An effective early learning program is built out of 3 key interconnected pieces: standards, curriculum, and assessment.
- Early learning and development standards include what children should know and be able to do.
- Curriculum is a plan for what happens in the classroom and what skills and dispositions you are supporting. It includes the activities, experiences, interactions, and environment that you create. Even the materials and schedule you follow are an important part of your plan for learning
- Assessment is an ongoing process that helps you understand children’s learning and development and evaluate how well the curriculum is working for the children in your classroom.. What you learn during assessments will help you communicate with families, improve your curriculum, set goals, and plan strategies to support individual children.
Connecticut’s standards — the CT ELDS
The foundation for many of of OEC’s resources are the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS). They outline what children birth to five should know and be able to do.
Early learning standards provide a foundation for making decisions about curriculum and assessment. Planning a coordinated approach to standards, curriculum, and assessment allows teachers to intentionally support young children and partner with families.This document provides additional background information about aligning standards, curriculum, and assessment to build a strong foundation for young children.
We also have resources — building off the CT ELDS — that will help your program develop or select a curriculum and assessment approach.
- Get guidance documents and watch videos to help with planning, curriculum development, and supports. See the Supporting All Children Using the CT ELDS webpage.
- Find tools to help you with screening and assessment in your program. Check out the early childhood screening and assessment webpage.
- Get guidance on specific issues in the classroom — like inclusion, challenging behavior, and dual language learners — that can help you strengthen your curriculum. See the Focus On pages.
- Access free professional development related to standards, curriculum, and assessment. This support is offered in collaboration with the RESC (Regional Education Service Centers) Alliance.