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Interaction Practice 3: Practitioners promote the child’s communication development by observing, interpreting, responding contingently, and providing natural consequences for the child's verbal and non-verbal communication and by using language to label and expand on the child’s requests, needs, preferences, or interests (DEC Recommended Practices, 2014).

The intent of California's SSIP (State Systemic Improvement Plan) is to build capacity of professionals and parents in the Early Start community to support the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental disabilities and delays. One idea for taking on this challenge was outlined by the Division for Early Childhood in a draft document, "Child Social-Emotional Competence Checklist," updated in 2018.

The checklist offers a four-point scale (e.g., "seldom," "sometimes," "often," or "most of the time"), which adults—professionals and parents alike—can use to assess their own behavior, aimed at encouraging, supporting, and promoting healthy social-emotional development.

By focusing on "sensitive and responsive interactional practices" (DEC Recommended Practices, 2014, p. 13), all the adults in a child's life can promote learning through social play and increased responsiveness to a child's social-emotional behavior ("Child Social-Emotional Competence Checklist," 2018). The checklist can also be used to develop a plan to promote a parent’s use of the practices and monitor progress over time.

The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, CLICK HERE.

This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:

  • Core Knowledge (CK):
    • CK2: The role of primary social and emotional relationships as the foundation for early learning.
    • CK10: The significance and study of team models, collaboration and relationship-based practice.
  • Identification and Referral (IR):
    • IR2 (EIS): Knows formal and informal screening tools and procedures that are play-based and culturally and linguistically appropriate (including the use of observation and documentation).
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-DR):
    • IFSP-DR5 (EIA): Has basic knowledge of intervention strategies used in everyday routines, relationships, activities, places and partnerships.
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Implementation (IFSP-i):
    • IFSP-i3 (EIA): Is familiar with generic and specific evidence-based early intervention strategies to support all areas of development.
    • IFSP-i8 (EIS): Understands the parallel process and how coaching as an intervention strategy promotes parent confidence and competence in meeting the child’s needs.
    • IFSP-i9: Knows models and approaches to home visiting and in-home interaction strategies.
    • IFSP-i11 (EIA): Is aware of strategies that support parents in adapting the natural environment to meet infant/toddler developmental needs.
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