The purpose for the Massachusetts Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers is to provide a comprehensive view of the development of infants and toddlers while documenting the experiences that support this development. The Early Learning Guidelines have been developed with a focus on relationships between all significant people in a child’s world. The Guidelines were also consciously developed considering the importance of both males’ and females’ interactions with children.
The intent of the Guidelines is to provide a shared language and experience between parents and early education and care professionals, to enhance the partnership and result in the optimum outcomes for infants and toddlers. The Guidelines serve as a resource, designed to support young children in all settings: in their own homes, others’ homes, licensed child care, early intervention programs, Early Head Start, or in private, faith-based programs.
The Early Learning Guidelines have been written as guidelines, not checklists for developmental strides. They provide a research-based knowledge of typical child development and recognize that all children develop at a different pace and follow varied patterns of development. The Guidelines are intended to empower educators to support children as they grow, and to seek intervention when needed.