NC_Foundations.pdf

North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

North Carolina Foundations Task Force

North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development North Carolina Foundations Task Force

iiNorth Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development© 2013. North Carolina Foundations Task Force.

Writers

Catherine Scott-LittleHuman Development and Family Studies Department UNC-Greensboro

Glyn BrownSERVE Center UNC-Greensboro

Edna CollinsDivision of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services

Editors

Lindsey AlexanderLindsey Alexander Editorial

Katie HumeFrank Porter Graham Child Development Institute UNC-Chapel Hill

Designer

Gina HarrisonFrank Porter Graham Child Development Institute UNC-Chapel Hill

Photography

Pages: 60 and 143 courtesy of UNC-Greensboro, Child Care Education Program.

36, 54, 135, 136, front cover (group shot), and back cover (infant) courtesy of NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education.

All others: Don Trull, John Cotter Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

UNC-Chapel Hill

The North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development may be freely reproduced without permission for non-profit, educational purposes.

Electronic versions of this report are available from the following websites:http://ncchildcare.dhhs.state.nc.ushttp://www.ncpublicschools.org/earlylearning

Suggested citation: North Carolina Foundations Task Force. (2013). North Carolina foundations for early learning and development. Raleigh: Author.

Funding for this document was provided by the North Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council using funds received from a federal State Advisory Council grant from the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

iiiNorth Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Purpose of Foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Organization of This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3How to Use Foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Domains, Subdomains, and Goals Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Guiding Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Effective Use of Foundations with All Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Foundations and Children’s Success in School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Helping Children Make Progress on Foundations Goals: It Takes Everyone Working Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20Frequently Asked Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Approaches to Play and Learning (APL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30Play and Imagination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Emotional and Social Development (ESD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Developing a Sense of Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52Developing a Sense of Self With Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56Learning About Feelings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

ivNorth Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Health and Physical Development (HPD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66Physical Health and Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70Motor Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75Self-Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80Safety Awareness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84

Language Development and Communication (LDC) . . . . . . 88Learning to Communicate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93Foundations for Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104Foundations for Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

Cognitive Development (CD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121Creative Expression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127Social Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131Mathematical Thinking and Expression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137Scientific Exploration and Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144

Supporting Dual Language Learners (DLL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Defining Dual Language Learners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 The Dual Language Learning Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 DLL and Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150 The Importance of Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 DLL and Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154

Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

Selected Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163

vNorth Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Acknowledgments

In 2011, the North Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) launched and funded the important project of revising the Infant-Toddler Foundations and Preschool Foundations to create the North

Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development—a single document that describes children’s development and learning from birth to age five. Leaders from the Division of Child Development and Early Education as well as the Office of Early Learning in the Department of Public Instruction provided critical advice, oversight, and vision on the Foundations and its implementation. As listed below, many individuals from across the state devoted their time and expertise to this task force. We are grateful to everyone’s work on this important resource for our state.

This publication is dedicated to North Carolina’s early childhood professionals, teachers, and caregivers who nurture and support the development of many young children while their families work or are in school.

Expert Reviewers

Laura BerkProfessor Emeritus, Psychology Department Illinois State University

Sharon GloverCultural Competence Consultant Glover and Associates

Melissa JohnsonPediatric Psychologist WakeMed Health and Hospitals

Patsy PierceSpeech Language Pathologist Legislative Analyst NC General Assembly Research Division

NC Foundations Task ForceInter-Agency Leadership Team

Division of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services

Deb Cassidy Anna Carter Edna Collins Jani Kozlowski Lorie Pugh

Office of Early Learning NC Department of Public Instruction

John Pruette Jody Koon

Human Development and Family Studies Department UNC-Greensboro

Catherine Scott-Little, Co-Facilitator Sheresa Boone Blanchard

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute UNC-Chapel Hill

Kelly Maxwell, Co-Facilitator

viNorth Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

NC Foundations Task Force (cont .) Foundations Revisions Expert

Workgroup

Norm AllardPre-K Exceptional Children Consultant Office of Early Learning NC Department of Public Instruction

Joe AppletonKindergarten Teacher Sandy Ridge Elementary School

Cindy BagwellCo-Chair of Cognitive Development Workgroup Early Childhood Education Consultant Office of Early Learning NC Department of Public Instruction

Harriette BaileyAssistant Professor Birth-Kindergarten Program Coordinator Department of Education, Shaw University

Sheila BazemoreEducation Consultant Division of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services

Bonnie BeamDirector Office of School Readiness, Cleveland County Schools

Gwen BrownRegulatory Supervisor Division of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services

Paula Cancro Preschool Director Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School

Deborah CarrollBranch Head Early Intervention, Division of Public Health NC Department of Health and Human Services

Kathryn ClarkProfessor, Child Development Program Coordinator Child Development, Meredith College

Renee CockrellPediatrician Rocky Mount Children’s Developmental Services Agency

Lanier DeGrellaInfant Toddler Enhancement Project Manager Child Care Services Association

Sherry Franklin Quality Improvement Unit Manager Division of Public Health NC Department of Health and Human Services

Kate GallagherChild Care Program Director Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute UNC-Chapel Hill

Khari GarvinDirector, Head Start State Collaboration Office Office of Early Learning NC Department of Public Instruction

Cristina GillandersScientist Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute UNC-Chapel Hill

Pamela HauserChild Care Licensing Consultant Division of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services

Ronda HawkinsChair of Emotional and Social Development Workgroup Early Childhood Program Coordinator Sandhills Community College

Patricia HearronChair of Approaches to Learning Workgroup Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences Appalachian State University

Staci Herman-DraussInfant Toddler Education Specialist Child Care Services Association

Vivian James619 Coordinator Pre-K Exceptional Children, Office of Early Learning North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

LaTonya KennedyTeacher Mountain Area Child and Family Center

Doré LaForettInvestigator Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute UNC-Chapel Hill

Beth LeiroPhysical Therapist Beth Leiro Pediatric Physical Therapy

Gerri Mattson Pediatric Medical Consultant Division of Public Health NC Department of Health and Human Services

Janet McGinnisEducation Consultant Division of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services

viiNorth Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

NC Foundations Task Force (cont .)Margaret Mobley

Manager, Promoting Healthy Social Behavior in Child Care Settings Child Care Resources, Inc.

Judy NeimeyerProfessor Emerita Specialized Education Services UNC-Greensboro

Eva PhillipsInstructor, Birth-Kindergarten Education Winston-Salem State University

Jackie QuirkChair of Health and Physical Development Workgroup Project Coordinator NC Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Amy ScrinziCo-Chair of Cognitive Development Workgroup Early Mathematics Consultant Curriculum and Instruction Division NC Department of Public Instruction

Janet SingermanPresident Child Care Resources, Inc.

Diane StrangisAssistant Professor Child Development, Meredith College

Dan TetreaultChair of Language and Communication Workgroup K–2 English Language Arts Consultant Curriculum and Instruction Division NC Department of Public Instruction

Brenda WilliamsonAssistant Professor, Birth-Kindergarten Teacher Education Program Coordinator NC Central University

Gale WilsonRegional Specialist NC Partnership for Children

Catherine WoodallEducation Consultant Division of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services

Doyle WoodallPreschool Teacher Johnston County Schools

Dual Language Learners Advisory Team

Catherine Scott-Little, ChairAssociate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies UNC-Greensboro

Tanya DennisTelamon Corporation

Shari FunkhouserPre-K Lead Teacher Asheboro City Schools

Cristina GillandersScientist Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute UNC-Chapel Hill

Belinda J. HardinAssociate Professor, Specialized Education Services UNC-Greensboro

Norma A. HinderliterSpecial Education Expert

Adriana MartinezDirector Spanish for Fun Academy

Tasha Owens-GreenChild Care and Development Fund Coordinator Division of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services

Gexenia E. PardillaLatino Outreach Specialist Child Care Resources Inc.

Jeanne WakefieldExecutive Director The University Child Care Center

Strategies Workgroup

Sheresa Boone Blanchard, ChairChild Development and Family Studies UNC-Greensboro

Patsy BrownExceptional Children Preschool Coordinator Yadkin County Schools

Kristine Earl Assistant Director Exceptional Children’s Department Iredell-Statesville Schools

Cristina GillandersScientist Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute UNC-Chapel Hill

Wendy H-G GrayExceptional Children Preschool Coordinator Pitt County School System

viiiNorth Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

NC Foundations Task Force (cont .)Patricia Hearron

Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences Appalachian State University

Staci Herman-DraussInfant Toddler Education Specialist Child Care Services Association

Tami HoltzmannPreschool Coordinator Thomasville City Schools

Renee JohnsonPreschool Coordinator Edgecombe County Public School

Jenny KurzerExceptional Children Preschool Coordinator Burke County Public Schools

Brenda LittlePreschool Coordinator Stokes County Schools

Karen J. LongInfant Toddler Specialist Child Care Resources, Inc

Jackie QuirkProject Coordinator NC Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Brenda SigmonPreschool Coordinator Catawba County/Newton Conover Preschool Program

Teresa SmithPreschool Coordinator Beaufort County Schools

Susan TraversExceptional Children Curriculum Manager and Preschool Coordinator Buncombe County Schools

Rhonda WigginsExceptional Children Preschool Coordinator Wayne County Public Schools

1North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Introduction

North Carolina’s young children. This document, North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development (referred to as Foundations), serves as a shared vision for what we want for our state’s children and answers the question “What should we be helping children learn before kindergarten?” By providing a common set of Goals and Developmental Indicators for children from birth through kindergarten entry, our hope is that parents, educators, administrators, and policy makers can together do the best job possible to provide experiences that help children be well prepared for success in school and life.

This Introduction provides important information that adults need in order to use Foundations effectively. We discuss the purpose of the document, how it should be used, and what’s included. We’ve also tried to answer questions that you might have, all in an effort to help readers understand and use Foundations as a guide for what we want children to learn during their earliest years.

Foundations can be used to:

•Improve teachers’ knowledge of child development;

•Guide teachers’ plans for implementing curricula;

•Establish goals for children’s development and learning that are shared across programs and services; and

•Inform parents and other family members on age-appropriate expectations for children’s development and learning.

Children’s experiences before they enter school matter—research shows that children who experience high-quality care and education, and who enter school well prepared,

are more successful in school and later in their lives. Recognizing the importance of the early childhood period, North Carolina has been a national leader in the effort to provide high-quality care and education for young children. Programs and services such as Smart Start, NC Pre-K, early literacy initiatives, Nurse Family Partnerships and other home visiting programs, and numerous other initiatives promote children’s learning and development. Quality improvement initiatives such as our Star Rated License, Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Project, and the Child Care W.A.G.E.S.® Project are designed to improve the quality of programs and services and, in turn, benefit children. Although the approaches are different, these programs and initiatives share a similar goal—to promote better outcomes for

2North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Purpose of FoundationsNorth Carolina’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee, Division of Child Development and Early Education, and Department of Public Instruction Office of Early Learning worked together to develop Foundations to provide a resource for all programs in the state. Foundations describes Goals for all children’s development and learning, no matter what program they may be served in, what language they speak, what disabilities they may have, or what family circumstances they are growing up in. Teachers and caregivers can turn to Foundations to learn about child development because the document provides age-appropriate Goals and Developmental Indicators for each age level—infant, toddler, and preschooler. Foundations is also intended to be a guide for teaching–not a curriculum or checklist that is used to assess children’s development and learning, but a resource to define the skills and abilities we want to support in the learning experiences we provide for children. The Goals for children can be used by teachers, caregivers, early interventionists, home visitors, and other professionals who support and promote children’s development and learning. It is,

A Note About Terminology

Foundations is designed to be useful to a broad range of professionals who work with children. In this document we refer to “teachers and caregivers.” This terminology includes anyone who works with children—teachers, caregivers, early educators, early interventionists, home visitors, etc. The document also refers to “children” generically, which is intended to include infants, toddlers, and preschool children.

however, important to remember that while Foundations can help you determine what is “typical” for children in an age group, the Developmental Indicators may not always describe a particular child’s development. When a child’s development and learning does not seem to fit what is included in the continuum under his/her age level, look at the Developmental Indicators for younger or older age groups to see if they are a better fit for the child. Your goal is to learn what developmental steps the child is taking now, and to meet the individual needs of that child on a daily basis.

Foundations can also be used as a resource for parents and other family members. All parents wonder if their child is learning what’s needed in order to be successful in school. Parents will find it helpful to review the Goals and Developmental Indicators to learn what most early educators in North Carolina feel are appropriate goals for young children.

Finally, Foundations is a useful document for individuals who do not work directly with children, but who support teachers and caregivers in their work. It is important to take stock to see if a program’s learning environment, teaching materials, learning activities, and interactions are supporting children’s development in the areas described

3North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

in Foundations. Administrators can use Foundations as a guide to evaluate the types of learning experiences provided in their program. Foundations can also be a resource to identify areas where teachers and caregivers need to improve their practices and as a basis for professional development. Training and technical assistance providers should evaluate the support they provide to teachers and caregivers to ensure that the professional development is consistent with the Goals and Developmental Indicators. Furthermore, Foundations can be used as a textbook in higher education courses and a training manual for in-service professional development. In summary, Foundations is designed to be a resource for teachers, caregivers, parents, administrators, and professional development providers as we work together to support the learning and development of North Carolina’s youngest children.

Organization of This DocumentThis document begins with this Introduction, which provides background information on the use of Foundations. Following the Introduction, you will find the Goals and Developmental Indicators, which describe

expectations for what children will learn prior to kindergarten, starting with infancy and covering all ages through kindergarten entry. A glossary with definitions of key terms that are used throughout Foundations is included at the end of the document.

The Goals and Developmental Indicators are divided into five domains:• Approaches to Play and Learning (APL)• Emotional and Social Development (ESD)• Health and Physical Development (HPD)• Language Development and

Communication (LDC)• Cognitive Development (CD)

Because infants’, toddlers’, and preschool children’s bodies, feelings, thinking skills, language, social skills, love of learning, and knowledge all develop together, it is essential that we include all five of these domains in Foundations. None of the domains is more or less important than others, and there is some overlap between what is covered in one domain and what’s covered in other domains. This is because children’s development and learning is integrated or interrelated. The progress that a child makes in one domain is related to the progress he or she makes in other domains. For example, as a child interacts with adults (i.e., Social

Development), she/he learns new words (i.e., Language Development) that help her/him understand new concepts (i.e., Cognitive Development). Therefore, it is essential that Foundations address all five domains, and that teachers and caregivers who are using Foundations pay attention to all five domains.

At the beginning of each domain section, you will find a domain introduction that describes some of the most important ideas related to the domain. This introductory information helps you understand what aspects of children’s learning and development are included in the domain. The introduction is followed by the Goal and Developmental Indicator Continuum (sometimes called a “Continuum” for short in this document) for each domain. The Continuum for each domain is a chart that shows the Goals for the domain, and the Developmental Indicators related to each Goal for each age level. As the sample chart on the next page shows, North Carolina has elected to arrange our Developmental Indicators along a continuum so that all of the Developmental Indicators for the age levels between birth and kindergarten entry are included on the same row. This format allows teachers and caregivers to easily look across the age levels to see the progression that a child might make toward the Goal.

4North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

The Goals are organized in subdomains or subtopics that fall within the domain. Goals are statements that describe a general area or aspect of development that children

make progress on through birth through age five. The Developmental Indicators are more specific statements of expectations for children’s learning and development

that are tied to particular age levels. A Goal and Developmental Indicator Continuum is provided for each Goal.

28North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Approaches to Play and Learning (APL) Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness

Goal APL-1: Children show curiosity and express interest in the world around them.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

• Show interest in others (smile or gaze at caregiver, make sounds or move body when other person is near). APL-1a

•Show interest in themselves (watch own hands, play with own feet). APL-1b

•React to new sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and touches (stick out tongue at first solid food, turn head quickly when door slams). APL-1c

•Imitate what others are doing. APL-1d

•Show curiosity about their surroundings (with pointing, facial expressions, words). APL-1e

•Show pleasure when exploring and making things happen (clap, smile, repeat action again and again). APL-1f

•Discover things that interest and amaze them, and seek to share them with others. APL-1g

•Show pleasure in new skills and in what they have done. APL-1h

•Watch what others are doing and often try to participate. APL-1i

•Discover things that interest and amaze them, and seek to share them with others. APL-1j

•Communicate interest to others through verbal and nonverbal means (take teacher to the science center to see a new animal). APL-1k

•Show interest in a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks. APL-1l

•Discover things that interest and amaze them, and seek to share them with others. APL-1m

•Communicate interest to others through verbal and nonverbal means (take teacher to the science center to see a new animal). APL-1n

•Show interest in a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks. APL-1o

•Demonstrate interest in mastering new skills (e.g., writing name, riding a bike, dance moves, building skills). APL-1p

➡➡

Domain refers to the broad area of learning or development that is being addressed

Subdomain defines areas

within each domain more specifically

Goal provides a broad statement of what children should know or

be able to do

Developmental Indicator provides more specific information

about what children should know or be able to do at

Goal and Developmental Indicator Continuum

is the chart that shows the Goal and corresponding Developmental

Indicators for each age level

5North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

The Developmental Indicators are grouped into five age groups or levels: Infants, Younger Toddlers, Older Toddlers, Younger Preschoolers, and Older Preschoolers. The age levels or groups are intended as a guide to help the reader know where to start when using each Goal and Developmental Indicator Continuum. Generally, the Developmental Indicators describe expectations that many children will reach toward the end of their respective age level. They are not, however, hard and fast requirements or expectations for what children should be able to do at the end of the age level. The fact that there is overlap across the age levels shows that what children know and are able to do at one age is closely related to what they know and are able to do at the previous and the next age levels. Most children will reach many, but not necessarily all, of the Developmental Indicators that are listed for their age level; some will exceed the Developmental Indicators for their age level well before they are chronologically at the upper end of the age range; and others may never exhibit skills and knowledge described for a particular age level. Each Goal and Developmental Indicator Continuum is designed to help teachers and caregivers identify where an individual child might

be on the learning continuum described in the Developmental Indicators, and to easily see what might have come before and what might come after the child’s current level of development.

