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​Early Learning Standards

Linking Standards to Curriculum and Assessment

Quality early learning environments are essential for preparing children to be successful learners as they go through elementary school. One means of attaining high quality learning environments is to implement curriculum that meets the needs of all children. A curriculum reflects the program's philosophy, goals and objectives for children as well as the guidelines to target children's development in such areas as cognitive, social-emotional, language, and fine and gross motor domains (Freede & Ackerman, 2006). The intent of a curriculum is to provide the framework for what happens within a planned environment to allow for learning and interactions with materials, peers and adults. The curriculum framework also helps to guide the evaluation criteria that are appropriate for the program.

The Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood are a critical piece for assisting teachers in designing classrooms that meet the developmental needs of children to help them succeed in school. In conjunction with the curriculum, a second equally important piece in an early childhood classroom, is conducting on-going assessments of children. Assessments that are implemented in the classroom and aligned with Pennsylvania's Learning Standards for Early Childhood (birth to 3rd grade) will help inform teachers about designing a curriculum that provides multiple learning opportunities that best suits how each child learns. Developmental assessments allow one to understand a child's competencies and to design learning environments which will help a child grow to his or her developmental potential.

Choosing a Curriculum

There are many needs to be considered when planning a preschool curriculum. The physical environment should contribute to well-planned activities that can help young learners meet their goals, but it should also allow for spontaneous and unplanned learning to occur. The following resources from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning helps clarify the fundamentals of assessments in Early Childhood in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The resources advocate and promote the responsible and accurate use of assessments linked with curriculum and Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood, so our children's needs of young learning in an early childhood environment will be met.

Publisher Curricular Alignments to the 2014 Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood (in alphabetical order):Please note the Office of Child Development and Early Learning is not recommending the use of any specific curriculum.

Comprehensive Coverage
(aligns to ALL domains)

Approved Curriculum Information

**Please check back often as this listing continues to be updated.


Assessing children's progress in early childhood programs. Assessment is a critical piece in high-quality standards-aligned programs. Parents, teachers, and caregivers are the most qualified to assess young children because they observe children in authentic environments and are most familiar with each child's development and learning expectations. Teachers observe children through all activities in the day that yield the necessary information to determine skill levels. They collect information through many different sources of evidence, such as regular family engagement, observations throughout a child's daily routines, collection of children's artwork or writing samples, and by talking with the child or other adults about the child's accomplishments. This information is used to make good decisions about how to support children's learning and development.

Child outcome data should not be used to determine placement in a program, class or special education, or to deny or exclude access to eligible services.

Approved Child Assessment Information