Curriculum

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◀ Curriculum Consumer Report

Infant and Toddler

Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum

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Overview

Curriculum Description

Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum provides an approach grounded in applying child development theory to everyday experiences. The curriculum is organized around major developmental tasks children experience as they learn and grow. Each developmental task includes "Possibilities Plans," characterized by webs of age-appropriate learning experiences.

Summary of Curriculum Review

  • Promotes interactions, routines, and learning experiences to support infants' and toddlers' development and learning in all Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) domains
  • Offers sequences of learning experiences to progressively build children's concepts and skills in all domains
  • Provides guidance and tools to support ongoing observation and documentation
  • Includes a range of strategies and resources to communicate with and engage families
  • Offers comprehensive standardized training and materials to support implementation
  • Encourages ample opportunity for infants and toddlers to engage in movement, play, and active exploration
  • Provides limited guidance in the areas of Reasoning and Problem-Solving and Emergent Mathematical Thinking
  • Provides limited guidance on how to integrate children's and families' cultures into interactions, the learning environment, and learning experiences
  • Lacks measurable, developmentally appropriate learning goals
  • Lacks guidance on standardized and structured assessment instruments
  • Lacks guidance on how to ensure daily routines, learning experiences, and the physical environment are individually appropriate for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs
Website: https://www.gryphonhouse.com/books/category/innovations

Details

Cost of Curriculum

Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development: $39.95

Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum: $39.95

Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum: $39.95

Cost of Professional Development

Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum Self-Directed Teacher's Guide: $16.95

Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum Self-Directed Teacher's Guide: $16.95

Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum Self-Directed Trainer's Guide: $29.95

Costs for professional development workshops are not publicly available on the publisher's website.

Contact the publisher for the most updated information on costs of the curriculum and current professional development offerings.

Availability in Other Languages

The curriculum materials are not available in other languages.

Target Age

Center-based infant and toddler programs for children 0–36 months

Curriculum Materials Reviewed by Raters

All materials from Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum were purchased and reviewed in 2018. These materials included:

  • Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development
  • Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum
  • Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum
  • Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum Self-Directed Teacher's Guide
  • Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum Self-Directed Teacher's Guide
  • Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum Self-Directed Trainer's Guide

Review & Ratings

What do the ratings mean?

  • Four star rating graphic Full Evidence
  • Three star rating graphic Moderate Evidence
  • Two star rating graphic Minimal Evidence
  • One star rating graphic No Evidence

Criterion 1

Evidence Base for Child Outcomes

Evidence from research demonstrates that the curriculum has been associated with children's positive learning outcomes. The curriculum has been implemented and directly studied in early childhood programs, and the research showed significant, positive effects on children's developmental outcomes. Evidence of effectiveness has been obtained in rigorous research studies, such as randomized controlled trials or regression discontinuity designs. Research studies on the curriculum have optimally included multiple, diverse groups of children and teachers.

One star rating graphicNo Evidence

At the time of this review, there are no available published research studies on Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum. Rigorous research is needed in order to establish evidence of its positive effects on children's learning outcomes.

Criterion 2

Research-Based Curriculum

The curriculum provides research-based interactions and teaching practices to support children's development and learning. A research-based curriculum is consistent with research on how children develop and learn. Specifically, it promotes interactions, teaching practices, and learning experiences that research has shown to be effective in supporting children's development and learning.

Four star rating graphicFull Evidence

Responsive Relationships and Interactions: The curriculum consistently promotes responsive relationships and interactions with infants and toddlers, which research shows are foundational to children's development in all domains. Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development describes the development of attachment, and the curriculum materials provide strategies to build secure, trusting relationships with children. Strategies include engaging in reciprocal interactions, making eye contact, smiling, and sharing in children's discoveries. The curriculum activity books promote sensitive, responsive caregiving (e.g., guidance on how to cope with crying, suggestions to maximize interactions during care routines). Many curriculum activities also offer examples of how to engage children in joint attention (e.g., "Look, a squirrel!" or "You are pointing at the wind chimes, Eric."). Finally, the curriculum encourages teachers to talk with children throughout the day and respond to their vocalizations.

