Illinois Subdivision of the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children


The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a nonprofit organization advocating for individuals who work with or on behalf of children with special needs, birth through age eight, and their families. Founded in 1973, the Division is dedicated to promoting policies and practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of children. Children with special needs include those who have disabilities, developmental delays, are gifted or talented, and are at risk of future developmental problems.

Recommended Practices

The DEC Recommended Practices were developed to provide guidance to practitioners and families about the most effective ways to improve the learning outcomes and promote the development of young children, birth through age 5, who have or are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The purpose is to help bridge the gap between research and practice by highlighting those practices that have been shown to result in better outcomes for young children with disabilities, their families, and the personnel who serve them.

More information


We support classroom teachers, child care providers, early interventionists, and higher education professionals / students who work with children with special needs and their families. Become a member today! Become an IDEC member today by joining Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and its subdivision, Division for Early Childhood. This automatically registers you as a member for the Illinois Division for Early Childhood (IDEC).

About membership

Sharing A Vision Conference

Since 1991, IDEC has sponsored a statewide biennial conference titled “Sharing A Vision” which is open to both professionals and families and is designed to improve policies and practices for young children. Click below to find out more and register for the upcoming SAV Conference!

Sharing a Vision

Join our mailing list

Click Here to join our mailing list!

Find us on Facebook

©2016 Illinois DEC.
Continued Development by Tech Guy Consulting