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Curriculum Basics

A research-based early childhood curriculum is consistent with current studies on how children develop and learn. In Head Start and Early Head Start, it must also be aligned with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five (ELOF). A research-based curriculum is content-rich, providing broad and varied experiences and activities that promote children's learning and development. It invites children to think deeply about what interests them and builds on their prior knowledge and experiences. It also offers a sequence of learning experiences based on children's developmental progressions. Find resources for selecting and implementing a research-based curriculum. Learn how to support teachers, family child care providers, and home visitors as they implement research-based curricula and teaching practices in Head Start and Early Head start programs.

Exploring Your Curriculum: A Quick Guide for Teachers and Family Child Care Providers

Explore a curriculum-based approach to teaching and learning. Find out how a curriculum can support the design and organization of the learning environment, address learning domains, and define goals. This includes the daily schedule, planning and implementing learning experiences, and family engagement. This quick guide also provides ideas for staff professional development.

Early Childhood Curriculum Resources

Review key features of early childhood curricula identified in the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS). Use this collection of resources to select and implement a curriculum. Find tips to help meet the needs of the children and families in your program, as well as the HSPPS. 

Using Scope and Sequence to Plan Responsive Learning Experiences for Infants and Toddlers

Learn the definition of "scope and sequence" for infants and toddlers. Explore ways to follow the scope and sequence of an infant/toddler curriculum while being responsive to their unique interests and needs. 

Implementing Curriculum in a Responsive Environment, Birth to 5

The Infant/Toddler Teacher Time series focuses on implementing curricula in a responsive learning environment. The Preschool series offers tips for making classrooms more culturally and linguistically responsive. Learn to build the curriculum and make instructional decisions around children's knowledge, skills, and interests. 

Standards in Action: Home-Based Curriculum

This vignette offers a look at the HSPPS around home-based curricula (45 CFR § 1302.35(d)(1)-(5)). It features a fictional grantee and describes how program leaders work with others to meet them. Use it to reflect on and identify ways to put the standards into practice in your own program.

Choosing a Preschool Curriculum

Use these guides to help make informed decisions about choosing a preschool curriculum. They can also be used to ensure its high-quality implementation.

Highly Individualized Teaching and Learning: Curriculum Modifications

These 15-minute In-service Suites address effective teaching and assessment practices. Learn to adapt curricula to meet the needs of all children. These are ideal resources for staff in busy, active early childhood centers and programs. 

Topic:Curriculum

Keywords:Research-based curriculum

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: August 16, 2018