Daily Routines as Opportunities for Learning: Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum provides guidance on how to establish developmentally appropriate schedules and routines for infants and toddlers. The curriculum recommends using individualized scheduling and interacting with children during basic care routines. It also provides specific guidance on how to support children and families during transitions, arrivals, and departures. While the curriculum states that interactions during daily routines support children's social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development, it lacks specific direction or examples of how to engage in these interactions during caregiving routines.

Play and Exploration: The curriculum promotes infants' and toddlers' play and active exploration, which research suggests provide a rich context for learning in all domains. It includes guidance on how to create safe indoor and outdoor environments that support active physical play and exploration. This may include providing climbing equipment, offering loose parts for children to arrange in a variety of ways, and making toys available on low shelves for children's independent choices. In addition, the curriculum suggests providing uninterrupted time for children to explore and play according to their own interests. Finally, the curriculum planning process encourages teachers to observe children's emerging play themes and interests to inform future plans. The webbing approach to curriculum planning allows teachers to plan learning experiences and adjust their plans based on children's individual responses and interests.

Language-Rich Environment and Interactions: The curriculum offers research-based teaching practices to promote language-rich environments and interactions. In particular, the Communication with Parents, Teachers, and Friends chapters provide guidance on how to engage in varied types of talk with infants and toddlers throughout the day (e.g., description, parallel talk, self-talk, expansion, reflective dialogue). In addition, the curriculum offers strategies to build infants' and toddlers' vocabulary, like providing word labels for things in the environment, using pictures to enhance vocabulary, playing word games with children, and adding vocabulary words to curriculum plans. Finally, the curriculum's "Literacy Possibilities" feature several opportunities to support children's engagement in early literacy learning, such as read-alouds, puppet stories, and emergent writing experiences.

Promoting Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Self-Regulation: Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's emotional, behavioral, and cognitive self-regulation. In particular, the Expressing Feelings with Parents, Teachers, and Friends chapters offer teaching practices to help infants and toddlers begin to regulate their emotions (e.g., labeling and validating emotions, modeling recognition and expression of emotions). These chapters also provide strategies to support children's behavioral regulation (e.g., setting clear limits, teaching social problem-solving, giving children words to use during peer interactions). Finally, the curriculum describes the development of executive function and provides some strategies to facilitate children's cognitive self-regulation (e.g., helping children understand logical consequences for their behaviors, supporting children as they learn to delay gratification).

Facilitating Cognitive Development: The curriculum promotes some research-based teaching practices that facilitate infants' and toddlers' cognitive development. The "Teacher Talk" prompts embedded throughout the curriculum's learning experiences provide examples of how to support cognitive development during play and exploration (e.g., narrating actions, describing objects, asking open-ended questions). Similarly, the learning experiences provide examples of how to embed math language and concepts throughout activities (e.g., counting with children, talking about size). However, the curriculum lacks explicit discussion and learning goals of children's emergent math skills or guidance on how to support those skills during daily routines. The curriculum offers instruction for how teachers can scaffold children's social problem-solving skills (e.g., calling for help, trading, walking away, taking turns, plan-making), but it lacks strategies or learning experiences that support the development of children's problem-solving skills more broadly.

Supporting Physical Development: The curriculum consistently recommends research-based teaching practices to support perceptual, motor, and physical development of infants and toddlers. The curriculum activity books include many varied opportunities for infants and toddlers to practice fine, gross, and perceptual motor skills. For example, the curriculum features several learning experiences for children to practice fine motor skills (e.g., shaking rattles, playing pat-a-cake, turning book pages, nesting cans and boxes) and gross motor skills (e.g., kicking legs with foot rattles, tossing a ball, walking on different textures). The curriculum's "Movement Possibilities" encourage teachers to allow infants and toddlers to practice physical skills and provide support to each child as needed.

Criterion 3

Scope and Sequence

The curriculum includes an organized developmental scope and sequence to support children's development and learning. A scope and sequence outlines what the curriculum focuses on and how the plans and materials support children at different levels of development. The scope refers to the areas of development addressed by the curriculum; the sequence includes plans and materials for learning experiences that progressively build from less to more complex, with the goal of supporting children as they move through the developmental progressions. A content-rich curriculum ensures that sequences of learning experiences include multiple, related opportunities for children to explore a concept or skill with increasing depth. Sequences of learning experiences should be flexible to respond to individual children's interests, strengths, and needs.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Scope: Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum identifies the following areas of development: physical, emotional, social, and intellectual, which includes language and cognition. While each of the curriculum's books briefly mention these developmental domains, the curriculum does not describe how the suggested teaching practices and learning experiences support children's development and learning in these areas.