The Developmental Indicators are numbered so that it is easier to find specific items. The identification system is the same for all Developmental Indicators across all five domains. First, there is an abbreviation of the domain where the Developmental Indicator is found (APL for Approaches to Play and Learning in the sample chart). The abbreviation is followed by a number that indicates what Goal the Developmental Indicator is associated with (1 for Goal 1 in the sample chart). Finally, each of the Developmental Indicators for each Goal has a letter that reflects the order of the item. The first indicator in the infant age level begins with the letter “a,” the second indicator begins with the letter “b,” etc. All subsequent indicators are assigned a letter in alphabetical order. (The sample chart shows Developmental Indicators “a” through “p”). The numbering system is simply a way to help teachers and caregivers communicate more easily about the Developmental Indicators (i.e., so they can refer to specific indicators without having to write or say the whole indicator), and does not

Developmental Indicator Numbering System

Domain Abbreviation

Goal Number

Indicator Letter

APLESDHPDLDCCD

1 – 15 a - z

Age PeriodsThe Developmental Indicators are divided into overlapping age levels shown below. These age ranges help the reader know where to start when using the Developmental Indicators. They describe expectations many children will reach toward the end of the respective age level, but are not requirements for what children should know and be able to do at the end of the age period.

•Infants: birth to 12 months•Younger Toddlers: 8–21 months•Older Toddlers: 18–36 months•Younger Preschoolers: 36–48 months•Older Preschoolers: 48–60+ months

6North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

imply that any Developmental Indicator is more important or should come before others within the same age level. Occasionally, the same Developmental Indicators apply to two or more age levels. Arrows are used to show where these Developmental Indicators repeat.

The final resources included in Foundations are the strategies that are provided at the end of each Goal and Developmental Indicator Continuum. These strategies provide ideas for how teachers and caregivers can support children’s development and learning in the areas described in the Developmental Indicators. They are a guide for the types of teaching practices and interactions adults can use to foster children’s progress on the Developmental Indicators. The list includes strategies that can be used to promote the learning and development of all children, and some strategies that are specifically designed to provide ideas on how to work with Dual Language Learners and children with disabilities. The strategies that give specific ideas for accommodations and ways to promote second-language learning may be particularly helpful for teachers working with these groups of children. Most of the strategies are practices that can be carried out as part of a child’s everyday activities. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of how teachers can support

children’s growth and development, but are a place to start when planning activities to support children’s progress.

How to Use FoundationsTo get a general idea of what is included in Foundations, we suggest that you begin by reading the entire document cover to cover. This will help you get a sense of each section and how the various pieces fit together.

Once you have reviewed Foundations as a whole, you are then ready to focus on the children in your care. Included within each Goal is a set of Developmental Indicators that explain what behaviors or skills to look for according to the age of the child. Check the age level to see which Developmental Indicators (infants, younger toddlers, older toddlers, younger preschoolers, or older preschoolers) might apply to the children you work with, and study those indicators to know what is typical for your children. It may be helpful to start by focusing on one domain at a time.

Foundations describes what children at different stages of development often are able to do toward the end of the age period. You will probably notice that children in your group regularly do some of the things listed for their age level. They may just be starting to show some of the abilities, and they may not yet do some of the things described. This is normal. Use the Developmental Indicators to think about next steps for each child in your group. Then consider the natural moments during the day that might offer chances for children to take these next steps. What activities might you plan? What materials might you add to the environment? For children with disabilities or special needs who may not be at the same level as other children their age, use the same process described above: think about next steps for these children by considering their current level of development and how they might develop next.

Next, consider the strategies listed after the Development Indicators. They can help you think about how to use a natural moment or everyday learning opportunity to address specific areas of children’s development and learning. Many of these strategies can be carried out with no special equipment. Choose strategies that seem most likely to help the children you teach and care for take their

7North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

next steps. Sometimes the Developmental Indicators for a child’s age level do not seem to describe how a particular child is developing right now. This may happen whether or not a child has a disability. When this happens, look at guidelines for younger or older age groups as appropriate. Your goal is always to learn what developmental steps the child is taking now. Then you can choose strategies to support those next steps. Many strategies for children with disabilities are suggested. Be creative and find ways to adapt other strategies. Families and other professionals can suggest additional ideas.

Finally, seek additional professional development to help you use the document effectively. Foundations is designed to be a useful resource for teachers and caregivers and provides a wealth of useful information that can be used to improve the quality of care provided to children. It is not, however, intended to be used alone, without additional resources, and does not replace the need for continued professional development. Supervisors, mentors, college instructors, and technical assistant providers offer important support for teachers and caregivers using Foundations. It is important, therefore, to follow the steps described above to use Foundations and to also seek additional information and professional development in order to use the document effectively.

Goals and Developmental Indicators

SHOULD Be Used To …•Promote development of the whole child,

including physical, emotional-social, language, cognitive development, and learning characteristics.

•Provide a common set of expectations for children’s development and, at the same time, validate the individual differences that should be expected in children.

•Promote shared responsibility for children’s early care and education.

•Emphasize the importance of play as an instructional strategy that promotes learning in early childhood programs.

•Support safe, clean, caring, and effective learning environments for young children.

•Support appropriate teaching practices and provide a guide for gauging children’s progress.

•Encourage and value family and community involvement in promoting children’s success.

•Reflect and value the diversity that exists among children and families served in early care and education programs across the state.

Goals and Developmental Indicators Should NOT Be Used To …

•Stand in isolation from what we know and believe about children’s development and about quality early education programs.

•Serve as an assessment checklist or evaluation tool to make high-stakes decisions about children’s program placement or entry into kindergarten.

•Limit a child’s experiences or exclude children from learning opportunities for any reason.

•Set up conflicting expectations and requirements for programs.

•Decide that any child has “failed” in any way.

•Emphasize child outcomes over program requirements.

8North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Domains, Subdomains, and Goals OverviewApproaches to Play and Learning (APL)Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness•Goal APL-1: Children show curiosity and express interest in the world around them.

•Goal APL-2: Children actively seek to understand the world around them.

Play and Imagination •Goal APL-3: Children engage in increasingly complex play.

•Goal APL-4: Children demonstrate creativity, imagination, and inventiveness.

Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility •Goal APL-5: Children are willing to try new and challenging experiences .

•Goal APL-6: Children use a variety of strategies to solve problems.

Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence•Goal APL-7: Children demonstrate initiative.

•Goal APL-8: Children maintain attentiveness and focus.

•Goal APL-9: Children persist at challenging activities.

9North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Emotional and Social Development (ESD)Developing a Sense of Self•Goal ESD-1: Children demonstrate a positive sense of self-identity and self-awareness.

•Goal ESD-2: Children express positive feelings about themselves and confidence in what they can do.

Developing a Sense of Self With Others •Goal ESD-3: Children form relationships and interact positively with familiar adults who are consisten and responsive to their needs.

•Goal ESD-4: Children form relationships and interact positively with other children.

•Goal ESD-5: Children demonstrate the social and behavioral skills needed to successfully participate in groups.

Learning About Feelings•Goal ESD-6: Children identify, manage, and express their feelings.

•Goal ESD-7: Children recognize and respond to the needs and feelings of others.

10North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Health and Physical Development (HPD)Physical Health and Growth•Goal HPD-1: Children develop healthy eating habits.

•Goal HPD-2: Children engage in active physical play indoors and outdoors.

•Goal HPD-3: Children develop healthy sleeping habits.

Motor Development •Goal HPD-4: Children develop the large muscle control and abilities needed to move through and explore their environment.

•Goal HPD-5: Children develop small muscle control and hand-eye coordination to manipulate objects and work with tools.

Self-Care•Goal HPD-6: Children develop awareness of their needs and the ability to communicate their needs.

•Goal HPD-7: Children develop iindependence in caring for themselves and their environment.

Safety Awareness•Goal HPD-8: Children develop awareness of basic safety rules and begin to follow them.

11North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Language Development and Communication (LDC)Learning to Communicate•Goal LDC-1: Children understand communications from others.

•Goal LDC-2: Children participate in conversations with peers and adults in one-on-one, small, and larger group interactions.

•Goal LDC-3: Children ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

•Goal LDC-4: Children speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

•Goal LDC-5: Children describe familiar people, places, things, and events.

•Goal LDC-6: Children use most grammatical constructions of their home language well.

•Goal LDC-7: Children respond to and use a growing vocabulary.

Foundations for Reading•Goal LDC-8: Children develop interest in books and motivation to read.

•Goal LDC-11: Children develop phonological awareness.

•Goal LDC-12: Children develop knowledge of the alphabet and the alphabetic principle.

Foundations for Writing•Goal LDC-13: Children use writing and other symbols to record information and communicate for a variety of purposes.

•Goal LDC-14: Children use knowledge of letters in their attempts to write.

•Goal LDC-15: Children use writing skills and writing conventions.

12North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Cognitive Development (CD)Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning•Goal CD-1: Children use their senses to construct knowledge about the world around them.

•Goal CD-2: Children recall information and use it for new situations and problems.

•Goal CD-3: Children demonstrate the ability to think about their own thinking: reasoning, taking perspectives, and making decisions.

Creative Expression •Goal CD-4: Children demonstrate appreciation for different forms of artistic expression.

•Goal CD-5: Children demonstrate self-expression and creativity in a variety of forms and contexts, including play, visual arts, music, drama, and dance.

Social Connections •Goal CD-6: Children demonstrate knowledge of relationships and roles within their own families, homes, classrooms, and communities.

•Goal CD-7: Children recognize that they are members of different groups (e.g. family, preschool class, cultural group).

•Goal CD-8: Children identify and demonstrate acceptance of similarities and differences between themselves and others.

•Goal CD-9: Children explore concepts connected with their daily experiences in their community.

Mathematical Thinking and Expression•Goal CD-10: Children show understanding of numbers and quantities during play and other activities.

•Goal CD-11: Children compare, sort, group, organize, and measure objects and create patterns in their everyday environment.

•Goal CD-12: Children identify and use common shapes and concepts about position during play and other activities.

•Goal CD-13: Children use mathematical thinking to solve problems in their everyday environment.

Scientific Exploration and Knowledge•Goal CD-14: Children observe and describe characteristics of living things and the physical world.

•Goal CD-15: Children explore the natural world by observing, manipulating objects, asking questions, making predictions, and developing generalizations.

13North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Guiding Principles1 . Development and learning across

the full continuum from birth to five years (infant, toddler, and preschool) is important .

Learning and development begin before birth and continue throughout life. Each stage of a young child’s development makes an important contribution to later success. Good prenatal care and high-quality early care and education experiences throughout the early childhood period are essential. Teachers and caregivers can use Foundations as a guide to provide positive learning experiences for young children of all ages, starting at birth and continuing through the time children enter kindergarten.

2 . Each child is unique .

Children’s development results from a combination of many factors, such as the characteristics they are born with, the culture they live in, and their experiences with their family and in other settings such as early care and education programs. Foundations should be used as a guide to understand how development

generally unfolds, but children will differ in how and when they demonstrate progress in the areas described within the Developmental Indicators.

3 . Development occurs in predictable patterns but an individual child’s developmental progress is often uneven across different stages and across developmental domains .

Even though each child is unique, there are some predictable steps or stages of development. One ability or skill usually develops before another, and skills that develop earlier often are the foundation for skills that develop later. Children vary a great deal, however, in when and how they reach each stage, and they may make more progress in one area of development than another.

4 . Young children’s learning is integrated across different areas of development so Foundations— and learning experiences provided for children—must address all domains .

As young children learn and grow, each area of their development is interrelated

and makes a contribution to how well they learn and master new skills. Their growth in the different domains—physical, emotional-social, approaches to play and learning, language, and cognitive—cannot be separated because progress in one area affects the progress they make in other areas of development. Therefore, Foundations and the learning opportunities that children experience must address all areas of their development in an integrated manner.

5 . Many factors influence a child’s development, including relationships with family members and others and experiences within the home, early learning setting, and community .

How a child develops is based on a combination of factors, such as the characteristics they are born with, the culture they live in, and their experiences within their family and in other settings. Each of these factors is important in a child’s growth and development, so it is important that teachers and caregivers pay attention to all aspects of a child’s life in order to support his/her development and learning.

14North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

6 . Each child develops within a culture .

North Carolina is home to families and children from diverse cultural backgrounds. This diversity is a benefit because families from different backgrounds bring a wealth of strengths, knowledge, and values to our state. Teachers and caregivers must be aware of children’s cultural backgrounds because their family’s beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors have a big impact on the child’s development and learning. It is important to respect each child’s culture, to learn as much as you can about a child’s family and culture, and to foster a close connection with the child and family by seeking to care for the child in a way that’s consistent with the family’s values and how they care for the child.

7 . Nurturing and responsive relationships are essential for healthy growth and development .

Relationships with sensitive, caring adults are important for children’s development in all domains. Strong emotional bonds, or secure attachments, with trusted adults are particularly important for infants and

toddlers. The relationships that children form with adults support their emotional and social development and also serve as a springboard for exploring the environment and learning new concepts.

8 . Children are active learners and they learn through play .

Children need hands-on learning experiences to develop the skills and knowledge described in Foundations. They learn by doing, and they need time to practice what they are learning, to ask questions, to investigate, and to use what they are learning in their everyday activities.

9 . All children can learn and make progress in the areas defined in Foundations.

Foundations describes important areas of learning and development, and includes Developmental Indicators that give a picture of how children make progress toward the Goals. All children, no matter what their circumstances, can learn and make progress along the continuum of Developmental Indicators. Children

with disabilities may demonstrate their capabilities in different ways than do other children, perhaps with accommodations or modifications in the learning environment and/or perhaps working toward Developmental Indicators at a lower age level. Likewise, children who are learning English in addition to another language at home will make progress on the same Developmental Indicators as English-speaking children, particularly if they are in an early education setting where adults use their home language as well as English. Foundations is designed to be used with all children.

10 . Children with disabilities learn best in inclusive settings .

Children with disabilities will make the most progress developmentally, socially, and academically when appropriate special education services are provided in inclusive settings. Children with and without disabilities learn from one another in inclusive settings. Inclusive settings where education and support are individualized to each child will benefit all children, including children with and without disabilities.

15North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Effective Use of Foundations With All ChildrenWhile children generally develop in similar stages and sequences, there can be a great deal of diversity in how quickly and how evenly their development unfolds. Factors such as the child’s individual temperament, socio-economic status, relationships with family members, and the community/culture in which a baby or child lives can affect growth and learning. Foundations is designed to allow for individual differences and can serve as a basis for individualized programming decisions for all children. Ideas for how to use it with two specific groups of children are described below.

Children With DisabilitiesAlthough the Goals and Developmental Indicators are the same for all children, it is important to remember that children with disabilities may demonstrate progress on the Developmental Indicators at a different rate and/or in different ways from typically developing children. Children with disabilities may be slower to demonstrate progress in some domains than in others, and may have

very strong skills in one domain but need additional support to make progress in another domain. Teachers and caregivers may find it useful to look at the Developmental Indicators for a younger age level for ideas of next steps for the child if his or her developmental level seems to be different from the Developmental Indicators for his or her chronological age. In some cases, teachers and caregivers may need to observe children with disabilities more closely to notice their progress and may need to use alternate methods to help them demonstrate their capabilities. For example, a teacher or caregiver could give a nonverbal child a voice output device that allows the child to push a button that will speak for him or her to participate in a game with the other children.

Teachers may also need to tailor their curriculum and instructional strategies to meet the individual learning needs of children with disabilities and to ensure that each child has access to, and is able to fully participate in, all learning activities. For instance, the teacher could have the child point to pictures instead of talking when making a choice about which free play activity to join.

In addition, it is important to consider how peer relationships can benefit not only

children with disabilities, but all children in the classroom. When designing learning activities, a teacher could consider pairing a child with a disability with a peer to help the child reach his or her goals, learn a new skill, or even participate more fully. This also helps to foster emotional and social development skills in both children. Although all of the strategies included in the document are applicable for children with disabilities, teachers and caregivers will find some strategies in each domain that are written specifically to provide ideas for working with children with disabilities.

