What is the Step by Step Program?

Step by Step offers an innovative and comprehensive approach to international institutional reform of early childhood education systems by:

  • Developing in-country expert capacity in child-centered, parent focused approaches to early childhood development;

  • Providing professional development at the early childhood, preschool, primary, middle school, and university levels;

  • Promoting cooperative relations with local ministries;

  • Creating national associations for advocacy; and

  • Establishing an international forum (ISSA) for parents and teachers.

The Step by Step approach is child-centered and based on teaching methods adapted to fit each country's educational standards and needs. The program provides special provisions for the education of children who cannot benefit from a traditional education, including children who do not attend formal preschool and children with disabilities.

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has teamed with the Open Society Institute (OSI) to provide vital training and technical assistance on inclusive education for children with disabilities to Step by Step Programs in all participating countries.

CEC will support the Step by Step Program, in collaboration with the International Step by Step Association (ISSA), through a grant from OSI. Learn more about ISSA.

About the Open Society Institute

OSI sponsors programs worldwide that enhance the development of open societies by shaping government policy and supporting education, media, public health, and human and women's rights, as well as social, legal, and economic reform. In 1994, OSI founded the Step by Step Program to promote equal access to quality education for children from birth through age 10.

Today, 29 countries have Step by Step parent education programs and preschool, primary, and middle school classrooms in which students, teachers, parents, and the community actively take part. Learn more about OSI.

Training and Technical Assistance Provided by CEC 

CEC will offer a variety of high-quality educational resources to assist all Step by Step professionals in building their knowledge of special education and disability issues. These resources will include:

  • Mentoring;

  • Professional development:

    • On-site training for preschool and primary levels in each country,
    • Web-based seminars,
    • Professional materials,
    • Online discussion forums, and
    • Preschool and primary disability training module