Sequence: The two curriculum activity books provide multiple related learning opportunities for children to explore or learn concepts and skills in all ELOF domains. Each chapter includes several activities, or "Possibilities," which specify an age range (e.g., 0–6 months, 6–18 months, 18–24 months). Taken together, these learning experiences can be used to progressively build children's concepts and skills as they move through the developmental progressions in all domains. The sequences of learning experiences allow for flexibility, as teachers are encouraged to plan and implement learning experiences based on children's interests and development.

Criterion 4

Alignment with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF)

The curriculum is aligned with the ELOF. Aligning a curriculum with the ELOF identifies the extent to which ELOF domains and sub-domains are addressed in the curriculum. Curricula that are fully aligned with the ELOF are comprehensive and cover all areas of children's learning and development described in the ELOF.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Alignment with the ELOF: A thorough review of all curriculum materials indicates that Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum is highly aligned with the ELOF domains and sub-domains. Innovations: Infant & Toddler Development describes child development theory and provides general strategies for how to support children's development and learning in the ELOF domains and sub-domains. The curriculum activity books offer learning experiences to support children's development and learning across the five ELOF domains. However, the curriculum only partially addresses the following ELOF sub-domains: Emotional Functioning (lacks guidance related to expressing care and concern toward others) and Reasoning and Problem-Solving.

Criterion 5

Learning Goals for Children

The curriculum specifies learning goals for children. The curriculum's learning goals are objectives for children's development and learning across domains. Learning goals should be measurable and developmentally appropriate. Measurable learning goals focus on skills, behaviors, and knowledge that are observable; developmentally appropriate learning goals are consistent with well-established developmental progressions. Teachers should be able to use a curriculum's learning goals to individualize learning experiences for all children, such as children from diverse cultures, children who are dual language learners, children who are tribal language learners, and children with disabilities or other special needs.

Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Learning Goals: Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum lacks measurable, developmentally appropriate learning goals. The curriculum is organized around six very broad developmental tasks or challenges that children experience as they learn and grow (e.g., "Separating from Parents," "Expressing Feelings with Parents, Teachers, and Friends"). The tasks are broken down into progressions of specific skills and behaviors, which make up the items in the curriculum's assessment instrument (e.g., "Unpredictable daily schedule," "Separation anxiety emerges"). While these developmental tasks and progressions are embedded throughout the infant and toddler curriculum activity books, the learning experiences provide no clear indication of which skills and behaviors they support or how they do so.

Criterion 6

Ongoing Child Assessment

The curriculum provides guidance on ongoing child assessment. Ongoing child assessment is a process of gathering information to understand and support children's development over time. Information gathered through observation and documentation helps inform curriculum planning, teaching, and individualizing for all children. Ongoing child assessment can also be used to periodically complete standardized and structured assessment instruments to evaluate children's developmental progress.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Ongoing Observation and Documentation: The curriculum provides specific guidance and tools for ongoing observation and documentation. It includes strategies for engaging in observation (e.g., keep tools handy, observe a single child for extended periods) as well as tools to support observation (e.g., the "Anecdotal Record" form). In addition, it integrates observation prompts into many of its learning experiences (e.g., "Observe children as they show interest in the barn and props. Watch for emerging play themes that can be supported with additional props."). The curriculum encourages teachers to use their observations to discuss children's development with families and plan experiences based on children's interests and development.

Standardized and Structured Assessment Instruments: Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum provides structured "Observation/Assessment Instruments" that align with the curriculum's learning goals. However, it offers no evidence that establishes its validity or reliability. The curriculum encourages programs to rely on systematic observations, anecdotal notes, or normative checklists rather than use standardized child development assessment instruments.

