School Readiness

Social Preschool


Domain: Social and Emotional Development

Sub-Domain: Relationships with Adults

Goal P-SE 1. Child engages in and maintains positive relationships and interactions with adults.

  By 60 Months
  • Interacts readily with trusted adults.
  • Engages in some positive interactions with less familiar adults, such as parent volunteers.
  • Shows affection and preference for adults who interact with them on a regular basis.
  • Seeks help from adults when needed.

Goal P-SE 2. Child engages in prosocial and cooperative behavior with adults.

  By 60 Months
  • Engages in prosocial behaviors with adults, such as using respectful language or greetings.
  • Attends to an adult when asked.
  • Follows adult guidelines and expectations for appropriate behavior.
  • Asks or waits for adult permission before doing something when they are unsure.
woman and child reading bookPreschoolers initiate longer and more reciprocal interactions with trusted adults, such as asking questions or talking about ideas.

Sub-Domain: Relationships with Other Children

Goal P-SE 3. Child engages in and maintains positive interactions and relationships with other children.

  By 60 Months
  • Engages in and maintains positive interactions with other children.
  • Uses a variety of skills for entering social situations with other children, such as suggesting something to do together, joining an existing activity, or sharing a toy.
  • Takes turns in conversations and interactions with other children.
  • Develops friendships with one or two preferred other children.

Goal P-SE 4. Child engages in cooperative play with other children.

  By 60 Months
  • Engages in joint play, such as using coordinated goals, planning, roles, and games with rules, with at least one other child at a time.
  • Demonstrates willingness to include others' ideas during interactions and play.
  • Shows enjoyment of play with other children, such as through verbal exchanges, smiles, and laughter.
  • Engages in reflection and conversation about past play experiences.

Goal P-SE 5. Child uses basic problem-solving skills to resolve conflicts with other children.

  By 60 Months
  • Recognizes and describes basic social problems in books or pictures, such as both children wanting the same toy, and during interactions with other children, such as "Why do you think your friend might be sad?"
  • Uses basic strategies for dealing with common conflicts, such as sharing, taking turns, and compromising.
  • Expresses feelings, needs, and opinions in conflict situations.
  • Seeks adult help when needed to resolve conflicts.
small child in wheelchairDevelopmental delays can impact children's social and emotional development, including the ability to engage in reciprocal interactions and to regulate their emotions. Adults can use puppets to help children engage in back-and-forth interactions and to teach them how to demonstrate different emotions.

Sub-Domain: Emotional Functioning

Goal P-SE 6. Child expresses a broad range of emotions and recognizes these emotions in self and others.

  By 60 Months
  • Recognizes and labels basic emotions in books or photographs.
  • Uses words to describe own feelings.
  • Uses words to describe the feelings of adults or other children.

Goal P-SE 7. Child expresses care and concern toward others.

  By 60 Months
  • Makes empathetic statements to adults or other children.
  • Offers support to adults or other children who are distressed.

Goal P-SE 8. Child manages emotions with increasing independence.*

  By 60 Months
  • Expresses feelings in ways that are appropriate to the situation.
  • Looks for adult assistance when feelings are most intense.
  • Uses a range of coping strategies to manage emotions with the support of an adult, such as using words or taking a deep breath.

* This is the same as P-ATL Goal 1

Children who are dual language learners (DLLs) may demonstrate social and emotional skills in their home language, English, or in both languages.

Sub-Domain: Sense of Identity and Belonging

Goal P-SE 9. Child recognizes self as a unique individual having own abilities, characteristics, emotions, and interests.

  By 60 Months
  • Describes self using several different characteristics.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of uniqueness of self, such as talents, interests, preferences, or culture.

Goal P-SE 10. Child expresses confidence in own skills and positive feelings about self.

  By 60 Months
  • Shows satisfaction or seeks acknowledgment when completing a task or solving a problem.
  • Expresses own ideas or beliefs in group contexts or in interactions with others.
  • Uses positive words to describe self, such as kind or hard-worker.

Goal P-SE 11. Child has sense of belonging to family, community, and other groups.

  By 60 Months
  • Identifies self as being a part of different groups, such as family, community, culture, faith, or preschool.
  • Relates personal stories about being a part of different groups.
  • Identifies similarities and differences about self across familiar environments and settings.
woman and girl looking at photosChildren's cultural backgrounds influence the ways that they demonstrate interests, imitate others, or engage in play situations. Some cultures encourage children to stand out as individuals, while other cultures emphasize group identity.