Finally, teachers and caregivers should keep in mind that it is important for all children to involve their families in the learning process, but it is especially important for children with disabilities. Family members can often give valuable information about resources or tools they have found to be effective in meeting their child’s individual needs. In addition to the child’s family, teachers can also communicate with other members of the child’s team, such as specialists and therapists, to ensure that that child’s goals are being met and that they are demonstrating progress on the Developmental Indicators along with the other children in the classroom.

16North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

In summary, the Goals, Developmental Indicators, and strategies described in Foundations are appropriate for children with disabilities, but teachers and caregivers will need to individualize their expectations, how they teach, and the opportunities they provide for the child to demonstrate his or her progress. Additionally, collaboration with families and with other service providers is extremely important when supporting children with disabilities as they make progress in the areas described in Foundations.

Children From Diverse Language and Cultural BackgroundsIn recent years, North Carolina has become more ethnically diverse and there are an increasing number of children and families who speak a language other than English living in our state. A growing number of our children may, therefore, be Dual Language Learners. A Dual Language Learner (DLL) is a child who is learning a second language, in most cases English, at the same time he or she is learning his/her first or home language. The term “Dual Language Learner” highlights the fact that the child is learning two languages, or becoming bilingual. The Goals and Developmental Indicators from all five domains

are applicable for Dual Language Learners, but teachers may need to supplement or provide different types of learning experiences that can best support Dual Language Learners, and to think carefully about how the children demonstrate what they are learning.

The first thing to keep in mind is that Dual Language Learners will benefit greatly if teachers and caregivers continue to support their home language learning at the same time they are learning English. It is easier for children to learn concepts, develop social skills, and be engaged in learning activities if they can hear instructions and conversations in their home language. Plus, even though they may be learning English they are still learning their home language as well, so it’s important for them to continue to hear and use their home language. Sometimes teachers and caregivers may find it challenging to support a child’s use of his/her home language if they do not speak the child’s language. Ideally someone interacting with the child can speak both English and the child’s language, even if it is not the teacher. Programs may find it helpful to have at least one person on staff who speaks the home language of Dual Language Learners to translate for parents and help in classrooms. If this option is not available, programs might consider asking

family members or other volunteers who speak the child’s home language to help in the classroom. In addition, teachers and caregivers who do not speak the same language as the family can learn key words or phrases to help guide the child using the child’s home language during the day.

In addition to continuing to support the child’s home language, teachers and caregivers may need to take the child’s language learning into account when planning learning activities, and should think carefully about how they can support Dual Language Learners’ progress on the Goals and Developmental Indicators in each domain. This means that teachers need to plan how they will introduce concepts and ideas in a way that Dual Language Learners can best understand them even if the instruction is in English. Ideally concepts can be introduced in the child’s home language and in English so the child has a chance to learn the concept and to learn English. For instance, pairing a Dual Language Learner with one child who speaks the same home language and English, along with another child who only speaks English, could be a good strategy to help the child learn social skills described in the Emotional and Social Development domain and make progress in learning some words in English. Naming objects in both English and the child’s home

17North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

language is another example of how concepts and vocabulary words can be introduced to Dual Language Learners. Use very simple instructions in the child’s home language and in English, as well as pictures, gestures, and objects to help explain the concepts being taught to help children learn the language, concepts, and behavioral skills described in Foundations. The strategies included within each domain provide some additional ideas for teaching Dual Language Learners, and more information is provided in the Supporting Dual Language Learners section at the end of this document.

Furthermore, teachers and caregivers should provide support for children to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. Remember that children can demonstrate their capabilities on almost any of the Goals and Developmental Indicators in their home language or in English, and through other means such as gestures, pictures and/or using objects to show what they have learned. For instance, when learning to count (a Cognitive Developmental Indicator at the preschool level), children could count in their home language; children may use new vocabulary words (a Goal in the Language Development and Communication domain) in their home language and/or English; or children may make scientific observations of living things (a Goal in the Cognitive domain)

using their home language. Therefore, teachers should continue to support the home language of Dual Language Learners as much as possible while they are learning English by individualizing their teaching strategies and allowing children to demonstrate progress on the Developmental Indicators in their home language or in English. Keep in mind that teachers and caregivers who do not speak the same language as the children may need to rely on other staff and/or family members for help as they plan and carry out learning activities for Dual Language Learners. Finally, teachers and caregivers should remember that it is important to work closely with all children’s families, and this is especially true for Dual Language Learners. For example, the family can provide invaluable information about their child’s experiences and the extent to which the child has heard/hears English being spoken. In addition, families can provide information about how the child learns best, they can assist the teacher in gaining a greater understanding of the child’s home language, and they can reinforce what the child is learning in the program with learning experiences at home. Families are a tremendous resource for understanding a child’s home culture, and they are key to working effectively with children from diverse cultures.

Foundations and Children’s Success in SchoolThe title of this document—Foundations—was selected because the Goals and Developmental Indicators described for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are critically important to their success later in school. What children learn between birth and the time they start kindergarten lays the foundation for their learning and development for years to come. The team of state leaders that revised Foundations carefully studied North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study (Common Core State Standards and NC’s Essential Standards), the standards for what kindergarten children should know and be able to do. The team studied both the Common Core State Standards and North Carolina’s Essential Standards during the process of writing Foundations. The goal was to ensure that the content of Foundations is aligned with the expectations for what kindergarten children learn and is also appropriate for the ages of children described in Foundations. This does not mean that the skills and knowledge described in Foundations are exactly the same as those included in the kindergarten standards. Rather, the focus in Foundations is on the early precursor skills

18North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

that research suggests are important or lay the foundation for what children learn later. For instance, kindergarten children may begin to read words and short sentences. The Foundations Goals that address children’s knowledge of letters, understanding of print concepts (such as the fact that print runs from left to right), and phonological awareness skills all contribute to children’s ability to read once they enter kindergarten. The next chart shows how the content of Foundations is aligned with the kindergarten standards. For children to reach their full potential, adults must provide an environment and experiences that promote growth and learning in all areas described in Foundations through age-appropriate activities, materials, and daily routines.

In addition to helping early education teachers and caregivers prepare infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for success in school, Foundations can also be a resource for kindergarten teachers as they support children’s success once they enter school. Kindergarten teachers can use Foundations to get a better idea of what children have learned before they started school. Understanding the Goals and Developmental Indicators helps kindergarten teachers see what was expected of very young children; they can use this understanding as a starting point for what they teach early in the year. When there’s some continuity between what children learned in preschool and what’s being taught in kindergarten, it’s easier for the children to transition to kindergarten.

Kindergarten teachers may also find it helpful to look at Foundations when teaching children who may lack some of the precursor skills that are important for making progress on the kindergarten standards and may enter kindergarten without the types of skills and knowledge described in Foundations. The kindergarten teacher can use the Goals and Developmental Indicators in Foundations as a basis for helping children learn the precursor skills and knowledge they may have missed during their early years.

19North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Standards Alignment—Foundations and the North Carolina Standard Course of StudyFoundations Domains Common Core State Standards and NC’s Essential Standards

Approaches to Play and Learning•Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness•Play and Imagination•Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility •Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence

Mathematics*• PracticesGuidance•Cognitive

Emotional and Social Development•Developing a Sense of Self•Developing a Sense of Self with Others•Learning About Feelings

Healthful Living•Health Education

—Mental and Emotional Health—Interpersonal Communication and Relations

•Physical Education—Personal/Social Responsibility

Guidance•Socio-Emotional

Health and Physical Development•Physical Health and Growth•Motor Development•Self-Care•Safety Awareness

Healthful Living•Health Education

—Personal and Consumer Health—Nutrition and Physical Activity—Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

•Physical Education—Motor Skills—Movement Concepts—Health-related Fitness

Language Development and Communication•Learning to Communicate•Foundations for Reading•Foundations for Writing

English Language Arts*•Reading•Writing•Speaking and Listening•LanguageInformation and Technology

Cognitive Development•Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning•Creative Expression•Social Connections•Mathematical Thinking and Expression•Scientific Exploration and Knowledge

Guidance •CognitiveArts EducationSocial StudiesMathematics*Science

*Common Core State Standards

20North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Helping Children Make Progress on Foundations Goals: It Takes Everyone Working TogetherWhile Foundations describes the goals North Carolina has for young children, it’s the adults in our state who are responsible for supporting their progress in the areas described in Foundations. Teachers and caregivers need to understand and use Foundations. Programs may need to change their curricula to ensure infants, toddlers, and preschoolers each experience responsive caregiving and stimulating learning environments that support children’s progress in all five domains. To do this effectively will require collective effort among the various stakeholders who are responsible for working with young children. Families, program administrators, public school personnel, community agencies/partners, policy makers, and teachers/caregivers themselves all have a role in supporting the use of Foundations and helping children make progress in areas defined by the Goals and Developmental Indicators. The roles that adults can play in using Foundations and supporting children’s progress are described below.

The Role of FamiliesFamilies are children’s first and most important teachers. The use of Foundations offers a unique opportunity to bring parents, family members and early educators together to support children’s development and learning. Educators can use Foundations as a

Families— parents, grandparents,

guardians, & other key people in a

child’s life

Teachers & Caregivers

Professional Development Providers,

Technical Assistance Providers & Higher Ed

Faculty

Policymakers & Community Leaders

Program Administrators

Young Children’s

Development & Learning in the

Foundations Domains

Public Schools

Foundations Stakeholders

tool to encourage family members to become more involved in their children’s learning and education. By reviewing Foundations with family members, educators can help them understand how children develop and provide them with specific strategies and activities that they can use at home.

21North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

The Role of Teachers and CaregiversTeachers and caregivers are responsible for the day-to-day implementation of Foundations. To use the document effectively, teachers and caregivers may need additional professional development in order to learn about the content of Foundations and improve their teaching skills. Foundations does not tell educators how to teach, but defines what children should know and be able to do. As a result, teachers and caregivers must be able to design appropriate experiences to support children’s learning.

The Role of Administrators Program directors and principals are the instructional leaders of their early childhood programs. As such, they play a vital role in ensuring the successful implementation and use of Foundations. Administrators influence the resources that are available, as well as the attitudes and practices of the persons working directly with young children. Administrators should use Foundations for staff development and look for opportunities to share the document with families.

The Role of Public SchoolsFoundations provides a description of what we want children to know and be able to do before they enter kindergarten. When

children develop the characteristics and behaviors described in Foundations, they are prepared to make progress on the standards in kindergarten and the later grades. It is important for public school teachers and administrators to know and understand what has been expected of children when they enter formal school. This allows them to build on previous learning and create opportunities that are stimulating and appropriate. The Role of Policymakers and Community Leaders Decisions made by policymakers and community leaders can affect the overall well-being of young children. Oftentimes, people in these roles decide how money is spent within the community. They may also be responsible for approving regulations and rules that affect the quality of programs. Policymakers and community leaders can support use of Foundations by advocating for funding and promoting collaboration and cooperation among agencies and organizations that serve young children and their families.

When these groups come together to support understanding and implementation of Foundations, young children benefit and make greater progress on the Goals that have been articulated in Foundations.

The Role of Professional Development Providers, Technical Assistance Providers, and Higher Education FacultyMany professionals support teachers’ and caregivers’ ability to provide high-quality, individualized, appropriate experiences to support children’s development and learning. These professionals can use Foundations to help teachers and caregivers understand how children develop and why it is important to provide particular activities or experiences for children (e.g., to understand that an activity such as building with blocks helps children develop the spatial mathematics skills described in the cognitive domain, or that responsive interactions with children help them develop important emotional and social skills).

22North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat’s new in this revised version?

This document describes a continuum of learning for young children, birth to age five. While previously North Carolina had guidelines and standards for this age span, they were in two separate documents. The revised document presents a continuum to help early childhood educators look across age levels and learning domains to see how children’s development emerges and progresses over time. In addition, we now have Goals that are applicable for children across the age span, and Developmental Indicators written for specific age levels.

Who should use this document?

Foundations is intended for any adult who works with young children and their families. This includes teachers and caregivers in child care centers and public schools, family child care home providers, or family and neighbor care. Early childhood programs across the state, irrespective of their location or setting, should find this a useful

resource for planning. Foundations is also a useful resource for persons who support teachers and caregivers—administrators, professional development and technical assistance providers, higher education faculty, and others concerned with improving the quality of children’s learning experiences can use Foundations as a guide for the types of learning experiences teachers and caregivers should provide for children.

What ages are covered?

Foundations is divided into five age levels: Infants (birth to 12 months), Younger Toddlers (8 to 21 months), Older Toddlers (18 to 36 months), Younger Preschoolers (36 to 48 months), and Older Preschoolers (48 to 60+ months). Because children develop at different rates, there is overlap at the youngest age levels (e.g., the age range between 8 to 12 months is included in both Infants and Younger Toddlers). The overlap in the age levels reflects the fact that it is normal for children this age to vary a lot in when they demonstrate the skills and behaviors described in the Developmental Indicators written for infants and toddlers. While Foundations describes general expectations for children within these

age levels, not all children of a particular age will demonstrate progress on all the Developmental Indicators for that age.

What does it mean if a child in my group does not do what’s described in the Foundations for his or her age level?

The age levels in this document provide guidance about what to look for at different ages. Generally, most of the Developmental Indicators are intended to describe a skill or characteristic that emerges later in the age level, so if the child is young for the age level, the skill may emerge later. However, it is important to keep in mind that each child is different. Some children may seem to do extremely well in one domain while progressing more slowly in another. Even children at the end of an age level may not show every ability or skill listed for that level. It is important to look at a child’s overall pattern of development and progress to decide whether he or she is developing as expected. Do not focus narrowly on just a few skills or abilities. If, however, you and/or the child’s family have concerns about a child’s development, it is important to refer the child for an evaluation to rule out a suspected disability.

23North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

How is Foundations different from other standards we use?

Foundations describes the goals North Carolina has established for children’s learning and development. The Goals and Developmental Indicators describe how we expect children to develop and learn when they receive high-quality care and education. There are other sets of standards that describe expectations for how programs will care for and educate children—licensing rules for child care facilities, the Star Rated License system, accreditation standards, and program standards of Early Head Start and Head Start. Programs that meet high standards for quality will help children make progress in the areas described in Foundations. Some programs, such as Early Head Start, Head Start, and IDEA funded programs for children with disabilities also have their own expectations for child outcomes. Foundations is designed to be consistent with these expectations so that teachers and caregivers can use both Foundations and their program-specific child outcomes to plan learning experiences for children.

How can I use these Goals and Developmental Indicators in my work with children who have disabilities or delays?

Children with disabilities or delays will make progress toward the Goals and Developmental Indicators in Foundations when they receive high-quality care and education. They may move more slowly than their peers in some or all areas, and some children may not develop all of the skills and abilities listed. When working with children with disabilities, begin by looking at the Developmental Indicators for their age level. If none of the Developmental Indicators at this age level seem to describe what the child is trying to do now, look at an earlier age level. For some children, you may find that it’s helpful to use Developmental Indicators from two or three different levels. Using the Developmental Indicators, decide what comes next in different areas and create opportunities for the child to develop those abilities or skills. It may be necessary to adapt strategies to help particular children learn. All of the strategies included within the domains are considered good practices for children with disabilities, and some of the strategies are written to

provide specific ideas for working with children with disabilities. Specialists such as early interventionists, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists can help families, teachers, and caregivers develop additional strategies that have been tailored to meet the individual needs of the child. These strategies will help children with disabilities or delays develop to their full potential.

How can I use these Goals and Developmental Indicators in my work with children who speak a language other than English at home?

Children growing up in families that speak a language other than English will make progress in the areas described in Foundations. Even though the teacher/caregiver may not speak the same language as the child, the Goals and Developmental Indicators in Foundations are still a useful resource. Teachers and caregivers working with children who are learning both English and their own home language should try to use the child’s home language whenever possible so the child can learn the skills and knowledge described in Foundations more easily. Teachers/caregivers may

24North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

also need to provide additional support for children learning English in addition to their home language, such as short/simple instructions or pictures to illustrate a concept. Some of the strategies included within the domain provide additional ideas for working with Dual Language Learners. Finally, teachers and caregivers should remember that children can demonstrate progress on the Developmental Indicators in either their home language or in English.

Is the Foundations document meant for families to use, too?

Research indicates that the extent to which families are involved in their children’s education is related to children’s school readiness and their later school success. Teachers and caregivers can use Foundations as a tool to encourage family members to become more involved in their children’s learning and education. By reviewing the Goals and Developmental Indicators with family members, educators can help them understand how children develop, and provide them with specific strategies and activities that they can use at home. This may also be an opportunity to make family members aware of resources and services that are available within the community.

Is this a curriculum?

Foundations is not a curriculum, but is a resource that can be helpful for choosing curricula and planning daily activities. Foundations describes the skills and knowledge we want children to develop. A curriculum is a resource that provides guidance on how teachers and caregivers can help children learn the skills and knowledge described in Foundations. This document will not tell you which curriculum, activities, or materials to select, but rather will help you decide what experiences are best suited to help children develop and learn. Once you have a good understanding from Foundations on the types of skills and knowledge that are important for the age you teach, you can look for a curriculum that will help you provide appropriate experiences to help children develop the skills described in the Developmental Indicators. North Carolina has established a process to evaluate curricula and provide recommendations for which curricula meet important criteria, including alignment with Foundations. Check the list of approved curricula as a starting point for decisions about which curriculum to use.