Criterion 7

Parent and Family Engagement

The curriculum promotes parent and family engagement. Parent and family engagement is a collaborative and strengths-based process through which early childhood teachers, families, and children build positive and goal-oriented relationships. It is a shared responsibility of families and staff that is built on mutual respect for the roles and strengths each has to offer. The curriculum provides culturally and linguistically responsive strategies to communicate with families and to engage families in children's learning.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Communicating with Families: The curriculum provides strategies and materials for communicating with families. For example, it suggests different methods to share information with families about children's development and learning (e.g., discussing information from assessment, completing a "Communication Sheet" about children's daily experiences). The curriculum also encourages teachers to learn from families in a variety of ways, such as organizing an interview to learn about families' parenting styles and expectations for the child's school experiences. The curriculum provides some guidance on how to communicate in culturally responsive ways (e.g., sharing decision-making, using multiple forms of communication), but lacks support on communicating with families in linguistically responsive ways.

Engaging Families: The curriculum emphasizes the parents' roles as children's first and most important teachers. As such, it provides specific guidance embedded throughout all curriculum materials on how to engage parents and families in children's development and learning. The curriculum activity books feature "Innovations in Parent Partnerships," which provide examples of how families can participate in the program (e.g., sharing materials with the classroom, attending a parent meeting). They also provide a series of "Parent Postcards," which provide useful information on child development and how families can support children's development and learning at home. The curriculum promotes sensitivity to cultural differences when planning events which include parents, but it lacks guidance on how to engage families who speak languages other than English. It also lacks direction on how to engage parents who may have disabilities or other special needs.

Criterion 8

Professional Development and Materials to Support Implementation

The curriculum offers professional development and materials to support implementation and continuous improvement. Professional development includes gaining the knowledge and skills required for effective implementation of a curriculum. Standardized training procedures include initial and ongoing training to support education staff as they learn to implement a curriculum with fidelity. Standardized training procedures provide consistent content and delivery methods across training sessions. Curriculum materials to support implementation include resources that come with a curriculum to help education staff understand how to use it. The materials may also include resources to help education managers and coaches support education staff to implement the curriculum effectively.

Four star rating graphicFull Evidence

Professional Development: One of the curriculum's authors offers comprehensive standardized initial training and ongoing professional development for an additional fee. She provides both introductory and more specialized, advanced workshops for teachers, administrators, and professional development providers on how to implement Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum. The workshops cover a wide range of content, such as child development, observation and assessment, interactions, and the learning environment. Some of the professional development opportunities reference individualized supports to program administrators and teachers. The curriculum comes with a Trainer's Guide that provides instructions on how to facilitate an eight-hour "Comprehensive Introduction to Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum" session, as well as 29 modules that can be used with pre- or in-service teachers as either workshops or staff meetings. Finally, the curriculum includes two Teacher's Guides with over 40 hours of self-guided professional development.

Curriculum Materials to Support Implementation: Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum includes a thorough set of materials to support implementation. Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development provides theoretical and practical information related to infant and toddler development and introduces teachers to the curriculum's approach. The two curriculum activity books provide age-appropriate activity "Possibilities" for infants and toddlers as well as guidance on assessment, parent partnerships, and the learning environment. The two Teacher's Guides provide 38 modules to support teachers in implementing key components of the curriculum.

  • Fidelity Tool: The Teacher's Guides include a "Comprehensive Skills Checklist for Teachers," designed for self-, peer, or performance evaluation. This tool may be used to assess whether teachers implement key teaching practices promoted by the curriculum (e.g., quality teacher-child interactions, ongoing observation, partnerships with parents, learning materials, and curriculum planning).

Criterion 9

Learning Experiences and Interactions

The curriculum promotes rich learning experiences and interactions to support development across domains. For infants and toddlers, rich learning experiences take place within the context of an engaging play environment, interactions and conversations with caregivers and peers, and daily caregiving routines. Rich learning experiences support and extend children's knowledge, understanding of concepts, and skills across domains. Infants and toddlers develop and learn by freely moving their bodies and actively exploring their environments in open-ended ways. The curriculum offers infants and toddlers ample opportunities to move and explore and provides teachers with guidance on how to interact with children to extend exploration, thinking, and communication. Rich learning experiences should be culturally and linguistically responsive and inclusive of children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Active Exploration: The curriculum provides ample opportunities for infants and toddlers to freely move and actively explore their environment. It includes suggestions related to the environment that encourage movement and active exploration (e.g., offering a variety of materials to foster exploration, providing equipment that allows children to move and climb). In addition, the curriculum describes the value of long periods of uninterrupted time for exploration of the environment. Finally, the various "Possibilities Plans" provide opportunities for children to manipulate objects, investigate concepts, and engage in open-ended exploration (e.g., exploring shakers, feeling a texture board, manipulating play dough, playing peek-a-boo).

