Core Knowledge Areas Requirement

As a part of Rule 500 Early Intervention, the Illinois Department of Human Services established guidelines defining basic core educational content knowledge areas that all unlicensed credentialed providers (except Parent Liaisons) must document to become/remain a provider in the Illinois EI system. This requirement is a CUMULATIVE TOTAL of ALL coursework and/or workshops completed by an individual focusing on infants and toddlers (Birth to 3) with special needs. Once this requirement has been fulfilled and providers have received verification from the EI credentialing office, it will not be required again. The core knowledge area requirements are as follows:

Completion of educational experiences that include the equivalent of at least 2 semester hours or 30 clock hours in each of the following:

  • Typical and Atypical Child Development (at least 1 semester hour or 15 contact hours in each area)
  • Working with Families with Young Children* with Special Needs
  • Intervention Strategies for Young Children* with Special Needs
  • Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs

* Young Children is defined as children age birth to 3. The documentation submitted must specify this age range.

To qualify for a temporary credential, developmental therapists must document completion of educational experiences, as approved by the Department, that include at least two semester college hours or the equivalent (30 clock hours or CEU credit hours) in each of the above early intervention core knowledge content areas. As of July 1, 2007, all other applicants for a temporary credential, other than individuals that hold a professional license in the state of Illinois, as set forth in Appendix C, shall document completion of these educational experiences within 18 months after issuance of a temporary credential. Extensions of up to six months may be allowed upon request in writing, received at least 30 days before the expiration of the credential, setting forth the facts concerning noncompliance with this requirement. The Department’s credentialing office will consider hardship and other extenuating circumstances and determine if an extension should be granted on an individual basis.

Core Content Area Descriptions

Illinois Early Intervention

The following core content area descriptions are intended to be a support for persons interested in understanding the Provider Connections college/university course review process. This is not an exhaustive list of topics covered under each core content area.  Content or topics will be evaluated on an individual basis, based upon information submitted by the credential applicant and/or college/university. A search of college/university courses already reviewed and approved for early intervention credit can be found on the approved university course page.

Typical Child Development

This core content area focuses on theories and philosophies of early learning and development as well as normative developmental sequences and variations, individual differences within and across the range of abilities, and other direct and indirect contextual features that support children’s development and learning. This content area may include discussion of social, cultural, and linguistic diversity.

Atypical Child Development

This core content area focuses on characteristics, etiologies, and individual differences within and across the range of abilities.  This may include variations from normative developmental sequences including developmental delays, atypical patterns of development, disabilities, and other direct and indirect contextual features that may constrain a children’s development and learning.  This area may also include discussion of variations in development and their potential impact on children’s early development and learning.

Working with Families of Young Children with Special Needs

This core content area focuses on relationship-based practices, family-centered practices, and family systems theories. This may include developing and maintaining reciprocal partnerships with families, family capacity-building practices, supporting families to make informed decisions, engaging families in opportunities that build on their existing strengths, and fostering family competence and confidence to support their children’s development and learning.  This core area may include CPR, bloodborne pathogens, cultural competence, personal safety, and compassion fatigue.

Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs

This core content area focuses on assessment practices including the purposes of assessment, ethical, and legal considerations of assessment, developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate tools and methods that are responsive to the characteristics of the young child, family, and program. This area may include selecting as well as administering informal and formal measures in partnership with families and other professionals. This area may also include analysis, interpretation, documentation and sharing of assessment information as well as eligibility determination, monitoring progress and screenings

Intervention Strategies for Young Children with Special Needs

This content area focuses on intentional, systematic, evidence-based, responsive interactions, and interventions to support all children’s learning and development across all contexts, activities, and routines in partnership with families and other professionals. This area may include specific evidence-based intervention strategies, strategies to facilitate equitable access, and participation for all children and families within natural and inclusive environments.  This area may include adapting interventions, environmental modifications, and adaptive equipment.

** All course syllabi submitted to Provider Connections for review must include documentation that clearly describes that the specific core content area covered the birth to three age level and the time spent on those components. In order to receive credit a course must indicate a minimum of 15 clock hours focused on birth to age 3 age range.