Is this an assessment?

Foundations is not an assessment tool. Foundations describes the skills and knowledge we want children to develop. An assessment is a tool that helps teachers and caregivers gather information about a child to determine how she or he is making progress in the areas described in the Developmental Indicators. We recommend that you never use the Goals and Developmental Indicators as a checklist for assessing children’s development. Using the Goals and Developmental Indicators simply as a checklist could suggest that there is something wrong with children who have not achieved everything on the list. Remember that the Goals and Developmental Indicators are guidelines that describe the areas of development and learning that families, teachers, and caregivers should promote. They serve as a guide for what adults should do to support children’s development—not as a checklist of skills that children need to “pass.”

Is Foundations based on research?

The Goals, Developmental Indicators, and strategies included in Foundations were developed based on current research about child development. This research

25North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

helped the team decide which Goals and Developmental Indicators are most appropriate for young children and informed the development of the strategies.

Why does Foundations include five domains of development and learning?

Because infants’, toddlers’, and preschool children’s bodies, feelings, thinking skills, language, social skills, love of learning, and knowledge all develop together, it is essential that we include all five of these domains in Foundations. Children’s learning and development in each of these domains is important for their long-term success in school.

What types of strategies are included in the Foundations document?

Each domain includes strategies that are designed to give teachers ideas for how they might support children’s progress on the Developmental Indicators included in the domain. Strategies are provided for each subdomain and are organized into two age groups: Infants/Toddlers and Preschoolers. Most of the ideas provided in the strategies can be used with all children. A few of the strategies

are written to provide specific ideas for working with children with disabilities and with Dual Language Learners. They are intended to be a starting point for helping children make progress on the Developmental Indicators. Teachers and caregivers are encouraged to seek additional professional development to learn how to use the Foundations document and how to best support children’s learning and development.

Why are there similar Developmental Indicators and strategies in more than one domain?

For very young children, one developmental step often forms the foundation for future development in more than one domain or area. For example, the ability to imitate others helps a child form relationships (a Goal in Emotional and Social Development) and learn new words (a Goal in Language Development and Communication). Imitation also allows children to participate in pretend play (an important skill in Approaches to Play and Learning) and to learn self-care routines (a skill described in the Health and Physical Development domain). Thus, imitation

is a skill included in more than one domain. Repeating Developmental Indicators in this way helps to show how all of the domains are connected.

How do the Goals and Developmental Indicators relate to what’s expected of children in kindergarten?

The expectations described in Foundations form the basis for what children will be able to learn and do in the next phase of their education; thus these standards are called Foundations. They are aligned with national standards and North Carolina’s standards for what kindergarten children should know and be able to do, and include abilities and characteristics that pave the way for children to be successful in school and later in life. When adults provide experiences that foster children’s development in the areas described in Foundations, they are helping children develop skills and characteristics that will be important in kindergarten and later grades.

26North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

27Approaches to Play and Learning

Approaches to Play and Learning (APL)

28North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Children are born with an inclination to learn and to figure things out, but each child approaches learning in his or her own way. The Approaches to Play and Learning domain

addresses how children learn and includes children’s attitudes toward and interest in learning. It reflects behaviors and attitudes such as curiosity, problem-solving, maintaining attention, and persistence. Children display these characteristics in the way they learn in all domains and curriculum areas, including music, dramatic play, and art.

For infants and toddlers, their approach to learning begins with their openness and interest in the world around them and their desire to make things happen. They learn by tasting, touching, smelling, listening, and looking at just about anything in their environment. They also learn through their physical actions as they try new actions and see what happens when they do something with objects. When adults support their efforts, children feel safe and secure and are more willing to try new things and take risks. With a consistent environment and responsive adults who encourage exploration, young children have the emotional security necessary for exploring, growing, and learning.

As children move into the preschool years, they begin to establish learning behaviors that are more obviously tied to later school success. They become more confident in their ability to learn and enjoy exploration and discovery through play. This is also a time when children develop some specific areas of interest and learn different strategies to find out more about those interests. They typically are able to concentrate for longer periods of time and are able to persist with tasks even after encountering obstacles.

Regardless of the age, it is important for teachers of young children to recognize that children vary in their learning styles and in how they express their approaches to learning. For example, some children show great enthusiasm for trying new things, while others are more content to sit back and watch. These differences may be the result of the child’s temperament, cultural differences in how families encourage children to interact with the environment, and/or disabilities that may affect how children take in information. Teachers and caregivers must be attuned to these differences and provide support and guidance to children as they need it. The Goals and Developmental Indicators included in this domain describe important aspects of

Subdomains

Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness

Play and Imagination

Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility

Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence

29Approaches to Play and Learning

approaches to learning that early childhood educators should seek to foster as they work with young children, but it’s important to remember that each child will express his/her approaches toward play and learning differently.

Approaches to Play and Learning (APL)

Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness• Goal APL-1: Children show curiosity and express interest in the world

around them. • Goal APL-2: Children actively seek to understand the world around

them.

Play and Imagination • Goal APL-3: Children engage in increasingly complex play.• Goal APL-4: Children demonstrate creativity, imagination, and

inventiveness.

Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility • Goal APL-5: Children are willing to try new and challenging

experiences. • Goal APL-6: Children use a variety of strategies to solve problems.

Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence• Goal APL-7: Children demonstrate initiative.• Goal APL-8: Children maintain attentiveness and focus. • Goal APL-9: Children persist at challenging activities.

30North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness

Goal APL-1: Children show curiosity and express interest in the world around them.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show interest in others (smile or gaze at caregiver, make sounds or move body when other person is near). APL-1a

•Show interest in themselves (watch own hands, play with own feet). APL-1b

•React to new sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and touches (stick out tongue at first solid food, turn head quickly when door slams). APL-1c

•Imitate what others are doing. APL-1d

•Show curiosity about their surroundings (with pointing, facial expressions, words). APL-1e

•Show pleasure when exploring and making things happen (clap, smile, repeat action again and again). APL-1f

•Discover things that interest and amaze them and seek to share them with others. APL-1g

•Show pleasure in new skills and in what they have done. APL-1h

•Watch what others are doing and often try to participate. APL-1i

•Discover things that interest and amaze them and seek to share them with others. APL-1j

•Communicate interest to others through verbal and nonverbal means (take teacher to the science center to see a new animal). APL-1k

•Show interest in a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks. APL-1l

•Discover things that interest and amaze them and seek to share them with others. APL-1m

•Communicate interest to others through verbal and nonverbal means (take teacher to the science center to see a new animal). APL-1n

•Show interest in a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks. APL-1o

•Demonstrate interest in mastering new skills (e.g., writing name, riding a bike, dance moves, building skills). APL-1p

➡➡

It is important for teachers to remember that persons from different cultures value different characteristics and qualities in children . Some cultures will encourage or

value curiosity, while others may discourage children from demonstrating curiosity .

31Approaches to Play and Learning

Goal APL-2: Children actively seek to understand the world around them.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Explore the indoor and outdoor environment using all available senses—smell, hear, see, feel and taste. APL-2a

•With appropriate supports, move toward interesting people, sounds, objects, and activities. APL-2b

•Initiate activities that interest them and try to get others involved. APL-2c

•Use toys and other objects to make things happen (kick a ball, push a button on a toy). APL-2d

•Move toward people and things that are new and/or interesting. APL-2e

•Seek more information about people and their surroundings (“study” an object carefully, stare for long moments, become absorbed in figuring out a situation). APL-2f

•Use their whole body to learn (get mud or paint on themselves from head to toe, fit themselves into a big, empty box). APL-2g

•Communicate what they want to do or know using gestures, facial expressions, or words (ask “What dat?”). APL-2h

•Ask questions about the people and things around them. APL-2i

•Use all available senses, tools, and a variety of strategies to explore the environment (drop objects in water to see if they sink or float). APL-2j

•Purposely try different ways of doing things to see what and how they work (adjust blocks used as a ramp to make a ball roll faster and farther). APL-2k

•Ask questions to find out more about the things that interest them, including questions about future events. APL-2l

•Choose among different ways to explore the environment based on past experience (use a magnifying glass that the class used before to explore something new). APL-2m

•Use what they know from past experience to understand what is happening now (get an umbrella to go outside because it is raining). APL-2n

32North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness

1. Provide safe spaces and remove dangerous items indoors and outdoors so infants and toddlers can explore safely. Use soft surfaces, light colors, and comfortable furniture to create a warm, inviting classroom atmosphere.

2. Provide children with the means to represent their ideas with more than one type of material or medium (e.g., painting, drawing, blocks).

3. Choose materials that appeal to children’s senses (smell, touch, hearing, sight, and taste) to encourage children to react and move. For example, place colorful toys around an infant during tummy time, hang wind chimes outdoors, or invite toddlers to smell flowers. Be sensitive to infants and toddlers with special sensory needs. Avoid overwhelming children with stimulation. Provide quiet, uncluttered spaces when children need them.

4. Offer toys and activities that are challenging and exciting for each child at his or her individual level. When children express interest, show them what toys will do and how materials can be used.

5. Allow children to make choices when possible (such as materials and activities). For some children with disabilities, caregivers must introduce toys, begin activities, and play a more active role to show them what to do. Follow children’s signals to decide whether to continue, vary, or end an activity.

6. Show enthusiasm for children’s discoveries. Talk with them about what they are experiencing and what is happening around them. Notice and respond to infants when they react to what is happening and encourage them to notice each other’s activities. Set an example by sharing children’s excitement in discovery and exploration on their level (e.g., digging through snow in winter to see if the grass is still there; looking for flower buds in spring and yellowing leaves in fall).

7. Make a wide variety of experiences available to all infants and toddlers, including children with disabilities. Encourage children to use multiple senses (touching, smelling, looking) to explore a variety of materials and experiences (children’s artwork, wall hangings, tapestry, weavings, arrangements of flowers and leaves, great paintings, sculpture, mosaics, different types of music such as classical, dance, jazz, and/or folk, etc.).

8. Talk about the things you like and share your enjoyment in learning new things, trying new activities, etc.

9. Set an example by thinking out loud when actively solving a dilemma or figuring something out.

10. Ask children to communicate what they like, dislike, and enjoy. Use actions, facial expressions, and/or words to reflect what a child seems to be communicating.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

33Approaches to Play and Learning

Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Provide a wide variety of objects, experiences, and materials for exploration. Provide both familiar and new materials in response to children’s interests. Include materials that are found in their homes. Make sure materials are accessible for non-mobile children to look at, listen to, reach for, and touch. Adapt materials (e.g., location, texture, color, etc.) as needed to ensure all children can use them.

2. Furnish materials that will facilitate the re-creation of memories or experiences that a child can share and encourage a spirit of inquiry.

3. Listen and respond to children as they share their thoughts (e.g., open up a discussion of what happened in a class meeting). Provide props (such as an object from the activity being discussed) and pictures to make it easier for children with limited vocabulary or who speak a home language other than English to participate.

4. Provide plenty of time for children to explore and play at their own pace, indoors and outside.

5. Encourage children to share ideas and ask questions of one another. Encourage curiosity by asking open-ended questions (for example, “What will happen when we add the water to the flour?” “What is the man in the picture trying to do?”).

6. Give children many opportunities to experience beauty through all their senses (touching snow, looking at rainbows, smelling freshly mowed grass, tasting different foods, listening to birds chirp). For older children, put illustrated coffee-table books in the classroom’s book area.

7. Visit different types of places so that children have a variety of experiences (such as local museums, parks, grocery stores, the post office, etc.).

8. Talk about the things you like and share your enjoyment in learning new things, trying new activities, etc.

9. Set an example by thinking out loud when actively solving a dilemma or figuring something out.

10. Ask children to communicate what they like, dislike, and enjoy. Use actions, facial expressions, and/or words to reflect what a child seems to be communicating.

34North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Play and Imagination

Goal APL-3: Children engage in increasingly complex play.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show interest in other children playing (watch, turn toward). APL-3a

•Imitate sounds, facial expressions, or gestures (cover face with hands, hands up for “so big”). APL-3b

•Play with simple objects, using them to make sounds and other interesting results. APL-3c

•Begin to participate in give-and-take exchanges of sounds and gestures (“serve and return”). APL-3d

•Play alongside other children, sometimes imitating their actions. APL-3e

•Imitate adult actions with objects, first with real objects and then with objects that are used to represent another object (talk on phone, feed doll, use a chair as pretend car). APL-3f

•Take turns in simple games (pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo). APL-3g

•Offer toys and objects to others. APL-3h

•Try to involve other children in play. APL-3i

•Make believe, pretend, and act out familiar life scenes, sometimes using objects to represent something else (a shoe becomes a phone). APL-3j

•Play with others with a common purpose (play a chase game). APL-3k

•Communicate about what is happening during pretend play (“He eating,” point to a picture on a communication board when feeding a toy baby with a spoon; “Now go work,” after putting on shoes and necktie). APL-3l

•Engage in dramatic play themes that include interacting with other children, but often are not coordinated. APL-3m

•Talk to peers and share materials during play. APL-3n

•Engage in make-believe play with imaginary objects. APL-3o

•Use language to begin and carry on play with others. APL-3p

•Express knowledge of their everyday lives and culture through play (uses chopsticks to eat, pretends to fix hair the way his/her family styles hair). APL-3q

• Develop and sustain more complex pretend play themes in cooperation with peers. APL-3r

•Use more complex and varied language to share ideas and influence others during play. APL-3s

•Choose to use new knowledge and skills during play (add features to dramatic play scene related to class project, write list, build structure like displayed picture). APL-3t

•Demonstrate their cultural values and “rules” through play (tells another child, “That’s not what mommies do.”). APL-3u

35Approaches to Play and Learning

Goal APL-4: Children demonstrate creativity, imagination, and inventiveness.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Use everyday household objects for play (spoons, pots and pans, plastic bowls). APL-4a

•Try a familiar action with a new object or person (try to bounce a block, wave bye-bye to a toy, make a sound to get a new adult’s attention). APL-4b

•React to unexpected events with laughter and interest. APL-4c

•Do new things with familiar objects or combine them in unusual ways (use a dress-up boa as a snake, pound a drum with a plastic bottle, try to stack bears). APL-4d

•Do new things with familiar objects or combine them in unusual ways (use a dress-up boa as a snake, pound a drum with a plastic bottle, try to stack bears). APL-4e

•Pretend to be somebody or something other than themselves. APL-4f

•Pretend one object is really something different (use Legos® as food while stirring a pot). APL-4g

•Offer new ideas about how to do or make things. APL-4h

•Add new actions, props, or dress-up items to pretend play. APL-4i

•Use materials (e.g., art materials, instruments, construction, writing implements) or actions to represent experiences or ideas in novel ways. APL-4j

•Experiment with language, musical sounds, and movement. APL-4k

• Plan play scenarios (dramatic play, construction), and use or create a variety of props or tools to enact them. APL-4l

•Expand the variety of roles taken during dramatic play and add more actions, language, or props to enact roles. APL-4m

•Use materials or actions in increasingly varied and resourceful ways to represent experiences or ideas. APL-4n

•Make up stories, songs, or dances for fun during play. APL-4o

The environment has a big effect on how children demonstrate creativity and

imagination . Teachers and caregivers can encourage creativity and imaginative

play by modeling or demonstrating creativity, and by offering children many

opportunities for pretend play .

36North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Play and Imagination

1. Accept getting messy as part of a child’s learning.

2. Look and plan for children’s differences and their many ways of learning. Use real objects, pictures, music, language, books, the outdoors, active play, quiet activities, and group activities to appeal to children who learn in different ways.

3. Provide materials that can be used in more than one way and encourage children to think of different ways to use them. Encourage trial and error and provide children with adequate time to fully explore materials.

4. Encourage children to notice what others are doing when they are pretending. (“See the way Maya is using the block for a race car.” “Look at Luis and Mary. They are pretending to bake a cake.”)

5. Include unusual art and music materials when planning creative activities for children (for example, jumping on bubble wrap, painting with feet, using classroom items such as blocks and toy pots to make music or create rhythm).

6. Allow and encourage children to solve problems in their own ways.

7. Encourage children to help you make up silly stories so they use their imagination.

8. Make accommodations to the environment and materials to allow opportunities for children with varying abilities and physical needs to fully participate.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

37Approaches to Play and Learning

Play and Imagination

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Encourage children to think about new ideas. (“Have you ever wondered where snow goes?” “Where do birds live?”)

2. Provide a wide range of experiences. For preschoolers, include some experiences in which the goal is to try many different approaches rather than finding one “right” solution.

3. Foster cooperative play and learning groups. Stay involved in the children’s play and learning groups to help children who may be less likely to join in because they don’t communicate as well as other children—ask questions, make suggestions, and draw each child into the play and other activities.

