South Dakota’s Early Learning Guidelines are used by parents, educators, administrators, librarians, and all individuals working with young children. The guidelines allow all involved in the education and development of children to provide meaningful experiences through play. The goal of the guidelines is to ensure all children have been provided with opportunities to achieve their full educational and developmental potentials prior to starting kindergarten.
South Dakota’s Department of Education emphasises that the guidelines are to be used simply as guidelines and a framework, and not as a curriculum. The guidelines are also meant to enhance leaning, and not as a means of evaluation to hold children back. Visual observations and portfolios work as indicators of development, hand-written testing is not to be used as a measurement tool.