The primary purpose of the Early Learning Standards is to ensure that children in the District of Columbia have the kinds of rich and robust early experiences that prepare them for success in school and for lifelong learning. To achieve this, the Early Learning Standards are designed to be used by programs as a focus for discussion, a resource for curriculum selection and implementation, a guide for selecting assessment tools, a guide for planning experiences, and a framework for planning professional development.
The Early Learning Standards are not intended to replace curriculum models currently being used by programs. To achieve the desired outcomes for children, the curriculum, classroom practices, and instructional approaches must be carefully planned, developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically responsive, and comprehensive.
The Early Learning Standards are composed of nine areas of development and learning with thirty-four standards. Each of the thirty-four standards has six “indicators” for the different age / grade levels, from Infants to Kindergarten.