hsci framework

The Head Start Center for Inclusion framework was created as an outline for organizing and planning instruction for the inclusive Head Start classroom. It is based on many research activities and classroom experiences to support all children’s learning and growth in the classroom.

View the HSCI Framework pyramid diagram below. Starting at the bottom of the pyramid with High-Quality Early Childhood Program, click on each title to learn more about each concept.







High-Quality Early Childhood Program: We begin with the bottom block. A High-Quality Early Childhood Program is the basis of the framework. Research has shown there are some essential components of a quality, developmentally appropriate program.

Please see the module Assessing and Strengthening the Foundation for training materials related to this topic.


Curriculum Modifications & Adaptations: Even within a high-quality program, there are likely to be some learners with unique needs who require more support to adequately access the learning environment. It is then that we move up the framework to the next block Curriculum Modifications and Adaptations. A curriculum modification is a change to materials or an activity to facilitate a child’s more independent participation. The idea is that with more participation and access to activities, the child will develop and learn new skills.

Please see the module Curriculum Modifications and Adaptations for training materials related to this topic.


Embedded Learning Opportunities and Focused Instructional Trials: There are some children, even with the support of modifications and adaptations, who require more support to learn and develop new skills. For these children we move to the upper blocks of the framework, Embedded Learning Opportunities and Focused Instructional Trials. The top two blocks involve using teaching strategies to plan, execute and record specific teaching interactions. Children working in the top two blocks are likely working on goals from their IEP or skills they have not gained just by having access to the high quality environment.

Please see the module Planned Instructional Sequences for training materials related to this topic.