Welcome to the new dese.mo.gov. We hope you enjoy the new and improved website, and we welcome your feedback.

Belief Statements

ECSE Vision and Belief Statement Development

In 1995, the Early Childhood Special Education section of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education held multiple committee meetings with a variety of stakeholders who were representative of the state to develop vision and belief statements. These statements describe the direction the State of Missouri is taking in developing services for young children with disabilities.

A vision is philosophy and value driven rather than action driven. A vision is not confined to present educational practices but describes the future. Missouri's vision and belief statements for ECSE services continue to provide direction for services to young children.

Vision for Early Childhood Special Education in Missouri

Families, staff, and the community will work together to effectively meet the individual needs of young children with disabilities through a variety of early childhood special education services.   These services will be family focused, developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive, community sensitive, and cost effective. Multiple resources will be used to enhance each child's future by assuring that trained staff and equitable early childhood special education services are available to children and families across the state.

Early Childhood Special Education Belief Statements

  • Young children with disabilities should successfully participate with non-disabled peers in a variety of community and school settings.
  • All preschool children should have the opportunity to develop relationships and friendships with their peers.
  • Early childhood special education and related services should be individualized and provided in a flexible manner that addresses the unique strengths and needs of the child.
  • Families are an essential part of teams that design and provide services to support young children with disabilities. Mutual respect and cultural responsiveness are reflected in these collaborative partnerships.
  • All eligible young children should have equal access to quality early childhood special education and related services that are adequately funded and provided by competent, well-trained staff.
  • Collaboration between the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, university training programs, school districts, early childhood professional organizations and community resources should support recruitment/retention, training, research and ongoing professional development for those providing services to young children with and without special needs.
  • Individuals and agencies providing services for young children with disabilities should be accountable for effective outcomes and provision of services in a cost-effective manner.
  • Young children with disabilities and their families should experience smooth transitions into new environments within the community and school.
  • Collaboration between agencies should be fostered at local and state levels.