4. Promote the integrated use of materials throughout activities and centers. (“Let’s get some paper from the writing center to make signs for the city you made in the block center.”)

5. Challenge children to consider alternative ideas and endings of stories.

6. Help children accommodate and build on one another’s ideas to achieve common goals (e.g., suggest that individual block structures can be put together to make a much larger one).

7. Provide materials for preschoolers to pretend, to use one object to represent another, and to take on roles. This includes dress-up clothes for a variety of play themes and toys that can be used for many things, such as blocks, scarves, and clay.

8. Look and plan for children’s differences and their many ways of learning. Use real objects, pictures, music, language, books, the outdoors, active play, quiet activities, and group activities to appeal to children who learn in different ways.

9. Watch for and acknowledge increasing complexity in a child’s play. (“Your tower of blocks became a fire station, and now you’ve built a whole town.”)

38North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility

Goal APL-5: Children are willing to try new and challenging experiences.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Explore new experiences both indoors and outdoors (toys, foods, people, spaces) with support of a familiar trusted adult. APL-5a

•Try to do things that are hard for them (stretch to reach toy, work to crawl or walk, try to capture tiny crumb with pincer grasp). APL-5b

•Look to adult for cues and when reassured, proceed. APL- 5c

•Try unfamiliar experiences and interact with new people, with a familiar adult nearby. APL-5d

•Move away from a familiar adult to explore, but check in frequently. APL-5e

•Show interest in toys that offer a challenge and try to work them. APL-5f

•Explore freely without a familiar adult nearby. APL-5g

•Try out new skills in a familiar environment (learn to climb steps and then try to climb ladder to the slide). APL-5h

•Approach a challenge with confidence (try to lift a heavy object, work on a difficult puzzle, “I can do it.”). APL-5i

•Want to do things their own way (say “Me do it!”, push an adult’s hand away if the person is trying to help). APL-5j

•Express a belief that they can do things that are hard. APL-5k

•Choose to participate in an increasing variety of familiar and new experiences. APL-5l

•Accept new challenges when offered. APL-5m

•Try things they are not sure they can do, while avoiding dangerous risks. APL-5n

•Express a belief that they can do things that are hard. APL-5o

•Approach new experiences independently. APL-5p

•Ask to participate in new experiences that they have observed or heard about. APL-5q

•Independently seek new challenges. APL-5r

Temperament influences the way children approach new or

challenging tasks and situations . Depending on their temperament, some children will approach new

or challenging tasks and situations with enthusiasm, while others will

be more wary and cautious . If a child is not a risk taker, it is important

for teachers and caregivers to look for opportunities to build the child’s confidence by noticing times when

he or she tries something new or challenging .

39Approaches to Play and Learning

Goal APL-6: Children use a variety of strategies to solve problems.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Try one or two strategies to get what they want (make noise, move or reach toward things, reject unwanted item). APL-6a

•Try a familiar action in a new activity (hit a button on a new toy, try to open a visitor’s purse). APL-6b

•Use trial and error to get something done, get what they want, or solve simple problems.APL-6c

•Try one or two strategies to get what they want or solve a problem (try giving a peer an alternate toy to get a toy from him/her; try to put a ball in a box—if it will not fit, gets a bigger box). APL-6d

•Use available resources to accomplish a goal or solve a problem (push a stool to a counter to reach for something). APL-6e

•After unsuccessful attempt to solve a problem, ask for help from an adult (point, gesture, speak). APL-6f

•Vary actions on purpose to solve a problem (bang, then turn shape to fit in sorter; shake handle, then pull, to open a drawer). APL-6g

•Try a variety of strategies to get what they want or solve a problem. APL-6h

•Use language to obtain help to solve a problem (tell adults, “My car broke.”). APL-6i

•Use materials in new ways to explore and solve problems (bring a big spoon to the sand table when all of the shovels are in use, pile blocks on a towel and drag them across the floor when there are too many to carry). APL-6j

•Seek and make use of ideas and help from adults and peers to solve problems (“How can I make this paint get off my pants?”). APL-6k

•Purposefully use a variety of strategies to solve different types of problems. APL-6l

•Talk to themselves to work through the steps to solve a problem. APL-6m

•Seek and make use of ideas and help from adults and peers to solve problems (“How can I make this paint get off my pants?”). APL-6n

•Describe the steps they will use to solve a problem. APL-6o

•Evaluate different strategies for solving a problem and select the strategy they feel will work without having to try it. APL-6p

•Explain how they solved a problem to another person. APL-6q

40North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility

1. Provide challenging, high-quality tools and equipment and an abundant supply of thought-provoking, complex materials that can be used in more than one way (e.g., blocks or clay) and are not limited to a single “right” use.

2. Show genuine care, affection, and kindness toward children (e.g., validate their disappointment when a block structure falls down; encourage them to figure out what happened and rebuild). Your support gives children the confidence to take risks.

3. Allow children to do things their own way and take some risks. Intervene when needed to keep children safe.

4. Show pleasure in what children have done. Respond to their expressions of accomplishment. (“You have a big smile on your face! You look happy that you went down the slide all by yourself.”)

5. Model flexibility and acceptance of mistakes or failures. (“Oops, that didn’t work! Let’s try something else.”)

6. Establish a regular yet flexible routine.

7. Recognize that some children have difficulty trying new things, using a toy in a different way, or varying their routines. Try different ways to introduce change and variety (provide advance warning of changes in routine, use pictures for what will happen next, model new ways of using materials). Gradual change is usually best. Work with other professionals to learn strategies that help these children try new things and accept changes when needed.

8. Plan for and recognize different interest levels and abilities to tolerate materials, mistakes, and engagement with other children. Accommodate these differences by being flexible and introducing more challenging experiences gradually.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

41Approaches to Play and Learning

Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Seek and accept children’s ideas. Let them know that their thinking and their efforts are valued more than “getting the right answer.”

2. Recognize that “mistakes” are inevitable and treat them as opportunities to learn. Help children deal with mistakes in a positive way. Avoid criticizing or making fun of them.

3. Set an example by acknowledging one’s own “mistakes” and modeling constructive reactions to them. Model for children by talking about what you are doing as you remain calm, figuring out what went wrong, and trying again.

4. Help children think and talk through different approaches to problems (e.g., when their favorite game isn’t available, encourage them to consider another choice).

5. Encourage children to share, listen, and ask questions of one another and compare strategies and solutions. Support children with varying communication abilities by supporting a variety of ways for children to share, ask questions, and compare.

6. Recognize that some children have difficulty trying new things, using a toy in a different way, or varying their routines. Try different ways to introduce change and variety (provide advance warning of changes in routine, use pictures for what will happen next, model new ways of using materials). Gradual change is usually best. Work with other professionals to learn strategies that help these children try new things and accept changes when needed.

7. Plan for and recognize different interest levels and abilities to tolerate materials, mistakes, and engagement with other children. Accommodate these differences by being flexible and introducing more challenging experiences gradually.

8. Ask probing questions when children appear to be confused to bring them to a greater understanding.

42North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence

Goal APL-7: Children demonstrate initiative.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Communicate with sounds or movements to indicate preferences (make excited sound for food they like, push away food they don’t like). APL-7a

•Independently explore the different qualities of an object (notice the sound of a rattle, then be drawn to the “feel” of it, exploring it with mouth or hand). APL-7b

•Express choices with actions or simple language (choose Cheerios® or a cracker). APL-7c

•Seek to repeat experiences they enjoy or succeed at (do shape sorter over and over, climb up and down stairs). APL-7d

•Select and carry out activities (choose to set the table; gather play dishes and food, and then feed the dolls). APL-7e

•Show increasing interest in performing tasks independently (put on jacket and try to zip it up). APL-7f

•Show and/or tell others what they have done. APL-7g

•Show increasing independence and purpose when making choices (“I want to go to blocks.”). APL-7h

•Express goals or plans and follow through on them (“I’m going to draw my house.”). APL-7i

•Show increasing independence and purpose when making choices (“I’m going to the block area to make a track for my race car.”). APL-7j

•Independently identify and seek things they need to complete activities or tasks (gather supplies and make a birthday card with a message). APL-7k

•Set simple goals that extend over time, make plans and follow through (“Let’s make a rocket ship. We need blocks.”). APL-7l

Children’s willingness to demonstrate initiative varies based on their personality or temperament and familial

and cultrual differences . Some cultures value children who demonstrate initiative, while others may place a low priority

on initiative . Some children are less likely to demonstrate initiative because they are shy or prefer to join an activity

that is already going on in the classroom rather than initiate a new activity or interaction .

43Approaches to Play and Learning

Goal APL-8: Children maintain attentiveness and focus.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Focus and attend to people and things around them. APL-8a

•Repeat interesting actions over and over (push button to make toy pop up). APL-8b

•Notice when the expected does not happen. APL-8c

•Focus on self-selected activity for a short period of time (decide to play in the sandbox and stay there for a couple of minutes). APL-8d

•Focus on an interesting activity or interaction shared with adults for a short period of time. APL-8e

•Focus on a person or a hands-on activity for a short period of time (participate in singing a song, stay focused long enough to build a block tower). APL-8f

•Keep working on interesting activities with other things going on around them. APL-8g

•Focus on age-appropriate activities for a short period of time, even with interruptions (continue working on a puzzle even though another child sitting nearby is laughing and talking). APL-8h

•Remain engaged in more complex activities that they have chosen. APL-8i

•Maintain focus and return to an activity after a break. APL-8j

•Sometimes able to ignore irrelevant information when focusing on a task (sort multicolored wooden beads by shape). APL-8k

•Consistently remain engaged in self-directed activities. APL-8l

Generally, young children have short attention spans; however, by age 4, children can usually pay

attention to a toy or other activity for 8-10 minutes . They can also shift their attention back and forth

between their activity and an adult talking to them, and may be paying attention even when it does not

look like they are . Brief opportunities for children to practice focusing on an activity or experience are

helpful, but only for very short periods of time .

44North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal APL-9: Children persist at challenging activities.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Try over and over to make things happen (make sounds to get attention, work to get to something that is out of reach). APL-9a

•Keep trying to accomplish tasks that they are not able to do immediately (put on a jacket, engage a busy adult in play). APL-9b

•Seek help from others to complete a challenging activity. APL-9c

•Keep working on an activity even after setbacks (block structure collapses, puzzle piece does not fit). APL-9d

•Seek help from others to complete a challenging activity (ask a teacher for help putting a puzzle away on a high shelf; ask a friend for help in naming an unfamiliar animal in a picture). APL-9e

•When something does not work, try different ways to complete the task (when a block tower falls, try putting the blocks together in a different way to build the tower again). APL-9f

•Keep working to complete tasks, including those that are somewhat difficult. APL-9g

•Seek help from others to complete a challenging activity (ask a teacher for help putting a puzzle away on a high shelf; ask a friend for help in naming an unfamiliar animal in a picture). APL-9h

•When something does not work, try different ways to complete the task (when a block tower falls, try putting the blocks together in a different way to build the tower again). APL-9i

•Plan and follow through on longer-term tasks (planting a seed and caring for the plant). APL-9j

•Keep trying until a challenging activity is complete despite distractions or interruptions (multi-piece puzzle started before lunch and completed later). APL-9k

➡➡

45Approaches to Play and Learning

Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence

1. Furnish the classroom with a variety of materials that allow children with diverse interests and abilities to experience success.

2. Set up clearly defined interest areas that provide an abundant supply of toys and materials so that children can carry out ideas without interruption and frustration. Organize the space in a way that allows children who want to work on meaningful activities for extended periods of time to be protected from other children accidentally destroying what they are working on.

3. Plan for smooth transitions when moving children from one activity to another (lunch to nap, center time to cleanup to snack). Let children know ahead of time when transitions are coming so they can begin to finish what they are doing.

4. Provide a variety of activities and materials that offer challenges appropriate to each child’s age and ability level. Encourage each child to try hard, to try different ways of doing things, and to experience challenges.

5. Add new things to the indoor and outdoor environment for children to notice (e.g., windsocks and flags that move in the breeze, bird feeders outside the window, new photographs of family members).

6. Allow children to use materials in their own ways and for extended periods of time. However, keep in mind that some children (e.g., children with disabilities) may use materials in ways that do not help their development. Learn how to respond appropriately to this behavior.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

46North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Provide large, uninterrupted blocks of time for children to play, explore materials, and solve problems at their own pace. Allow children to repeat activities and experiences, and to be involved in activities without interruption.

2. Plan projects that are completed over the course of several days.

3. Help children with limited language skills stay involved with activities by giving them words and other means to communicate if they are having difficulty expressing their ideas or staying focused on an activity.

4. When children indicate they need help, respond by listening and observing to determine what kind of help is needed. Offer help when children show they want and need it, adjusting levels of help to fit the situation and child’s abilities.

5. Ask probing questions when children appear to be losing interest in a problem or activity to help them stay focused for just a bit longer.

6. Encourage children to keep working and focus on effort rather than results. Show that you value their thinking processes by acknowledging their work and effort. (“Look how long and hard you worked on this.”)

7. Help children notice each other’s contributions. Encourage them to listen carefully to what others in the class are saying, ask questions, and work together.

48North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

49Emotional and Social Development

Emotional and Social Development (ESD)

50North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

The Emotional and Social Development domain includes children’s feelings about themselves and their relationships with others. Learning to manage

and express emotions is also a part of this domain. Children’s development in this domain affects their development in every other domain. For instance, children who develop a positive sense of self are more likely to try new things and work toward reaching goals. They tend to accept new challenges and feel more confident about their ability to handle problems or difficulties that may come up.

Children’s social skills and the relationships they form with others are also important for their overall development. Early relationships provide the basis for children’s later relationships with teachers and with peers. Through positive relationships with adults, children learn to understand and care about others and gain skills that help them have an easier time adjusting to the demands of formal schooling when they are older. Sensitive interactions with teachers and caregivers are particularly important for infants and toddlers because they are learning to form attachments, or strong ties to people who care for them. These attachment relationships are the foundation for children’s development in all

Subdomains

Developing a Sense of Self

Developing a Sense of Self With Others

Learning About Feelings

areas. When adults pay attention to children’s emotional and social cues and respond consistently and with positive regard, children feel important. They also learn to feel good about themselves and to relate positively with others.

Children also learn to manage their feelings and impulses during their early years of life. Very young children (infants and toddlers) often need the support of sensitive adults to learn how to regulate their emotions. As children grow, their ability to regulate and manage emotions is developing, but they often still have difficulties controlling their feelings.

A number of factors affect children’s emotional and social development. A child’s temperament plays a big role in how she or he expresses emotions and relates to others. Temperament is the unique way a child responds to the world around him or her. Some children may be generally happy and very friendly, while others may be more withdrawn or shy. Sensitive teachers and caregivers accept that children respond differently to people and new situations based on their temperament, and learn to interact with children in ways that match each child’s temperament to support their emotional and social development.

51Emotional and Social Development

In addition to temperament, children have other characteristics and experiences that can affect their social and emotional development. Children with disabilities may need additional support in learning to express their emotions and/or develop positive relationships. For instance, a child with sensory impairments, such as vision and hearing loss, may need specialized assistance to develop a strong sense of self and/or form relationships with other children. Children who are learning

English in addition to their home language may need some help communicating with peers who do not speak their home language. Teachers and caregivers must be “in tune” with each child as an individual in order to fully support children’s emotional and social development.

Finally, a child’s family and culture play an important role in emotional and social development. Some families and cultures encourage children to be more reserved,

while others may encourage children to be more outgoing. Cultures and families also have different expectations for other areas of emotional and social development, such as expectations for how children communicate, the degree to which children are expected to be assertive, and the way that children show respect to adults. Teachers and caregivers should keep these types of cultural differences in mind as they support children’s emotional and social development.

Emotional and Social Development (ESD)Developing a Sense of Self• Goal ESD-1: Children demonstrate a positive sense of self-identity and self-awareness.• Goal ESD-2: Children express positive feelings about themselves and confidence in what they can do.

Developing a Sense of Self With Others• Goal ESD-3: Children form relationships and interact positively with familiar adults who are consistent and

responsive to their needs.• Goal ESD-4: Children form relationships and interact positively with other children.• Goal ESD-5: Children demonstrate the social and behavioral skills needed to successfully participate in

groups.

Learning About Feelings• Goal ESD-6: Children identify, manage, and express their feelings.• Goal ESD-7: Children recognize and respond to the needs and feelings of others.

