The Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (GELDS) were developed to increase the quality of early learning programs, improve alignment across early learning programs, and create durable linkages between standards, curriculum and assessments to help with transitioning children to the K-3 grade years in Georgia. The standards have five domains of learning that are organized into strands, standards and age-appropriate indicators – physical development and motor skills; social and emotional development; approaches to play and learning; communication, language and literacy; and cognitive development and general knowledge.
GELDS aims to enable early childhood educators to plan better lessons and activities, understand where children are developmentally, pinpoint their strengths and needs, and understand which skills (indicators) to cover. It encourages educators to be intentional in what they teach, meaning that lessons are based on where children are developmentally, choosing specific indicators across different domains to teach each week, and taking into consideration children’s individual needs and interests.
Family engagement is a core component of GELDS. The standards encourage regular communication between families and programs and between individual teachers and families to reinforce the roles that families and early childhood programs play in supporting children’s development. It also encourages teachers to engage parents in young children’s learning by sharing children’s progress and growth. By understanding GELDS, families can extend learning at home, better understand the learning and development of their child, become a true partner with their child’s teacher and learning program, and recognize if their child needs early intervention.