Early Childhood

NASP supports effective early childhood education education and intervention as a means of promoting outcomes for all young children and believes that school psychology services should be provided for all young children with and without identified disabilities.  Children develop in the context of families, communities, and culture, and therfore, services must be sensitive and relevant to the cuitural and linguistic diversity of young children and their families.  NASP supports active roles for school psycholgists in early childhood eduation and intervention to support behavioral and social-emotional development, school readiness, transition to school, and early shool success for all young children.  The resources on these pages are intended to support school psychologists currently working with, and those who hope to exapnd comprehnsive school psychological services to, early childhood populations. 


The Early Childhood Taskforce (2019-2021), comprised of early childhood experts within the field of school psychology, compiled and developed a range of resources to provide research, best practices, and guidance specific to working with children ages 0-9. These resources are organized by four general topic areas: (1) social justice, (2) policy, training, and practice, (3) multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), and (4) mental health and crisis response. 

Early Childhood Research-to-Practice Summaries

These brief handouts provide an overview of existing research to inform school psychology practice with infants and young children. 

Executive Functions in Early Childhood

Executive functioning and self-regulation skills play a crucial role for both social-emotional and academic behavioral purposes. This brief highlights the importance of executive functions in early childhood to promote success in later academic, emotional, behavioral, and social skills and competencies. 

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

School-based mental health consultation recognizes and understands the importance of children's emotional and behavioral needs in conjunction with educator/caregiver competencies. Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) works to maximize the social-emotional skills of all children while minimizing the vulnerabilities of children experiencing behavioral difficulties.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in Early Childhood

When implemented in preschool, MTSS aids in early identification of at-risk students, minimizes inappropriate special education referrals, and remediates potential delays affecting school readiness and later learning or social emotional outcomes.

Early Childhood Education for English Learners

The English Language Learner (ELL) population is one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. This article provides information on second language acquisition and development, strategies for teaching ELL children, and special education assessments and services for ELL students.

Outcomes of Early Childhood Programs

Research on early childhood care and education (ECCE) indicates that programs meeting high quality standards can lead to positive results in the domains of student academic success and overall life outcomes. This article outlines research that demonstrates the positive outcomes of these ECCE programs, as well as factors which may potentially contribute to inconsistencies in outcomes.

two toddlers playing with blocks

Additional Resources