52North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Developing a Sense of Self

Goal ESD-1: Children demonstrate a positive sense of self-identity and self-awareness.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show awareness of their bodies (study own hands and feet moving; use hands, mouth, and eyes in coordination to explore their bodies). ESD-1a

•Show interest in their image in a mirror (stare, smile, reach out to touch). ESD-1b

•Respond to their name with sounds or movement. ESD-1c

•Express likes and dislikes (smile, cry, and protest). ESD-1d

•Show awareness of specific body parts. ESD-1e

•Recognize themselves in a mirror (point to self, make faces in mirror). ESD-1f

•Express choices with gestures, signs, or words (select a toy they want). ESD-1g

•Show awareness of some of their own characteristics and things they can do (recognize themselves in pictures, say, “I help Daddy!”). ESD-1h

•Use their own name or a personal pronoun to refer to themselves (I, me, and mine). ESD-1i

•Make choices and have favorite clothes, toys, and activities. ESD-1j

•Describe self (characteristics that can be seen, things they can do, things they like, possessions). ESD-1k

•Express a sense of belonging to a group (say “There’s Kirby from my class,” move to stand with own group upon request, “I am a girl.”). ESD-1l

•Use own first and last name. ESD-1m

•Choose activities they like and name their favorite activities. ESD-1n

•Describe themselves in concrete ways, with greater detail and accuracy (“My eyes are brown.” “I am tall.”). ESD-1o

•Express awareness that they are members of different groups (e.g., family, preschool class, ethnic group). ESD-1p

•Choose to spend more time on preferred activities, and express awareness of skills they are developing. ESD-1q

53Emotional and Social Development

Goal ESD-2: Children express positive feelings about themselves and confidence in what they can do.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show they expect results from their actions (repeat loud noise to gain attention, hit toy over and over to produce sound). ESD-2a

•Show pleasure at things they have done (wiggle, coo, laugh). ESD-2b

•Explore the environment with support from a familiar, trusted adult. ESD-2c

•Explore the environment on their own, but check in with a familiar, trusted adult occasionally. ESD-2d

•Show confidence in their ability to make things happen by repeating or changing their actions to reach a goal (move closer to reach an object they want). ESD-2e

•Bring others things they like or show them things they have done. ESD-2f

•Express positive feelings about themselves by showing and/or telling others about themselves, things they like, or things they have done. ESD-2g

•Explore the environment independently to satisfy their own interests (seek out toy or favorite materials). ESD-2h

•Show confidence in their abilities through actions and/or language (try to lift a heavy object, say, “I’m strong!”). ESD-2i

•Attempt to reach goals without help from others (push adult away, say “Me do it myself!”). ESD-2j

•Express positive feelings about themselves by showing and/or telling others about themselves, things they like, or things they have done. ESD-2k

•Express the belief that they can do many things. ESD-2l

•Try new activities and attempt new challenges. ESD-2m

•Express positive feelings about themselves by showing and/or telling others about themselves, things they like, or things they have done. ESD-2n

•Express the belief that they can do many things. ESD-2o

•Stick with tasks even when they are challenging. ESD-2p

•Express opinions about their abilities in different areas (“I’m a good friend.” I can run fast.” “I know all my letters!”). ESD-2q

➡➡

Home language and culture are an important part of children’s

developing self-concept and self-identity . Teachers and

caregivers can help to support this process by creating an environment that reflects

the children they serve and addresses children’s languages and cultures in a respectful and

authentic way .

54North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Developing a Sense of Self

1. Observe children carefully. Learn how each child prefers to be held for feeding, sleeping, or comforting and how he or she reacts to things like noise, light, or touch. Also, ask parents or guardians. Use what you learn to provide consistent, predictable care and help each child be comfortable. Share what you know with others who care for the child.

2. Keep brief notes on each child to help you remember the unique needs of each individual child. Use this information as you plan how you will care for the child.

3. Take plenty of time to interact with each infant in a relaxed way during everyday caregiving routines such as diapering, dressing, and feeding. Plan ahead so that you have everything you need (such as supplies and clean hands) before you start routines. Then you can focus only on the child.

4. Hold and talk to babies individually throughout the day, not only during diapering, dressing, and eating times. Cuddle them while reading a book or playing with a toy.

5. If possible, use children’s home language in daily conversations with them.

6. Talk with infants as you watch them explore their bodies. For example, say, “Look, at your hands, Jalen. You are moving your fingers.”

7. Be on the floor with children. Support and encourage them by making eye contact and talking with them.

8. Offer a comfort object such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal to help a child feel secure when he or she is stressed.

9. Place unbreakable mirrors in different areas of the room so children get to see themselves often (for example, above the changing table and on the walls at child’s eye level).

10. Try to avoid telling children “no” by giving them choices that are OK. Give them many chances to make choices and decisions. For example, if a toddler tries to grab a toy from another child, offer two other similar toys to choose from. Offer two different snacks, or let children choose which book to read.

11. Respect toddlers when they try to get what they want or do something their own way. Be patient, give them time to work at things, and encourage them to communicate what they want.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

55Emotional and Social Development

Strategies for Preschoolers

Developing a Sense of Self

1. Help establish a sense of trust and security by developing warm and responsive relationships with every child. Greet each of them by name daily. Through smiles or friendly gestures, show you are pleased to see them.

2. Respect individual temperaments and personal uniqueness and be aware of any personal circumstances in a child’s life.

3. Encourage children to express their feelings through appropriate words and actions.

4. Communicate often with children, both individually and in small groups. Listen to what they are saying and show you value their opinions by acknowledging them and building on their ideas.

5. Involve children in planning related to the classroom (e.g., ask for and use their ideas about visual displays, book selections, and activities).

6. If possible, use children’s home language in daily conversations with them.

7. Help children identify themselves as unique individuals and as members of different groups (e.g., create and display family photo books; ask the children to describe something that is special about another child; put a full-length mirror in the classroom; use given names and pronounce them correctly).

8. Design the classroom in a way that stimulates and challenges children and gives them choices that are appropriate for a range of ages, developmental stages, and abilities (e.g., freshen materials in activity centers to reflect emerging themes generated by children and children’s interests).

9. Support the growth of children’s feelings of competence and self-confidence (e.g., use books and games they create; provide access to materials that encourage them to stretch their abilities; provide positive comments about their accomplishments).

10. Allow children to experiment without fear of criticism or danger. Treat mishaps such as spilling, dropping, or knocking over objects as opportunities for positive learning.

11. Make the classroom environment safe, pleasant, and joyful. Promote the use of humor and singing.

12. Make room in the classroom for cozy, safe areas where children can be alone if they wish.

13. Get to know children’s families and value them as partners. Invite their participation and input through comment cards, home visits, and casual conversation – especially when things are going well.

56North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Developing a Sense of Self With Others Goal ESD-3: Children form relationships and interact positively with familiar adults who are

consistent and responsive to their needs.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Enjoy being held, cuddled, and talked to by familiar adults. ESD-3a

•Recognize and reach out to familiar people. ESD-3b

•Seek to be near their caregivers; stop crying when they come near. ESD-3c

•Show signs of separation anxiety when a familiar caregiver leaves. ESD-3d

•Make eye contact with others. ESD-3e

• Imitate sounds, facial expressions, or gestures they see other people do (peek-a-boo, hands up for “so big”). ESD-3f

•Show preference for and emotional connection with adults who take care of them on a regular basis (“check in” with caregiver while playing, greet family member with big hug, seek out caregiver when upset or uncertain, exhibit anxiety when adult leaves). ESD-3g

•Offer toys and objects to familiar adults. ESD-3h

•Form close relationships with their primary caregivers and other familiar adults. ESD-3i

•Seek help from trusted adults when upset (when fearful or having difficulty with something). ESD-3j

•Are less likely to get upset when primary caregiver is with them. ESD-3k

•Use words to influence caregivers’ behavior (ask for help, talk about something they want the adult to do). ESD-3l

•Seek out trusted teachers and caregivers as needed (for emotional support, physical assistance, social interaction, problem-solving, and approval). ESD-3m

•Show affection for adults they are close to. ESD-3n

•Given time, form positive relationships with new teachers or caregivers. ESD-3o

•Show ease and comfort in their interactions with familiar adults. ESD-3p

•Seek out trusted teachers and caregivers as needed (for emotional support, physical assistance, social interaction, problem-solving, and approval). ESD-3q

•Form positive relationships with new teachers or caregivers over time. ESD-3r

•Use language effectively to continue conversations with familiar adults and to influence their behavior (ask for help, ask an adult to do something). ESD-3s

Temperament also plays a role in children’s relationships . Depending

on their temperament, some children may have an easy time meeting new people . Other children may be more hesitant and/or shy, and may need

more time and support before they feel comfortable enough to interact with

adults and peers .

57Emotional and Social Development

Goal ESD-4: Children form relationships and interact positively with other children.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Notice other infants and children (look at them, turn in other’s direction, reach for them, touch them). ESD-4a

•Show pleasure at the arrival of familiar peers. ESD-4b

•Enjoy playing alongside other children. ESD-4c

•Imitate actions of older siblings and playmates. ESD-4d

•Offer toys and objects to other children. ESD-4e

•Show affection or preference for particular children (spontaneously hug, want to play, call other child a friend). ESD-4f

•Remember and use names of familiar playmates. ESD-4g

•Use appropriate words to influence playmates’ behavior (“Play with me.” “Stop hitting me.”). ESD-4h

•Participate in play with other children. ESD-4i

•Show positive emotion and turn taking with familiar playmates (agree to chase each other, watch and imitate each other’s play with toys). ESD-4j

•Demonstrate social skills when interacting with other children (turn-taking, conflict resolution, sharing). ESD-4k

•Form and maintain friendships with a few other children. ESD-4l

•Identify another child as a friend. ESD-4m

•Approach other children easily, expecting positive interactions. ESD-4n

•Show ease and comfort in their interactions with familiar children. ESD-4o

•Demonstrate social skills when interacting with other children (turn-taking, conflict resolution, sharing). ESD-4p

•Form and maintain friendships with other children of diverse cultural backgrounds and abilities. ESD-4q

•Seek and give support with children they identify as friends. ESD-4r

•Use language effectively to have conversations with other children and influence another child’s behavior (negotiate sharing a toy, plan how to build a block tower together). ESD-4s

•Play and interact cooperatively with other children (work on project together, exchange ideas). ESD-4t

Children whose home language is different from the language spoken in the classroom may need extra time and support to develop peer relationships because it may be difficult to

communicate with their peers . Teachers should also keep in mind that culture may play a

role in children’s relationships . Families differ in terms of the social skills and behaviors are

valued and expected .

58North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal ESD-5: Children demonstrate the social and behavioral skills needed to successfully participate in groups.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging •Use gestures, sounds, objects, or words to get another person to do something (bring box to adult to be opened, make noise to get someone to look). ESD-5a

•Follow simple directions some of the time. ESD-5b

•Control impulses some of the time (look at forbidden object and say, “No, no,” allow adult to direct them to a different activity). ESD-5c

•Accept adult help to resolve problems and conflicts, and cooperate when an adult redirects them from a situation that poses a problem. ESD-5d

•Follow social rules, transitions, and routines that have been explained to them, with reminders and practice. ESD-5e

•Adjust their behavior to fit different situations (tiptoe near a sleeping baby, use a quiet voice inside, runs outside). ESD-5f

•Evaluate their own and others’ actions as right or wrong (pointing out another child is climbing on the table). ESD-5g

•Show caring and cooperation (help to put away toys, offer to help another person). ESD-5h

•Wait for a short time to get what they want (a turn with a toy, a snack), with guidance and support. ESD-5i

•Accept “no” without getting overly upset. ESD-5j

• Follow social rules, transitions, and routines that have been explained to them, with reminders and practice. ESD-5k

•Often make requests clearly and effectively. ESD-5l

•Show awareness that their actions affect others (move carefully around classmate’s block structure). ESD-5m

•Wait for a short time to get what they want (a turn with a toy, a snack). ESD-5n

•Work to resolve conflicts effectively, with guidance and support. ESD-5o

•Notice and accept similarities and differences among all people, including people with disabilities and those from different cultures. ESD-5p

•Follow social rules, transitions, and routines that have been explained to them. ESD-5q

•Make requests clearly and effectively most of the time. ESD-5r

•Balance their own needs with those of others in the group. ESD-5s

•Anticipate consequences and plan ways to solve problems effectively, with guidance and support. ESD-5t

•Use a variety of strategies to solve problems and conflicts with increasing independence. ESD-5u

•Express respect and caring for all people, including people with disabilities and those from different cultures. ESD-5v

Taking turns and waiting are important aspects of participating in a group . Generally, young children are not good at waiting . It is important that teachers try

to minimize the amount of time children have to wait for materials and/or activities . To help encourage and support children’s ability to wait, teachers can occasionally

build in opportunities to practice waiting for very short periods of time .

59Emotional and Social Development

Developing a Sense of Self With Others

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

1. To promote attachment, allow only a small number of people to care for each young child regularly.

2. When there is more than one caregiver in the room, assign one specific person to be the primary caregiver for each young child. The primary caregiver should complete all of the child’s daily caregiving routines, such as feeding and diapering. This helps the child develop a strong relationship with the caregiver and helps the caregiver learn about the uniqueness of the child. If the primary caregiver is absent, assign a person familiar to the child to be the primary caregiver.

3. Watch infants for signs that they are not becoming attached. For example, a child might become passive, not react to something that would typically upset a child, or seem not to thrive like other infants. Talk with family members, administrators, or other professionals if you observe these signs.

4. Recognize that fear of strangers and separation anxiety are normal stages of attachment in mobile infants. Help parents understand that fear of strangers and separation anxiety are normal.

5. Treat children as individuals by using their names rather than just talking to them as a group.

6. Maintain eye contact and interact with children in an engaging way during caregiving routines such as diapering and feeding.

7. Allow infants and toddlers to be with and watch others much of the day.

8. Set up interest areas with enough toys and materials for two to three children to play without having to argue over the materials.

9. Model “gentle touches” for toddlers as they interact with others.

10. Encourage family members to say goodbye to their infants and toddlers. This helps children understand what to expect when family members leave and trust that their loved ones will come back.

11. Realize that parents may be afraid that if their child becomes attached to other caregivers, their child might be less attached to them. Reassure parents and guardians that children can become attached to more than one person and will not become less attached to them.

12. Support each child’s attachment to his/her family while the child is in your care. Greet both the infant/toddler and family members as they arrive and depart. Talk about family members with children during the day. Set up a communication system (report form, notebook) to let families know what the child’s day has been like.

60North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Developing a Sense of Self With Others

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Create opportunities for children to interact with others who have varying characteristics and abilities, identifying and pointing out areas in which they share a common interest.

2. Observe children in the classroom and facilitate their entry into social groups with their peers. Serve as broker between Dual Language Learners and children who speak English to facilitate their engagement in play with others. For example: Travis just joined the dramatic play center. Prompt him: “Travis, ask your classmates what they are playing.” Then address classmates: “What part/job can Travis do?”

3. Alert children to the feelings and emotional needs of others (e.g., display and talk about pictures depicting various emotions; point out how children feel in various real-life situations).

4. Be aware of social interactions among children and create opportunities to support friendships. For example, create inviting areas within the room where small groups of children can play.

5. Help children see the effect of their behavior on others by encouraging them to see others’ perspectives and share their ideas about solving problems and social conflicts (e.g., assist the process of conflict resolution).

6. Allow children to share ownership of the classroom by participating in discussions related to classroom decisions and helping to establish rules and routines.

7. Model asking for and understanding the viewpoints and opinions of others.

8. Promote an atmosphere of cooperation instead of competition (e.g., introduce activities that require two or three children to work together).

9. Provide opportunities for children to be responsible members of the classroom community, respecting shared rights and property and helping others (e.g., assign individual cubbies for belongings; rotate responsibility for tending classroom plants).

10. Maintain an ongoing flow of information between school and family, through home-school journals or cassette tapes, suggestion boxes, weekly newsletters, phone calls, or classroom visits.

11. Make the classroom the children’s space, with displays of their creations, experiences, interests, and cultures.

12. Provide adaptive equipment and materials when a child needs support to be active and successful in program routines and activities. When children are able to participate, they feel a sense of belonging and security.

61Emotional and Social Development

Learning About Feelings

Goal ESD-6: Children identify, manage, and express their feelings.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, and anger) with their face, body, and voice. ESD-6a

•Show when they feel overwhelmed or are in distress or pain (cry, yawn, look away, extend arms or legs, arch their body, fuss). ESD-6b

•Soothe themselves (suck thumb or pacifier, shift attention, snuggle with soft toy). ESD-6c

•Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear and anger) with their face, body, and voice. ESD-6d

•Use body language, facial expression, and sometimes words to communicate feelings (clap when happy, pout and hunch shoulders when sad, shout “Whee!” when excited). ESD-6e

•Separate from parent or main caregiver without being overcome by stress. ESD-6f

•Find comfort and calm down in a familiar setting or with a familiar person. ESD-6g

•Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, tenderness, hostility, shame, guilt, satisfaction, and love) with their face, body, vocal sounds, and words. ESD-6h

•Communicate to make needs known. ESD-6i

•Manage emotions and control impulses with guidance and support (Say “I don’t like that!” instead of hitting; wait by door instead of running ahead when excited to go out). ESD-6j

•Display emotional outbursts less often. ESD-6k

•Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, tenderness, hostility, shame, guilt, satisfaction, and love) with their face, body, vocal sounds, and words. ESD-6l

•Use a variety of words or signs to express and manage feelings more clearly. ESD-6m

•Describe reasons for their feelings (“I’m sad because Grandma’s leaving.” “That makes me mad when you do that!”). ESD-6n

•Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, tenderness, hostility, shame, guilt, satisfaction, and love) with their face, body, vocal sounds, and words. ESD-6o

•Independently manage and express feelings effectively most of the time. ESD-6p

•Use a larger vocabulary for talking about different feelings (“I’m frustrated with that puzzle!” “I’m excited about our trip.”). ESD-6q

• Give reasons for their feelings that may include thoughts and beliefs as well as outside events (“I’m happy because I wanted to win and I did.”). ESD-6r

•Use problem-solving strategies when feeling angry or frustrated. ESD-6sTeachers and caregivers

should keep in mind that the way children

express their emotions may be different for

children from different cultural groups .

