Thank you for your interest in the preschool connection to Colorado’s District Sample Curriculum Project. Resources for standards based planning for the 2 1/2 to 6 year-year-old children served through the Colorado Preschool Program and through Preschool Special Education are in the works! As you can imagine, designing a process that can be used effectively for this mixed age group and in the wide variety of community and district based settings where children are served is itself a unique challenge. There is another major consideration, however, that is influencing the plan for next steps. In January 2013, the Early Childhood Leadership Commission approved adoption of the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines.
The Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines will be used in all public and private early childhood programs. Designed for children birth to eight years of age, the preschool level of the Guidelines is built on the Head Start Early Childhood Outcomes Framework with the preschool level of the Colorado Academic Standards embedded. This way, early childhood educators working in programs receiving funding through multiple state and federal sources will have a single document that integrates common guidance about what young children should know and be able to do. The document also includes helpful connections to the K-3 Academic Standards.
We want to be sure that the curriculum connection is built on the most recent guidance to the early childhood field. Therefore, the preschool level work on the District Sample Curriculum Project will commence after teachers and administrators have been introduced to the Early Learning and Development Guidelines. CDE’s Office of Early Learning and School Readiness has identified leads for the preschool level of the curriculum work who will develop a project plan over the summer. Please check for updates this fall and, in the meantime, we invite you to get to know the Colorado Quality Standards for Early Childhood Programs, used to guide continuous quality improvement in programs receiving Colorado Preschool Program funding and the Preschool Academic Standards Support documents, developed to help early childhood educators learn how to integrate the Colorado Academic Standards as they design high quality curriculum and environments.
Cathrine Floyd - Program Director, Office of Early Learning and School Readiness