Early Learning Standards: Infants, Toddlers, and Pre-Kindergarten

The Early Learning Standards include indicators for infants, toddlers, two-year-olds, preschoolers (3s & 4s) and the exit expectations for children leaving pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. The standards provide parents and teachers with a sense of what children should know and be able to do at various ages and grade levels. The Early Learning Standards focus on the whole child and include a broad range of domains because young children’s learning and development are interrelated and cross all domains of learning. The Early Learning Standards acknowledge the essential role of the teacher in intentionally guiding children’s learning and development in a high-quality environment. The Early Learning Standards recognize that early childhood professionals are key decision-makers in the process of helping young children develop and learn. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (2009) provides five guidelines to address this decision-making process:

  1. Creating a caring community of learners
  2. Teaching to enhance development and learning
  3. Planning curriculum to achieve important goals
  4. Assessing children’s development and learning
  5. Establishing reciprocal relationships with families