Early Childhood Outcomes (Indicator 7)

Contact Information

The federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) requires local school districts to report outcomes data for every student in preschool who receives special education services through an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). Early childhood outcomes data are collected when a student begins to receive special education services (usually around age 3) and again when the student exits from preschool. Additional technical assistance and training modules about early childhood outcomes can be found on the OSPI Early Childhood Special Education website. Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, these data elements have been incorporated in the LEAs CEDARS Submission. Refer to CEDARS Manual and Appendices AD and AE and the CEDARS Reporting Guidance for the Early Childhood Outcomes Reporting for complete information.

The goal of early intervention and early childhood special education is to enable young children with disabilities to be active and successful participants during their early childhood years and in the future. Districts collect, analyze, and use data on three child outcomes to measure individual child and family progress toward improved results and to improve their systems and services.

Child Outcomes include:

  1. Student has positive social-emotional skills (e.g.; social relationships)
  2. Student acquires and uses knowledge and skills (e.g.; early language/communication)
  3. Student uses appropriate behaviors to meet their needs

Early Child Outcome Summary (COS) Resources

The Child Outcomes Summary (COS) affords a means by which providers can summarize information collected from multiple sources to address the three child outcomes. The 7-point rating scale (values 2 through 8) is used to determine the extent to which a child's functioning on each outcome is appropriate given his or her age, and whether that child made progress toward age appropriate behavior. The summary is intended for local, state, and federal data collection, reporting, and program improvement.

ECO developed the COS with Evidence Organized by Level of Functioning based on feedback from users of the original form who requested additional guidance in documenting the rating. Please see also Guidance for Documenting the Rating on the Childhood Outcomes Summary (COS) with Evidence Organized by Level of Functioning (coming soon). This document guides the user in writing specific examples of functioning, depending upon the rating given, in the supporting evidence boxes.

The Decision Tree

The decision tree was created as a tool for training in the use of the COS Form. The tree is a series of questions about the extent to which a child exhibits age-appropriate skills and behaviors in each outcome area. Responses guide the user to a specific rating category on the 7-point scale (values 2 through 8).

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center)

This is the national technical assistance center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs. The website offers a comprehensive set of resources for state and local administrators, teachers, and families related to implementation of a high-quality outcomes system for early childhood special education programs.

Child Outcomes Summary (COS) Online Learning Modules

The COS Online Learning Module provided through the ECTA Center is designed to prepare early intervention and early childhood special education staff to use the COS process to describe how children are doing on three child outcomes:

  • Children have positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships).
  • Children acquire and use knowledge and skills (including early language/ communication and early literacy).
  • Children use appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

To set the stage for what you will learn in this module, view the Child Outcomes Step-by-Step video (Edelman, 2011). The 9-minute video shows the three child outcomes in action. Free registration may be required to view these modules.

Included in this module:

  • Session 1: Introduction So What's This All About
  • Session 2: Overview of the COS Process
  • Session 3: Completing the COS
  • Session 4: The 7-Point Scale
  • Session 5: Determining a Rating
  • Session 6: Good Teaming, Good Decisions
  • Session 7: Documenting the COS Rating
  • Session 8: The Exit COS Rating
  • Conclusion
  • Resources Referenced in Module

Child Outcomes Summary-Team Collaboration (COS-TC) Quality Practice Checklist and Descriptions: Online Practice
This brief, minute-and-a-half video provides the background and purpose for the Child Outcomes Summary Teacher Collaboration (COS-TC) Toolkit (available on the ECTA website) and our new Online Practice.

This online learning site offers Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education providers an online copy of the COS-TC quality practice checklist and descriptions, and provides opportunities to practice with the checklist and descriptions by watching video clips of COS team meetings with families and rating the extent to which providers in the video used COS-TC quality practices.

The content is intended for those providers who have completed the COS Process Module: Collecting & Using Data to Improve Programs, as well as for trainers supporting teams in the COS process. By providers we mean professionals working with children and families in early learning and development programs to improve outcomes for young children with disabilities.

Published by: ECTA Center, DaSy Center, and Educational & Developmental Intervention Services

DaSy Center - Supporting Children By Improving Family Outcomes