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: Many of the curriculum's resources provide guidance on and examples of how teachers can engage in interactions that extend children's learning. Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development offers general strategies for supporting children's exploration, communication, and thinking (e.g., expanding on children's ideas, describing what is going on in a child's world). Furthermore, the activity instructions and "Teacher Talk" comments throughout the "Possibilities Plans" include specific strategies, open-ended questions, and other prompts that teachers can use to spark children's thinking and encourage them to communicate (e.g., modeling different ways to use objects, narrating what children are doing, describing objects, discussing cause and effect, asking simple questions for children to respond to).

Individualization: Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum provides a general approach for individualizing learning experiences for all children. The curriculum planning process encourages teachers to observe children's development, interests, and emerging play themes and plan learning experiences based on this information. It also promotes "webbing," whereby teachers plan learning experiences but are prepared to adjust based on children's responses. However, the curriculum does not specify how to ensure learning experiences are culturally and linguistically responsive or inclusive of children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

Criterion 10

Learning Environments and Routines

The curriculum provides guidance on how to set up rich learning environments and developmentally appropriate routines. Rich learning environments are nurturing spaces that support the development of all young children. The curriculum provides guidance on how to design developmentally appropriate schedules, routines, and indoor and outdoor opportunities for choice, play, exploration, and experimentation. Learning environments include age-appropriate equipment, materials, and supplies. They also reflect home cultures and are flexible to support the changing ages, interests, and characteristics of a group of children over time.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Environment: The curriculum offers specific guidance on how to design well-organized, engaging indoor and outdoor environments. The curriculum activity books include "Innovations in Environment," which offer guidelines for how to set up the physical space in ways that promote exploration (e.g., space to climb, open-ended materials) and support children's development in the ELOF domains (e.g., spaces for children to play side-by-side, places for toddlers to scribble, write, and read books). The Teacher's Guides offer a reflective tool for teachers to evaluate important classroom elements that make up the environment. The curriculum recommends using images of families and cultures represented in the group of children as well as those not represented. It also invites parents to record lullabies, songs, and other oral language traditions in children's home languages to add to the physical environment. The curriculum lacks guidance on how to ensure the physical environment is accessible to children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

Learning Materials: The curriculum activity books include specific guidance on selecting learning materials that are developmentally appropriate and foster open-ended exploration (e.g., making toys that encourage action rather than passive watching, providing multisensory toys, offering toys that have a variety of uses). They also provide specific examples of appropriate learning materials for infants and toddlers (e.g., shaker bottles, boxes, sorting toys, dress up props, blocks, books). Finally, the curriculum provides direction for how to provide learning materials that authentically represent children's cultures (e.g., clothing, dolls) and home languages (e.g., books). The curriculum lacks guidance on how to provide or adapt learning materials for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

Schedule and Routines: Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum provides minimal guidance on establishing flexible schedules centered around children's caregiving routines. It offers the following directions: allow children to follow their own schedules, learn about their schedules, notice patterns in their schedules, and interact with children during routines. However, the curriculum does not describe how teachers should do these things, nor does it provide any specific examples of how to support children's development and learning in the context of caregiving routines.

Criterion 11

Cultural Responsiveness

The curriculum supports cultural responsiveness. Cultural responsiveness is a strengths-based approach to teaching and caregiving rooted in respect and appreciation for the role of culture in children's learning and development. A culturally responsive curriculum prompts teachers to learn about each child's strengths, abilities, experiences, and interests as developed within the child's family and culture. The curriculum provides guidance on how to modify and enhance curriculum plans and materials to build on these strengths, abilities, experiences, and interests with the goal of incorporating each child's culture into the classroom.

Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Interactions: Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development discusses the importance of cultural context for child development and child-rearing. It provides general principles to promote family-centered and culturally inclusive classrooms (e.g., respecting families' ideas, acknowledging families' strengths, and sharing in decision-making about their child's education). It also includes examples of how teachers consider cultural differences in specific situations, such as responding to biting and supporting a child who is not talking.

Learning Experiences: The curriculum describes how culture affects the behaviors and perspectives of children, parents, and teachers. As such, culture sets the context for children's caregiving routines and learning experiences. However, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to ensure that caregiving routines and learning experiences build on families' traditions, cultures, beliefs, and values.

