As staff consider how to promote each child’s development and learning, they use their curriculum’s scope and sequence to plan play environments, interactions, and routines. They also use it to identify learning experiences that match each child’s interests and developmental levels and build on their linguistic and cultural experiences. Staff may use other curriculum resources that provide guidance on setting up and modifying learning environments, creating schedules, and carrying out routine care such as diapering and meals. Families may also have suggestions and preferences that reﬂect their daily home practices, language, and culture. Additionally, infants and toddlers beneﬁt from (and enjoy!) repetition, practice, and familiarity. “Repeated exposure to familiar opportunities gives [infants and toddlers] the chance to make sense of their experiences and build [a] foundation that will support later learning.”
For infants and toddlers with suspected delays or diagnosed disabilities, the curriculum may suggest how to modify environments, interactions, learning experiences, routines, transitions, and schedules to meet children’s specific needs. Education leaders, the disability manager or coordinator, mental health professionals, and early intervention specialists or therapists may also have suggestions. Children’s families and Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) are good sources for this information, too.
In addition to scope and sequence, home visiting curricula typically offer guidance on partnering with families to support children’s learning in the home environment, with suggested learning experiences and parent-child interactions. These curricula may also provide guidance on engaging families to support their child’s development and learning during group socialization activities. Home visitors play an active role in using their program’s curriculum guidance and materials with families to promote learning environments, learning experiences, and parent-child interactions that are responsive to a child’s development, learning, and interests.
Good planning in all settings:
- Includes opportunities for strengthening the relationship between staﬀ and families and the connections between home and program and families and children
- Deepens understanding of each child and family and includes family input and observations about their children
- Ensures that interactions and relationship-building, routines, daily schedules, experiences, and physical environments address children’s current and emerging interests, abilities, needs, and understanding of people and objects in the environment
- Ensures interim planning continues for children awaiting results from evaluations to determine the presence of a disability
- Ensures children’s cultures and home languages are appropriately addressed and supported
- Facilitates children’s development and learning across the Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) domains and supports their progress toward individual child goals, including IFSP goals for children with disabilities
On each home visit, Heath (home visitor) takes a walk with Jamie and her 28-month-old son, Eric, around the block. Every time they take this walk, they stop at a corner and listen for the wind chimes that make a tinkling sound when the wind blows hard enough. The sound always makes Eric laugh and clap his hands. Listening for and labeling sounds in the environment was an early phonological awareness activity suggested in the home-based curriculum, and it quickly became a favorite one to end each week’s planned learning experience. Today, when Heath arrives, he asks Jamie if she and Eric have noticed the chimes on their walk and what she says when they hear them. Today before they go on their walk, Heath encourages Jamie to ask Eric what he thinks will happen on their walk. Jamie asks, “Do you think we will hear the chimes today, Eric?” Eric stands still and listens. Just then, a gentle wind blows, and Eric says excitedly, “Chime, chime, I hear chime! It goes ‘ting, ting’!” Jamie says, “I hear them, too!” She asks, “Do you know what makes the chimes make the ‘ting, ting’ sound?” Eric has had a lot of practice with this question. First, he puts his lips together and blows a puﬀ of air, and then he answers, “Da win’, Mama. Da win’ blow!”
1]U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, Using Scope and Sequence to Plan Responsive Learning Experiences for Infants and Toddlers (Washington, DC, n.d.), 4.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning
Last Updated: December 7, 2020