Minnesota’s Early Learning Guidelines and Standards provide a unique approach in the movement toward increased accountability in early childhood education. Especially at the early childhood level, children's development must be considered within the context of the family, early childhood education and care, and the community. Early Childhood Indicators of Progress states that these systems share a role in being accountable for the optimal development of young children.
The purpose of Minnesota’s Early Learning Guidelines and Standards is to provide a framework for understanding and communicating a common set of developmentally appropriate expectations for young children within a context of shared responsibility and accountability for helping children meet these expectations. Underlying this work is the belief that only when all stakeholders are both individually and collectively responsible and accountable for the learning and development of young children will all of Minnesota's children experience and achieve success.
A large and growing body of research supports the critical relationship between early childhood experiences and successful learning outcomes. The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress document stresses that the responsibility for providing support systems and resources that result in positive outcomes for young children is a shared one. Families, early childhood teachers and caregivers, and community members all contribute to the well-being of children. The efforts of each and every one of these groups are vital in the process of developing healthy, well-functioning children.