Early Learning and Development Standards Development
Funds Available: Up to $30,000.
Rhode Island’s current Early Learning Standards were developed in 2003 to reflect what children should know and be able to do as they enter kindergarten. Rhode Island’s 2010 application to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families for funding to support the RI Early Learning Council included the following goal and objective:
Goal 7: Make recommendations for improvements in state early learning and development standards and undertake efforts to develop high-quality comprehensive early learning standards for children from birth to kindergarten entry.
Objective 7-1: Early learning standards and development are comprehensive and tailored to the developmental needs of infants and toddlers and preschoolers, lead to school readiness across all domains of child development (physical, cognitive, social-emotional, language and literacy, and approaches to learning), are aligned with K-3 standards, and are used across the whole system (child care, Pre-K, Head Start, and early childhood special education).
Additionally, in 2011, Rhode Island submitted a successful application for Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) funds. Rhode Island’s RTT-ELC application includes a plan to develop high-quality Early Learning and Development Standards for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Rhode Island defines high-quality to mean: 1) efficient, comprehensive; reflective of the research that shows the standard relates to child outcomes; culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate; and evidence-based; 2) clear, understandable, and consistent so that educators, parents, and the general public know what they need to do to support children; 3) aligned horizontally with the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework, State-approved curricula, and child assessments; and 4) aligned vertically with K-3 Common Core standards in mathematics and literacy.
This project will address Phase I of the early learning and development standards work to include the development of an initial draft of B-5 standards by August 31, 2012. Phase II will be completed using Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge funds and will require a separate application. Phase II will include the review of draft standards by national content experts and the development of final standards by December 31, 2012.