Learning Environment: The curriculum includes limited guidance on providing learning materials that portray society's diversity and authentically represent the cultures and ethnicities of children and families. The curriculum activity books briefly mention that pictures and photos should depict diverse family structures and cultures, representing those of children in the group as well as those that are not. They also suggest cultural remembrances, such as clothing or gifts, as ways to validate children's diverse families. Finally, they suggest providing dolls that represent a variety of ethnicities. However, the curriculum does not provide any further guidance or specific examples on how to provide learning materials that reflect children's cultures or society's diversity.

Criterion 12

Linguistic Responsiveness

The curriculum supports linguistic responsiveness. Linguistic responsiveness refers to teaching practices that support the learning, development, and engagement of children from diverse linguistic backgrounds. It includes supports for continued development of children's home or tribal languages by authentically incorporating children's languages into the learning environment. Furthermore, linguistically responsive practices can facilitate English acquisition. The curriculum provides scaffolding strategies to support children at any level of English knowledge to fully participate in the curriculum's learning experiences and environment. For infants and toddlers, linguistic responsiveness requires partnering with families to intentionally support the development and learning of children who are dual language learners (DLLs). This process includes developing a plan, based on the languages of the teacher and family, to support a child's development of each language in the classroom as well as at home.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Linguistic Responsiveness: Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development provides some strategies on how to support the development and learning of infants and toddlers who are dual language learners (DLLs). For example, it recommends collaborating with parents to support the home language, using both English and children's home languages, and providing books or audio recordings of fingerplays and rhymes in children's home languages. However, the activity books do not provide specific instruction on how to support the development and learning of children who are DLLs. The curriculum does not address how to support the development and learning of children who are learning tribal languages.

Criterion 13

Individualization for Children with Disabilities, Suspected Delays, or Other Special Needs

The curriculum provides guidance on how to individualize for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs. Individualization for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs includes providing more specialized supports for children to access and participate in learning, social experiences, and activities. The curriculum's guidance for specialized supports includes specific teaching practices and ways of interacting with children, as well as adaptations to daily schedules, learning activities, and the learning environment. Individualizing for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs enables all children to access, participate, and thrive in early learning settings.

Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Teaching Practices and Interventions: The curriculum offers minimal guidance on how to embed intentional teaching practices in daily routines and learning experiences to support the development and learning of children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs. Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development includes one example of how teachers may understand and support a child who is not talking. Through this example, the curriculum offers some specific strategies to support a child who is not talking, such as adult and peer support and collaboration with families or other specialists. However, the curriculum lacks comprehensive guidance or additional examples on how to support the development and learning of children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

Learning Environment: The curriculum lacks guidance on how to ensure the physical environment and learning materials are accessible to children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

Criterion 14

Individualization Based on Interests, Strengths, and Needs

The curriculum offers guidance on how to individualize based on children's interests, strengths, and needs. Individualization is a process of planning and implementing learning experiences that are responsive to each child's interests, strengths, and needs. Teachers reflect on their observations of each child and then plan the most effective ways to support each child's learning and development. When learning experiences are tailored to children's interests, they are more engaging and meaningful to children. Because children may vary in their developmental progressions, it is also important that the curriculum supports teachers in planning learning experiences that are responsive to individual children's strengths and needs.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Individualization Based on Interests: The curriculum provides general guidance on how to plan learning experiences around children's interests. Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum discusses how curriculum webs encourage open-ended planning that allow teachers to adjust their plans according to infants' responses and interests. Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum guides teachers to begin the curriculum-planning process with observations of children's emerging play themes, interests, and preferences in order to individualize experiences to match children's interests. However, these curriculum activity books do not provide prompts or contain suggestions on how to select or tailor activities based on children's interests.

Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: The curriculum includes general guidance on how to plan learning experiences that are responsive to individual children's strengths and needs. Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum discusses how teachers can use observation and assessment to match learning experiences to children's developmental levels. Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum guides teachers to begin the curriculum planning process with observations of children's emerging development. Curriculum activities provide suggested age ranges, but they lack specific scaffolding strategies to support children at different developmental levels or guidance on how to tailor learning experiences based on individual children's strengths and needs.