The program implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive.
A well-planned written curriculum provides a guide for teachers and administrators. It helps them work together and balance different activities and approaches to maximize children’s learning and development. The curriculum includes goals for the content that children are learning, planned activities linked to these goals, daily schedules and routines, and materials to be used.
NAEYC and the NAEYC Accreditation system do not prescribe a specific curriculum; programs can design their own or choose a commercially available curriculum that meets NAEYC’s guidelines.
What to look for in a program:
- Ask about the program’s curriculum and how it addresses all aspects of child development. The curriculum should not focus on just one area of development.
- Children are given opportunities to learn and develop through exploration and play, and teachers have opportunities to work with individual children and small groups on specific skills.
- Materials and equipment spark children’s interest and encourage them to experiment and learn.
- Activities are designed to help children get better at reasoning, solving problems, getting along with others, using language, and developing other skills.
- Infants and toddlers play with toys and art materials that “do something” based on children’s actions, such as jack-in-the-box, cups that fit inside one another, and playdough.