NASP supports effective early childhood education and intervention as a means of promoting positive 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 therefore, services must be sensitive and relevant to the cultural and linguistic diversity of young children and their families. NASP supports active roles for school psychologists in early childhood education and intervention to support behavioral and social-emotional development, school readiness, transition to school, and early school success for all young children. The resources on these pages are intended to support school psychologists currently working with, and those who hope to expand comprehensive school psychological services to, early childhood populations.
The Early Childhood Taskforce
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:
Access to high quality early childhood education for all students is a key component of ensuing equitable outcomes and addressing disparaties.
Policy, Training, & Practice
Policy and practice resources to help expand access to high quality early childhood education.
MTSS – Academic, Consultation
Early childhood services are most effective when delivered via a multitiered system of support that involves consultation among school psychologists, early educators, and families.
Mental Health & Crisis Response
Resources to support evidence based early childhood mental health service delivery and consultation.
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.
Early Childhood Education for English Language Learners: Development, Strategies, and Services
This article provides information on second language acquisition and development, strategies for teaching ELL children, and special education assessments and services for ELL students.
Executive Functions in Early Childhood
This brief highlights the importance of executive functions in early childhood to promote success in later academic, emotional, behavioral, and social skills and competencies.
School-Based Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
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.
Multitiered 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.
Long-Term Outcomes of Early Childhood Programs: Evidence on Head Start, Perry Preschool Program, and Abecedarian
Overall, 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.
Promoting Equity for Our Nation’s Youngest Students: School Psychologists as Agents of Social Justice in Early Childhood Settings
School Psychology Forum article that reviews preschool achievement and discipline disparities data, the status of early childhood initiatives in the United States, and implications for school psychologists as agents of social justice in early childhood settings.
NASP Position Statement: Early Childhood Services, Promoting Positive Outcomes for Young Children
NASP Position Statement articulating the importance of early childhood education and the role of the school psychologist.
NASP Helping Handout: Helping Children – Early Childhood Disabilities and Special Education
Information for parents and educators to help navigate early childhood special education services.
SPR Special Issue: Volume 44, Issue 1
Special issue of School Psychology Review focused on early childhood assessment and intervention