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Early Childhood Outcomes

Last Updated: 5/15/2018 8:08 PM

The overarching goal of preschool special education is to enable young children to be active and successful participants in home, school and community settings, resulting in positive outcomes for children and their families. 

Outcome 1: Positive Social Emotional Skills (including social relationships)

Picture of a young boy smiling

How does your child... Attend to other people?

Relate with family memebers?

Relate with other adults?

Display Emotions?

Respond to touch?




Picture of small child making a silly face

A caring, warm relationship between parents and a child is the foundation for all subsequent development. From this foundation, the young child begins to develop a positive sense of self and can begin to build more relationships with other family members and those outside of the family such as peers. Making new friends and learning to get along with others is an important accomplishment of the early childhood years. Children develop a sense of who they are by having rich and rewarding experiences interacting with adults and peers. They also learn that different rules and norms apply to different everyday settings and that they need to behave accordingly. All children need support from adults in learning how to be successful participants in their social world but some children who face challenges in the area need additional or specialized support. Children who achieve this outcome show a variety of behaviors related to making and maintaining positive social relationships in age-appropriate ways.



Outcome 2: Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication [and early literacy])


Students at lunch

How does your child... Understand and Respond to directions and/or requests from others?

Think, remember, reason, and problem solve?

Interact with books, pictures, and print?

Understand concepts such as big, hot, more, all, note, etc.





A group of kids wearing paper crowns on their headsOver the early childhood period, children display tremendous changes in what they know and what they can do. Everyday life can present children with a wide variety of natural learning opportunities that serve to help children acquire progressively more advanced skills. Parents and other adults support children's acquisition of knowledge and skills by providing children with safe, nurturing and stimulating environments in which learning can flourish. Children with special needs can face a variety of challenges related to acquiring knowledge and skills and may need additional supports to realize their potential. The knowledge and skills acquired in the early childhood years, especially related to communication, pre-literacy and pre-numeracy, provide the foundation for success in kindergarten and the early school years. Children who achieve this outcome show a variety of behaviors related to acquiring and using knowledge and skills across a variety of everyday routines and activities.


Outcome 3: Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs

picture of a young child sitting in a chair

How does your child....

Take care of his/her basic needs, such as feeding and dressing?

Move his/her body from place to place?

Use his/her hands to play with toys and crayons?

Communicate his/her wants and needs?

Contribute to his/her own health and safety?



Child working with two adults


As children develop, they become increasingly more capable of acting on their world. Babies cry to communicate hunger whereas an older child can ask for something to eat. Children have a variety of needs - to eat, sleep, play, move, explore and communicate to name but a few. With the help of supportive adults, young children become able to address their needs in more sophisticated ways and with increasing independenceover the course of the early childhood year. They integrate their developing skills, such as fine motor skills and increasingly complex communication skills, to achieve a goal that is of value to them, such as showing their artwork to an adult and describing what it is or pointing to a toy and asking for it. Children with disabilities may use specialized technology or may need assistance from adults to allow them to meet their needs. Children who take appropriate action to meet their needs show a variety of behaviors related to this outcome.