Multi-tiered system of supports in early childhood: identifying gaps, considerations for application, and solutions

Alisha Wackerle-Hollman, Trina D. Spencer, Kathleen Artman-Meeker, Elizabeth Spencer Kelley, Lillian Durán, Matthew E. Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is a model of preventative and differentiated instruction that is designed to meet the needs of all learners (Burns et al., 2016). However, early childhood education has remained in the periphery of many MTSS initiatives. Although there is much potential for MTSS in early childhood settings, it has yet to be realized due to a variety of barriers and unique challenges. This manuscript examines the potential of MTSS in ECE by describing the current challenges in conceptualization and implementation specific to MTSS in early childhood; and then providing potential solutions for each identified challenge. This conceptual paper's conclusions can be used to stimulate innovation and bring ECE MTSS into contemporary practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The authors would like express sincere thanks to the pioneers of early childhood MTSS including Judith Carta, Charlie Greenwood, Howard Goldstein, and Scott McConnell for their helpful reviews and leadership. Address all correspondence regarding this research to Alisha Wackerle-Hollman, Ph.D. Department of Educational Psychology, Room 357, Education Sciences Building, 56 E River Pkwy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, or

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • MTSS
  • assessment
  • early childhood
  • intervention
  • professional development


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-tiered system of supports in early childhood: identifying gaps, considerations for application, and solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this