➡ ➡ ➡

62North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal ESD-7: Children recognize and respond to the needs and feelings of others.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Become upset when another infant is crying. ESD-7a

•Respond differently to positive vs. negative emotional expressions of others. ESD-7b

•Try to comfort another child or an adult who is upset (bring a comfort object, pat the person on the back). ESD-7c

•Look at familiar caregivers to see how the caregiver is feeling (do something wrong and look to see if the caregiver is angry, bump head and start crying after the caregiver expresses concern/tries to comfort). ESD-7d

•Match their tone and emotions to that of others during interactions. ESD-7e

•Try to comfort another child or an adult who is upset (bring a comfort object, pat the person on the back). ESD-7f

•Communicate concern for others (share a toy with someone who doesn’t have one, ask, “Are you OK?”). ESD-7g

•Offer help to meet the needs of others (pick up item someone dropped, help another child who is having trouble building a block tower). ESD-7h

•Recognize facial expressions or actions associated with different emotions. ESD-7i

• Try to comfort another child or an adult who is upset (bring a comfort object, pat the person on the back). ESD-7j

•Communicate concern for others (share a toy with someone who doesn’t have one, ask, “Are you OK?”). ESD-7k

• Offer help to meet the needs of others (pick up item someone dropped, help another child who is having trouble building a block tower). ESD-7l

•Show awareness that other people have different feelings (“I like raisins but he doesn’t.” “I’m scared on that ride but she isn’t.”). ESD-7m

•Communicate understanding and empathy for others’ feelings. ESD-7n

•Show awareness that their behavior can affect the feelings of others (say, “I didn’t mean to scare you when I yelled.”). ESD-7o

•Choose to act in ways that show respect for others’ feelings and points of view most of the time with guidance and support (compliment each other during play, work out conflicts, show respect for opinions expressed by others). ESD-7p

➡➡

Some children, particularly those with Asperger’s or autism, may not recognize how other children are

feeling and need help from teachers and caregivers in order to respond

appropriately to the needs and feelings of others .

63Emotional and Social Development

Learning About Feelings

1. Be aware of infants’ and toddlers’ reactions and reassure them that you are there for them. Let them know you care for them even when they have strong negative feelings. Give them hugs, cheers, and hold them in your lap if they welcome these touches. (Remember, some children prefer to be comforted in other ways.)

2. Pay attention to infants’ signals that they are overwhelmed. Give them some quiet time or extra time cuddling with you to help them recover. Take them out of situations where there are too many people, too much noise, or too much stimulation of any kind.

3. Talk about your own feelings with the children. Use words to describe your emotions.

4. Use “feeling” words to acknowledge and label emotions that you see the child is experiencing (“You’re very mad!” “You look sad.”). This helps the child to feel understood and learn to use words to describe feelings.

5. Understand that expression of feelings (both positive and negative) is important to healthy emotional development. Children need to express both types of feelings and have adults accept these feelings.

6. Provide adaptive equipment and materials when a child needs support to be active and successful in program routines and activities. When children are able to participate, they feel a sense of belonging and security.

7. Focus on each toddler’s positive qualities and accomplishments. Avoid talking about children as good or bad, or messy or neat.

8. Accept the toddler’s mistakes as a natural process of learning and exploring. Use supportive language such as “Oh, the milk spilled. Let’s get a paper towel and clean it up,” rather than “You’re so clumsy. You made a mess.”

9. Encourage independent choices so toddlers can feel a sense of control and success. For example, let them decide how to play and when they need to go to the toilet. Let them do things for themselves even if they do not do it exactly the way you would have.

10. Provide opportunities for toddlers to repeat successful activities over and over again until they are ready to move on to something more challenging. Have many different toys available to toddlers at the same time.

11. Use transition objects or comfort toys to help children change routines or settings.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

64North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Learning About Feelings

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Incorporate small and large group lessons focused on a discussion about feelings into regular classroom activities. Allow children to describe their feelings related to a personal event or classroom event, etc.

2. Make books about feelings available in the book area and for check-out. Include simple books with children’s faces depicting feelings (can be teacher created or purchased).

5. Read a familiar book and discuss each character’s feelings or reactions.

6. Give children words to explain why they feel a certain way if they cannot express it themselves. (“I think you are angry because Joanie took your toy. Can you tell her?”)

7. Guide children through brief exercises that can help reduce stress. For example, teach children how to take deep breaths when they are upset or to reach up and stretch their muscles to reduce tension.

8. Understand that expression of feelings (both positive and negative) is important to healthy emotional development. Children need to express both types of feelings and have adults accept these feelings.

9. Focus on each child’s positive qualities and accomplishments. Avoid talking about children as good or bad, or messy or neat.

10. Talk with children about how other children might feel, particularly if they have done something to upset another child.

3. Use a small flip chart with pictured expressions and labels so children can turn to the emotion that fits what they are feeling (or have an adult help them find it), especially nonverbal children or children who have language delays or difficulty with expressive language.

4. Include a “peace talk” area or corner where children can go for conflict resolution when they have a disagreement.

66North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development66North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

67Health and Physical Development

Health and Physical Development (HPD)

68North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development68North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

The domain of Health and Physical Development focuses on physical growth and motor development, sound nutritional choices, self-care, and health/

safety practices. This domain is the foundation for the future health and well-being of all children. Good physical health and motor development supports children’s learning and plays a part in their ability to be successful in almost any type of activity.

During the time from birth to age five, children’s bodies go through a period of rapid growth. Their body more than doubles in size and their brain develops more rapidly than during any other period in the lifespan. Helping children establish good health practices and eating habits is extremely important. Good nutrition promotes not only physical growth and health, but also cognitive development skills such as memory, problem solving, and decision-making. Children grow and develop best when they are provided a healthy and balanced diet, have sufficient rest, and are physically active so that they develop strength and stamina.

In addition to healthy eating habits, children must have a variety of physical experiences that promote physical fitness and allow

them to practice motor skills. Although developmental milestones don’t occur at the exact same time for all children, their growth and motor development tends to follow a similar sequence as their skills build upon each other. They move from turning over to sitting up, from crawling to walking, and then from running to playing organized games. They also develop fine or small motor skills as they learn to use their hands for a variety of tasks. Early childhood programs can promote physical development by providing children with a safe, supervised environment where play is encouraged and children have ample opportunities to explore.

Health and physical development also includes children’s growing independence in carrying out personal routines and their awareness of health and safety concerns. This awareness and independence grows when children begin to participate in group and individual routines such as changing diapers, putting away toys, or washing their hands. It is particularly important to pay attention to families’ preferences and the routines that children are accustomed to at home. Self-care routines that are consistent with the family’s culture will be more comfortable for children. Also, teachers and caregivers should be careful to help children develop a sense of independence

Subdomains

Physical Health and Growth

Motor Development

Self-Care

Safety Awareness

69Health and Physical Development

in ways that are comfortable for families. When children are very young, they need the constant presence and guidance of adults to help them carry out routines and ensure their safety. However, as they grow older, they show greater independence and begin to understand that some situations are dangerous. Caregivers and teachers can work with families to decide when and how to promote children’s self-care routines and independence.

Finally, it is important to remember that each child develops at his/her own pace. However, teachers and caregivers may be the first to notice that a child’s development is not consistent with typical expectations. If a parent or teacher is concerned that a child is not meeting many or all of the Goals and Developmental Indicators described in this document, additional evaluation may be needed. You should consult a pediatrician, neurologist, or developmental specialist to determine if further intervention is needed.

Health and Physical Development (HPD)Physical Health and Growth• Goal HPD-1: Children develop healthy eating habits.• Goal HPD-2: Children engage in active physical play indoors

and outdoors. • Goal HPD-3: Children develop healthy sleeping habits.

Motor Development• Goal HPD-4: Children develop the large muscle control and abilities

needed to move through and explore their environment.• Goal HPD-5: Children develop small muscle control and hand-eye

coordination to manipulate objects and work with tools.

Self-Care• Goal HPD-6: Children develop awareness of their needs and the

ability to communicate their needs. • Goal HPD-7: Children develop independence in caring for

themselves and their environment.

Safety Awareness• Goal HPD-8: Children develop awareness of basic safety rules and

begin to follow them.

70North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development70North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Physical Health and Growth

Goal HPD-1: Children develop healthy eating habits.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show interest in feeding routines. HPD-1a

•Help with feeding themselves (eat finger foods, hold bottle. HPD-1b

•Show hunger or fullness using actions, sounds, or words (cry or search for food, turn away when full). HPD-1c

•Show food preferences. HPD-1d

•Respond to different textures of food in their mouth (wait for the next bite, spit out food, turn head away). HPD-1e

•Eat different kinds of food such as liquids, pureed or soft foods, and finely chopped food. HPD-1f

•Try new foods. HP1-g

•Feed themselves with some assistance (may use hands, utensils or cups). HPD-1h

•Ask for or accept food when hungry. HPD-1i

•Eat enough to meet nutritional needs, even when amount or type of food varies over time (eat a lot at one meal and little at the next, show interest in many foods but no interest in others). HPD-1j

•Eat a variety of small pieces of age-appropriate table foods. HPD-1k

•Try new foods.

HPD-1l

•Feed themselves using utensils and hands. HPD-1m

•Accept or refuse food depending on their appetite and personal preference (make food choices at a meal, leave unwanted food on plate, ask for seconds of favorite food). HPD-1n

•Notice and talk about food preferences, textures, temperatures, and tastes (crunchy crackers, warm soup, sweet apples). HPD-1o

•Try new foods. HPD-1p

•Feed themselves with utensils independently. HPD-1q

•Communicate that some foods are good for them (fresh fruits, vegetables, milk) and some are not healthy (potato chips, soda). HPD-1r

•Try new foods. HPD-1s

•Feed themselves with utensils independently. HPD-1t

•Given a selection of familiar foods, identify which foods are nutritious and which are not. HPD-1u

•Talk about variety and amount of foods needed to be healthy (can identify what is missing from their meal). HPD-1v

•Name foods and beverages that help to build healthy bodies. HPD-1w

➡ ➡➡➡

Children from all cultural backgrounds will be accustomed to eating different types of

foods, some of which may be less nutritious . It’s important to respect family preferences and to also introduce the idea that children should eat moderate amounts of a variety of

foods, including healthy foods .

71Health and Physical Development

Goal HPD-2: Children engage in active physical play indoors and outdoors.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Engage in physically active movements (spending time on their tummy, repeating actions, kicking, waving arms, rolling over). HPD-2a

•Move their bodies to explore the indoor and outdoor environment. HPD-2b

•Develop strength and stamina by continuing movements over short periods of time. HPD-2c

•Show they enjoy active play and seek to be physically active (choose to play often on climber, laugh and squeal while moving). HPD-2d

•Anticipate and ask for outdoor play (point at door and say, “Out!”, resist coming indoors). HPD-2e

•Engage in regular and sustained movement (push toys around play yard, go up and down slide over and over). HPD-2f

•Develop strength and stamina as they use large muscles and participate in physical activity for longer periods of time. HPD-2g

•Develop strength and stamina by spending moderate periods of time playing vigorously. HPD-2h

•Show satisfaction with new active skills and strengths (ask others to watch them, say, “I’m big and strong!”). HPD-2i

•With guidance and support, transition from active to quiet activities. HPD-2j

•Develop strength and stamina by spending moderate periods of time playing vigorously. HPD-2k

•Choose a variety of structured and unstructured physical activities indoors and outdoors. HPD-2l

•Participate in simple games and other structured motor activities that enhance physical fitness (songs with movement, throwing and catching). HPD-2m

•Transition from active to quiet activities with limited guidance and support. HPD-2n

•Develop strength and stamina by spending extended periods of time playing vigorously. HPD-2o

•Communicate ways exercise keeps us healthy and makes us feel good. HPD-2p

•Participate in structured and unstructured motor activities that build strength, speed, flexibility, and coordination (red light, green light; chase; free play). HPD-2q

•Transition independently from active to quiet activities most of the time. HPD-2r

➡ ➡

Young children need both teacher-

directed and free-play activities to promote

participation in active physical play .

72North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development72North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal HPD-3: Children develop healthy sleeping habits.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Sleep for longer periods at a time (more at night, and less during the day). HPD-3a

•Settle down and fall asleep after a routine that includes a familiar series of events. HPD-3b

•Develop a personal sleep routine or pattern. HPD-3c

•Cooperate with sleep routines (choose a book, get preferred sleep toy). HPD-3d

•Use simple sounds, gestures, or words to show they are tired (say, “Night, night.”). HPD-3e

•Use language about sleep (say, “Time for bed,” after clearing lunch things; give sign for sleep). HPD-3f

•With guidance, participate in sleep routines (wash hands after lunch, get blanket, lie down on bed or mat). HPD-3g

•Fall asleep on their own. HPD-3h

•Recognize and communicate signs of being tired. HPD-3i

•With increasing independence, start and participate in sleep routines. HPD-3j

•Communicate ways sleep keeps us healthy and makes us feel good. HPD-3k

•Independently start and participate in sleep routines most of the time. HPD-3l

In some cultures, children are not

expected to sleep independently or fall asleep on their own . Teachers should be

sensitive to a family’s preferences about

how their child goes to sleep .

73Health and Physical Development

Physical Health and Growth

1. Promote and support breastfeeding for young children. Provide storage for breast milk, private areas for nursing mothers, and education about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and infant. Feed iron-fortified formula to infants who are not breastfeeding.

2. When an infant shows early signs of hunger (e.g., beginning to stir when sleeping), begin preparing food or milk so it is ready when the child is ready to eat. Allow enough time for them to finish bottles or food.

3. Ask families about food allergies and serve only foods children are not allergic to. Also, ask about any history of allergies in the family. Some children may need to avoid eggs, peanuts, nuts, and fish until they are two or three.

4. Allow children to leave food uneaten. Do not force them to eat more than they want. They may be full.

5. Allow enough time for children to explore foods with their fingers and to eat.

6. Eat healthy foods with children (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products,

and protein). Talk about foods and how they help the body. (“Milk makes your bones and teeth strong.”)

7. Offer a variety of safe and healthy foods that meet the nutritional needs of infants and toddlers. Ask families what they eat at home and offer these foods. Serve foods that respect the family’s cultural, religious, and other preferences, and that represent the cultures of the children in the classroom.

8. Encourage young children to try new foods. Offer a new food up to 10 times if needed to let a child get used to a new taste and texture.

9. Offer types, sizes, and textures of food that each infant or toddler can eat safely and successfully. Work with families, dietitians, and health care professionals to offer the breast milk, formula, foods, and other forms of nutrition appropriate for children with special nutritional needs.

10. For young children who need help eating and drinking, offer support, proper positioning, special equipment, and many chances to practice eating and drinking. Offer cups and spoons and encourage children to feed themselves when they are ready.

11. Some infants and toddlers are highly sensitive to light, noise, and the way they are touched. Provide spaces that offer less stimulation so they can feel calm and comfortable. Work with families and specialists to offer appropriate physical activity for these children.

12. Ask families to share the sleep routine used at home and use it in the childcare environment if appropriate (rock the child to sleep, let them hold a special toy). Learn and say the words families use to tell someone they are tired. Use these words and teach children to use them to tell you they are tired.

13. Provide areas for children to rest to accommodate individual sleep needs. Infants and toddlers should have individual nap schedules.

14. Help children learn to calm themselves and fall asleep. For infants, consider playing soft music, lowering the lights, and quieting the environment. For older children who choose their own sleep positions, rubbing their back may help them relax and fall asleep.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

74North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development74North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Physical Health and Growth

1. Model and discuss healthy eating habits and provide a variety of nutritious snacks and meals.

2. Develop a routine schedule for eating regular meals and snacks.

3. Work with families to develop cultural and religious awareness relating to foods and traditions of mealtime.

4. Provide activities that encourage children to explore a variety of foods, textures, and use of utensils.

5. Allow and encourage children to serve and clean up food. Provide materials for pretend play about shopping, cooking, serving, eating, and cleaning up.

6. Invite and encourage children to participate in physical activity and free play every day. Schedule several periods of active physical play each day, with each period lasting thirty to sixty minutes. Include time for child-directed play and adult-directed activities, and participate with children in the activities.

7. Share information about programs or activities in the community that encourage physical activity for families, including children with special needs: parks, greenways, playgrounds, swimming pools, lakes, and gyms.

8. Take children outside often and regularly in all seasons. Dress them appropriately for the weather (raincoats, sweaters, boots, mittens, coats, hats). Show children you enjoy being outdoors and encourage them to explore the outdoor environment.

