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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) Reminder

Source: Pam Thomas, Coordinator of First Steps Program and Pam Williams, Coordinator of Special Education Services

Intended Audience: Early Childhood Special Education Directors and SPOE Directors

Date: December 14, 2010

The State Performance Plan (SPP), required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), includes an indicator that addresses early childhood outcomes (ECO).  Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and System Points of Entry (SPOEs) are required to measure the performance of all children entering and/or exiting Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) and First Steps programs. 

In order to accurately measure the performance of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities, three sources of information must be included in each rating determination: professional observation, parent report, and assessment results.  LEAs and SPOEs must collaborate and share information across programs in order to ensure that all three sources of information are included in each rating.

When reviewing the three sources of information at the time of First Steps exit and ECSE entry, the LEAs and SPOEs must communicate their preliminary ratings regarding the child's performance and have a conversation about the child's level of functioning.  Though the First Steps exit data should be used for ECSE entry data, there are two ratings recorded; one for First Steps exit and one for ECSE entry.  Ideally, these two ratings should match one another and must be based on the same information in order for the child's performance to be confidently reported.

Information about ECO data collection and reporting, including a Q&A document and web-based training, can be found at the following website: