
(9) engage in continuing professional development and reflection to increase knowledge and skill as a special educator and inform instructional practices, decisions, and interactions with children and their families.
E. Clinical experiences. A teacher of special education: early childhood applies the standards of effective practice through a variety of early and ongoing clinical experiences in teaching children who exhibit a broad range of developmental delays or disabilities in infant or toddler, preschool, and primary (kindergarten and grade 1) settings across a range of service delivery models.