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Paraprofessionals are a growing presence in classrooms across the nation. They fulfill a variety of roles, face varying professional standards, and have a need for up-to-date resources to support the children and families they work with. This website addresses these needs by providing information and links to relevant literature and organizations that support paraprofessionals in their career.

Role of Paraprofessional

Paraprofessionals fulfill a variety of roles in today's classroom - direct service to students; communication with teachers, staff and parents; evaluation and discipline; and curriculum development and adaptation. Find out more about the many roles of the paraprofessional.

Professional Development

As the role of paraprofessional continues to develop and expand, it also is becoming more regulated. Find out up-to-date information concerning professional standards, training opportunities, certification requirements, and professional development resources.

Paraprofessional Skills in the Workplace

Many skills are necessary to be an effective paraprofessional.  Information about child development, challenging behaviors in young children, and web-based training modules on topics of interest to paraprofessionals working with young children are available through Paraprofessional Skills.

Services for Children Birth - 3

Children who have been diagnosed with a disability or are at risk for delay may be eligible for early intervention services between the ages of birth to three.  More information about these services is available at Services for Children Birth - 3.

Services for Children Ages 3 - 5

There are a variety of services for children once they turn three years old. Depending on eligibility, a child may qualify for special education services, at-risk pre-K services, or a Head Start program.  To find out more about the various options for children at this age explore Services for Children Ages 3 - 5.

Resources for Families

Many times your role as a paraprofessional includes providing information and support to families.  Resources to help families negotiate the many facets of having a child with a disability are provided in Resources for Families.

Annotated Resources for Paraprofessionals

Resources on topics such as curriculum and assessment, cultural diversity, inclusion, special education services, linguistic diversity and social emotional development are provided to help paraprofessionals address these issues in the classroom. To find out more, explore Annotated Resources.

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746