Early Childhood Special Education Add-on Authorization

The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program includes the mild/moderate and moderate/severe disabilities and traumatic brain injury, and authorizes service to children ages birth to pre-kindergarten only.

This Added On Authorization in Early Childhood Special Education is available to individuals who hold a valid preliminary, Level I, professional clear, clear, Level II, or life special education teaching credential, and who complete a program though a Commission-approved program sponsor. The ECSE Added Authorization authorizes the holder to provide special education services in the area of mild/moderate or moderate/severe disabilities for students ages birth to pre-K as determined by the local level special education assessment.

Completion of the Add-On Authorization extends special education teaching authorization from birth to Pre-K. It may also be added to Clear Credentials in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, Physical Impairments, and Visual Impairments. In addition, persons with Learning Handicapped or Severely Handicapped credentials may add this Add-On authorization. It is expected that the candidate has experience and access to early childhood special education programs serving young children with disabilities, birth to five, during the program.

Professionals in other fields, such as social work, nursing, behavioral intervention, and child development may also complete the course work for professional development units.

Note: SPD 678 ECSE Field Experience must be taken as the last course in the program. After successfully completing coursework and the ECSE Exit Exam candidates must meet with a Credential Program Specialist to complete and submit to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing application for the Add-On Authorization.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrates knowledge of developmental and learning characteristics, and evidence-based practices associated with young children (birth to Pre K) with developmental delays, and all categories of disabilities.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of family systems, the impact of child with disabilities on the family, engages in family-centered practices and partnerships in all components of early intervention and education for infants and young children with disabilities.
  • Demonstrates skill in formal and informal assessment approaches that inform the development and implementation of evidence-based, developmentally appropriate, family supported interventions and reflect the impact of culture (including ELL), specific disabilities on learning, and the role of the interdisciplinary team.
  • Document observations from birth to prekindergarten and in-depth field experiences in early childhood settings with families and children of diverse backgrounds and young children who have a range of abilities including in-home service delivery, and inclusive DAP center based preschool/prekindergarten programs


To receive the Early Childhood Special Education Add-On Authorization candidates are required to successfully complete all course work including field experiences and pass the ECSE Program Exit Exam.
Authorization Requirements (4 courses; 18 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):