In 2009, the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) published a joint position statement on inclusion in Early Care and Education (ECE). The statement focused on the inclusion of children with disabilities.
The joint position statement said:
“Early childhood inclusion embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every infant and young child and his or her family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities, and society.”
For many years I welcomed and promoted the position statement with both appreciation and skepticism. On the one hand, I thought it was a unified step forward towards effectively serving children with delays and disabilities in ECE programs. On the other hand, I was concerned that the statement seemed to disregard the influence of other forms of diversity on inclusion.