The Preschool Inclusion Toolbox: How to Build and Lead a High-Quality Program

Authors: Erin E. Barton Ph.D., BCBA-D, Barbara J. Smith Ph.D.; Foreword Author: Christine L. Salisbury Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 216 pages, 8.5 x 11.0
ISBN: 9781598576672
Price: $37.95

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Inclusion is clearly related to better outcomes for young children—but reports from the US Department of Education show the practice has grown by just 5% over the past 27 years. This is the how-to book preschool administrators, school district leaders, child care directors, and faculty need to step up the progress of early childhood inclusion through big-picture, systems-level change.

Shaped by feedback from a nationwide survey of IDEA Part B Preschool Coordinators and local school district leaders who shared their real-life inclusion challenges, this is your comprehensive toolbox of problem-solving tips, evidence-based practices, and practical checklists and handouts. You'll learn how to overcome the challenges to a high-quality inclusive preschool program, and you'll create a solid action plan for building and maintaining a successful program where all children learn and grow together.


  • solve common challenges to inclusion through new policies and procedures
  • establish a strong inclusion team to make collaborative decisions
  • implement an action plan for inclusion—and measure its effects
  • increase access, participation, and supports for children with disabilities
  • help teachers use evidence-based practices like RTI and differentiated instruction
  • develop effective teacher professional development practices
  • make sound decisions about placement for each individual child

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Reproducible planning forms and tools; more than 100 PowerPoint slides to help structure professional development events; tips and lessons from effective school reform efforts across the country; application and reflection questions for independent study and coursework.

Watch a webinar to get an inside look


Review by: Midest Book Review
"The Preschool Inclusion Toolbox provides a fine how-to book for preschool administrators, child care directors, and staff, discussing how to chart and guide the process of early childhood inclusion through wide changes of school systems and approaches to preschool. No preschool leader should be without this specific, powerful guide."
Review by: Betsy Sutherland, 619 Coordinator, Utah State Office of Education
“We chose The Preschool Inclusion Toolbox to provide a state-wide workshop on increasing inclusive environments for our students with disabilities. Districts have now chosen to use the Toolbox with their newly developed Preschool Inclusion Teams, enabling them to promote inclusive preschools and to gather support and resources. ”
Review by: Sarika Gupta, Center for Technology in Education at Johns Hopkins University
“A valuable guide for leaders who are interested in garnering support and buy-in to implement preschool inclusion. This book brings together policy, research, and resources that are helpful in initiating and sustaining high quality preschool inclusion within and across early childhood programs.”
Review by: Eva Horn, University of Kansas
“A comprehensive and user-friendly 'field manual' for anyone initiating or sustaining high quality inclusive early education.”
Review by: Ruth Littlefield, Preschool Special Education Consultant, New Hampshire Department of Education
“Provides state and local leaders with a comprehensive package of tools needed to successfully promote the inclusion of preschool children with disabilities.”
Review by: Peg Hughes, Coordinator of ECSE Programs, Department of Special Education, Lurie College of Education, San Jose State University
“A comprehensive and highly organized approach for inclusion training purposes in the field of early childhood special education. It has all the essential components teams need to conduct comprehensive training.”
Review by: Joan Lieber, University of Maryland
“Just what school districts need to provide their early childhood staff members with both the research that supports inclusion as well as specific ways to plan for and implement inclusive practices in their programs.”

Table of Contents

About the Downloads
About the Authors
About the Contributors


Appendix Ia: Fact Sheet of Research on Preschool Inclusion
Appedix Ib: IDEA Provisions Supporting Preschool Inclusion
Appendix Ic: NAEYC/DEC Inclusion Position Statement
Appendix Id: Lifelong Experiences with Inclusion: A Personal Story

Section I: Laying the Groundwork for Preschool Inclusion

1. What is Quality Inclusion?
Erin E. Barton and Jaclyn D. Joseph

2. Preschool Inclusion Challenges and Solutions
Barbara J. Smith, Erin E. Barton, and Alissa Rausch

3. Creating Policies and Procedures that Support Preschool Inclusion
Barbara J. Smith, Elizabeth A. Steed, and Jaclyn D. Joseph

Appendix 3a: Spotlight on Discourse, Values, and Professional Ethics
Appendix 3b: Sample of an Issue Brief
Appendix 3c: Template of an Issue Brief
Appendix 3d: Example Inclusion Research Brief

Section II: Evidence-based Practices that Support Preschool Inclusion

4. Administrative Support: Effective Professional Development for High-Quality Preschool Inclusion
Elizabeth A. Steed and Barbara J. Smith

5. Evidence-Based Practices for Successful Inclusion
Erin E. Barton, Lois M. Pribble, and Jaclyn D. Joseph

Section III: Making Preschool Inclusion Happen

6. Measuring the Quality of Inclusive Classrooms
Ching-I Chen, Erin E. Barton, & Geneva J. Hallett

7. Making Individualized Child Placement Decisions
Erin E. Barton, Debbie Cate, Katy McCullough, & Geneva J. Hallett

8. Bringing It All Together
Erin E. Barton




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