Alabama’s Early Learning Guidelines are presented as a guide of building blocks that are important to support early care and to educate providers in preparing each child for future success in school and life. The guidelines are intended to be inclusive of all children. The guidelines do not contain a comprehensive list of every skill, knowledge, or development for ages birth through age five. They are only a guide. Research on early brain development underscores the need to focus on the early years to improve children’s self-concept/emotional, social, language, physical, and cognitive development. The ages between birth and five are critical to child development, and these guidelines are developed along a continuum that embraces all ages within that span, with appropriate consideration for unique characteristics of development at each age. Children must receive appropriate nurturing and education within and outside their families from birth onward if they are to develop optimally.