9. Read books about healthy practices. Discuss the concepts of rest, exercise, and good eating related to good health.

10. Carry out sleep routines that meet the child’s needs and take into account the beliefs, customs, and needs of families.

11. Encourage and support children’s need for rest and relaxation by scheduling both active and quiet times during the day.

Strategies for Preschoolers

75Health and Physical Development

Motor Development

Goal HPD-4: Children develop the large muscle control and abilities needed to move through and explore their environment.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Gain control of arm and leg movements. HPD-4a

•Maintain upright posture when sitting and standing. HPD-4b

•Move in and out of various positions by rolling, pushing up, and pulling to stand. HPD-4c

•Move from place to place as their abilities allow (squirm, roll, scoot, crawl, cruise, or walk). HPD-4d

•Develop strength, balance, and coordination by repeating movements (pull up and sit down; bend and straighten, squat to pick something up from the floor). HPD-4e

•Move their arms and legs together to climb, push, and pull (push a stroller, use riding toys, crawl up steps). HPD-4f

•Move through the world with more independence (crawl, cruise, walk, run, use therapeutic walker). HPD-4g

•Move their arms and legs to complete a task (kick, jump, step, pedal, push away). HPD-4h

•Move through the world with a variety of movements and with increasing independence (run, jump, pedal). HPD-4i

•Use familiar objects that encourage large motor movements (riding toys, crawl tubes, large ball in basket, slide). HPD-4j

•Perform actions smoothly with balance, strength, and coordination (dance, bend over to pick up a toy, reach up high on a shelf, walk up and down steps). HPD-4k

•Demonstrate strength and balance by managing uneven surfaces such as hills, ramps, and steps. HPD-4l

•Refine movements and show generally good coordination (e.g., throwing and catching). HPD-4m

•Use a variety of toys and equipment that enhance gross motor development (balls, slides, pedaling toys, assistive technology). HPD-4n

•Move their bodies in space with good coordination (running, hopping in place, galloping). HPD-4o

•Coordinate movement of upper and lower body. HPD-4p

•Perform complex movements smoothly (skipping, balancing on beams, hopping from one place to another). HPD-4q

•Move quickly through the environment and be able to stop (run fast, pedal fast). HPD-4r

•Show awareness of own body in relation to other people and objects while moving through space. HPD-4s

76North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development76North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal HPD-5: Children develop small muscle control and hand-eye coordination to manipulate objects and work with tools.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Use both hands to swipe at, reach for, grasp, hold, shake, and release objects. HPD-5a

•Transfer objects from one hand to the other. HPD-5b

•Use a pincer grasp to pick up an object with finger and thumb. HPD-5c

•Use hands to manipulate objects (stack two or three large blocks, pick up or roll a ball). HPD-5d

•Use hands and eyes together (put together and take apart toys, feed themselves finger foods, fill containers). HPD-5e

•Use simple tools (spoon for feeding, hammer with pegs, crayon for scribbling). HPD-5f

•Use more complex, refined hand movements (stack a few small blocks, try to draw, turn pages one at a time). HPD-5g

•Use hands and eyes together with a moderate degree of control (complete puzzles, thread beads with large holes, use shape sorters). HPD-5h

•Use tools that require finger and hand control (large paintbrush, measuring cups, switches, shovel). HPD-5i

•Draw simple shapes and figures (square for block, circles). HPD-5j

•Engage in activities that require hand-eye coordination (build with manipulatives, mold Play-Doh®, work puzzles with smaller pieces). HPD-5k

•Use tools that require strength, control, and dexterity of small muscles (forks, crayons, markers, safety scissors, adapted tools). HPD-5l

•Draw and write smaller figures with more detail (faces with features, letters, or letter-like forms). HPD-5m

•Engage in complex hand-eye coordination activities with a moderate degree of precision and control (fasten clothing, cut shapes, put together small pieces). HPD-5n

•Use tools that require strength and dexterity of small muscles with a moderate degree of control (spray bottle, hole puncher). HPD-5o

77Health and Physical Development

Motor Development

1. Play with infants and toddlers both indoors and outdoors. Make sure the environment is safe. Include play on a variety of surfaces and provide open spaces for free movement.

2. Play with infants on their tummies frequently throughout the day. Place interesting toys in front of them and use a rolled towel to support a baby’s chest and arms if needed. For babies who do not like being on their stomachs, try a few minutes of tummy time several times a day rather than for one long period.

3. Give young children brightly colored and interesting toys to reach for or move toward (balls, mobiles, soft toys). Encourage them to bring their hands together as they play with objects.

4. Put small, safe objects on a tray or protected spot on the floor for children to grab and handle. For example, offer rattles and teething toys to infants; blocks, crayons, and snap-together toys to older toddlers. For children with impaired vision, use toys with switches and varied textures. Increase contrasts to help them see what is there (bright toy on black background; pictures outlined with heavy line).

5. Play games from different cultures that include hand motions with words, such as “Pat-a-cake,” “Todos Los Pescados,” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

6. Offer materials and activities to encourage large sweeping motions and the ability to hold objects. For example, children might draw or paint with crayons, finger paints, or objects like rubber stamps and small-wheeled vehicles. Use wide brushes or markers; adapt handles for children with limited hand control.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

78North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development78North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

7. Provide opportunities for children to practice small motor skills during daily activities and routines (zipping zippers when putting on clothing, passing out smaller objects to friends, etc.).

8. Use diapering time to do baby exercises and to play (bicycling legs, arm lifts, kicking, reaching).

9. Provide pillows, small mounds, balance beams, stepping-stones, and other low barriers for children to climb on and over. This develops balance, builds strength, and improves coordination.

10. Run, jump, skip, hop, and throw balls with children, both indoors and outside. Encourage them to move their bodies indoors and outdoors with movement games, music, and dancing from different cultures (e.g., “I’m a Little Tea Pot,” “Little Sally Walker,” “De Colores,” “All Fish Swimming in the Water”).

11. Create an environment that includes materials and equipment that can be used by children with varying physical abilities. For children with disabilities, provide supports or special equipment that allows them to participate in physical activities and play (therapeutic walker, scooter board, supportive seating for swings or riding toys, bars for pulling up).

12. Create mazes and obstacle courses that are age appropriate. For example, invite children to move through tunnels, under chairs, around tree trunks, and over low hills.

13. Provide push and pull toys, riding toys (with and without pedals), balls, tools, slides, and other materials that give children chances to exercise large muscles and practice skills.

14. Create activities to encourage children with different abilities to play and learn together. For example, play a game of catch with a foam ball with children sitting down on the floor or ground. Include children who cannot walk with other children in the group.

79Health and Physical Development

Motor Development

1. Plan activities that use a variety of materials to support fine motor skill development, with adaptations as needed, respecting culture and differing ability levels (paper, pencils, crayons, safety scissors, Play-Doh®, manipulatives, blocks, etc.).

2. Provide daily opportunities and a variety of activities for children to use hand-held tools and objects.

3. Model the use of drawing and writing tools in daily activities.

4. Provide opportunities for children to pour their own drinks and to serve foods, such as spooning out applesauce.

5. Provide a variety of materials, such as beads and snap cubes, for children to put together and pull apart.

6. Offer children toys and materials to fill, stack, dump, and pour, such as small blocks, buckets, plastic cups, and water. Provide options for children with different abilities. For example, include Play-Doh®, puzzles with and without knobs, empty boxes, and containers with lids. Be sure to stock manipulative centers with containers for objects to be put into.

7. Provide child-size tables and chairs so children can use them independently.

8. Provide many opportunities for and actively participate in children’s outdoor play.

9. Change materials routinely to encourage discovery, engagement, and participation.

10. Create an environment that includes materials and equipment that can be used by children with varying physical abilities.

11. Encourage children to take part in active play every day, such as climbing, running, hopping, rhythmic movement, dance, and movement to music and games.

12. Supervise and participate in daily outdoor play. Provide adequate space and age-appropriate equipment and materials, with adaptations as needed.

13. Plan daily physical activities that are vigorous as well as developmentally and individually appropriate.

14. Create an environment that includes materials and equipment that can be used by children with varying physical abilities. For children with disabilities, provide supports or special equipment that allows them to participate in physical activities and play (therapeutic walker, scooter board, supportive seating for swings or riding toys, bars for pulling up).

15. Create activities to encourage children with different abilities to play and learn together. For example, play a game of catch with a foam ball with children sitting down on the floor or ground. Include children who cannot walk with other children in the group.

Strategies for Preschoolers

80North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development80North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Self-Care

Goal HPD-6: Children develop awareness of their needs and the ability to communicate their needs.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Use different sounds to let caregivers know they need attention. HPD-6a

•Begin to soothe themselves (suck thumb, find pacifier, reach for a security object). HPD-6b

•Use gestures, words, or sign language to communicate what they need. HPD-6c

•Use objects and follow routines that are comforting (get their blanket and lie down where they usually sleep, pick out favorite book to be read before lunch). HPD-6d

•Use words or sign language to ask for the things they need (food when hungry, drink when thirsty, go outdoors when they need to be physically active). HPD-6e

•Soothe themselves when needed (find a quiet area for alone time, look at book before nap). HPD-6f

•Use words or sign language to ask for the things they need (food when hungry, drink when thirsty, go outdoors when they need to be physically active). HPD-6g

•Use different strategies to calm themselves when needed (self-talk, deep breathing, cozy corner). HPD-6h

•Use language to ask adults or peers specifically for the kind of help needed in a particular situation. HPD-6i

•Consistently use strategies to calm themselves when needed. HPD-6j

Children with disabilities may communicate their needs in different ways . Teachers and

caregivers should be sensitive to children’s verbal and non-verbal

signals . For children with language delays, watch carefully to see

how the child may communicate through her/his facial expressions,

gestures, and/or assistive technology device .

81Health and Physical Development

Goal HPD-7: Children develop independence in caring for themselves and their environment.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Tolerate care routines (mouth care, hand-washing, diapering, dressing, and bathing). HPD-7a

•Show interest and assist in routines (open mouth for milk or spoon, raise arms for dressing). HPD-7b

•Cooperate and help with care routines and cleanup (mouth-care, hand-washing, diapering, dressing, bathing). HPD-7c

•Drink from a cup and feed themselves with their fingers or a spoon. HPD-7d

•Use adaptive equipment, ask for help with positioning and movement, and/or participate in medical care routines as needed. HPD-7e

•Initiate self-care routines and complete with guidance (put on some clothes, undress, throw away paper towel, begin to show an interest in toileting). HPD-7f

•Feed themselves with a spoon. HPD-7g

•Help with meal and snack routines. HPD-7h

•Take care of objects (put toys away, handle materials carefully, water plants or garden). HPD-7i

•Use adaptive equipment, ask for help with positioning and movement, and/or participate in medical care routines as needed. HPD-7j

•Dress and undress themselves with occasional assistance. HPD-7k

•Follow basic hygiene practices with reminders (brush teeth, wash hands, use toilet, cough into elbow). HPD-7l

•Serve food for themselves. HPD-7m

•Help with routine care of the indoor and outdoor learning environment (recycle, care for garden). HPD-7n

•Name people who help children stay healthy. HPD-7o

•Use adaptive equipment, ask for help with positioning and movement, and/or participate in medical care routines as needed. HPD-7p

•Dress and undress themselves independently. HPD-7q

•Gain independence in hygiene practices (throw tissues away and wash hands, flush toilet). HPD-7r

•Eat with a fork. HPD-7s

•Perform tasks to maintain the indoor and outdoor learning environment independently. HPD-7t

•Describe the value of good health practices (wash hands to get rid of germs, drink milk to build strong bones). HPD-7u

Some families may not value independence in

self-care routines—in their culture, the adults help children with self-care

routines for a longer period of time .

➡ ➡

82North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development82North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Self-Care

1. Respond quickly and consistently when children tell you they need something. Learn to read their cues, cries, and gestures. Ask family members how and when children may communicate certain needs.

2. Establish regular routines for diapering, toileting, hand washing, eating, sleeping, and dressing children. Do things the same way every time as much as possible.

3. Use routine care as opportunities for one-on-one interactions: talk about the routine and feelings; sing a song; move legs and arms of young infants.

4. Provide children many opportunities to use the toilet when they show they are ready. Support all attempts to use the toilet. Coordinate the timing and process of toilet learning with the family.

5. Establish routines of hand washing at appropriate times (e.g., before and after meals, after outdoor play, etc.) and provide guidance for children to learn how to wash their hands appropriately. Provide hand-washing stations that children can reach safely on their own.

6. Encourage children to practice cleansing their mouths and brushing their teeth. Model tooth brushing for older toddlers. Provide stations for tooth brushing that children can reach safely on their own.

7. Encourage children to take an active part in dressing themselves. Suggest a step the child can complete. (“Put your foot in your pant leg.” “Pull up your pants.” “Pull your arm out of your sleeve.”)

8. Allow plenty of time for children to try and to participate in all self-care tasks.

9. Ask families and healthcare professionals if a child with disabilities or special healthcare needs has any special self-care needs. Help children understand and participate in these special self-care tasks. Use picture cards to guide them through the steps of self-care routines like hand washing.

10. Learn about the abilities and customs of children and their families. Set up routines so children can do them successfully. Make routines as similar to home as possible.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

83Health and Physical Development

Self-Care

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Teach and model hygienic practices (e.g., washing hands, sneezing or coughing into your elbow or sleeve, and dental care).

2. Use interesting and entertaining ways to practice personal care and self-help skills (e.g., add baby doll outfits and clothing with fasteners to the dramatic play center, provide props that encourage children to practice hygienic practices such as washing their hands).

3. Provide instruction and facilitate ample opportunities for children to practice self-care skills as independently as they are able (e.g., verbally or nonverbally asking for help, feeding themselves, dressing, washing hands, toileting, and locating personal items).

4. Maintain environments that support children’s ability to carry out self-care and hygiene routines independently (child-size sink, toilet, coat rack, toothbrushes, etc.).

5. Encourage children to show independence in self-care practices. Provide time, support, and equipment as needed.

6. Establish routines of hand washing at appropriate times (e.g., before and after meals, after outdoor play, etc.) and provide guidance for children to learn how to wash their hands appropriately. Provide hand-washing stations that children can reach safely on their own.

7. Respond consistently to children’s expressions of need.

8. Offer children play food and kitchen utensils from many cultures, especially the cultures of families in your group. Offer toys and props to practice self-care behaviors (healthy play food, dress-up clothes that are easy to put on, tubs to wash baby dolls).

9. Read books about visits with the doctor and the dentist. Offer play props so children can pretend to visit them.

10. Teach children about the benefits of good personal health practices. Make sure to take into account individual family beliefs and customs.

84North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development84North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Safety Awareness

Goal HPD-8: Children develop awareness of basic safety rules and begin to follow them.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show trust in familiar caregivers (calm down with adult help, make eye contact with caregivers). HPD-8a

•Notice and imitate adults’ reactions to new people and situations. HPD-8b

•Watch for adult reactions to unfamiliar things or situations that might be dangerous. HPD-8c

•Show some caution about unfamiliar and/or unsafe situations. HPD-8d

•Respond to simple warnings that prevent harm (“Stop!” “Hot!” “Wait!”). HPD-8e

•Remember cause and effect experiences and apply their experiences to future situations (avoid touching cold railing, walk slowly down steep hill where fall happened). HPD-8f

•Increase self-control over their impulses (remind self not to touch something; wait for adult vs. running ahead). HPD-8g

•With guidance, recognize and avoid situations that might cause harm. HPD-8h

•Know what their bodies can do, and play within their abilities to avoid injury to self or others. HPD-8i

•Usually recognize and avoid objects and situations that might cause harm. HPD-8j

•Usually follow basic safety rules. HPD-8k

•Call a trusted adult when someone gets injured or is in an unsafe situation. HPD-8l

•Avoid potentially dangerous behaviors. HPD-8m

•Consistently recognize and avoid people, objects, substances, activities, and environments that might cause harm. HPD-8n

•Independently follow basic safety rules. HPD-8o

•Identify people who can help them in the community (police, firefighter, nurse). HPD-8p

85Health and Physical Development

Safety Awareness

1. Provide a safe environment indoors and outdoors so infants and toddlers can explore without hurting themselves or others. Help families learn about safe environments for infants and toddlers.

2. Stay near infants and toddlers at all times and watch to keep them safe.

3. Hold, cuddle, make eye contact, and talk with young children to build trust.

4. Model safe practices for infants and toddlers. (Don’t stand on chairs or sit on shelves.) Explain why and how unsafe actions can hurt them and others.

5. Do not try to make infants or toddlers do things they are afraid to do. Help them learn to trust their feelings about what is safe and what is not safe.

6. Repeat safety messages every time they are needed. Understand that you may have to repeat them many times. (“Please put your feet on the ground. Chairs are for sitting.”)

7. Give specific praise to toddlers for remembering safety messages and safe behaviors. (“Thank you for waiting for me.” “That’s good. You’re sitting in your chair.”)

8. Use play with older toddlers to reinforce safety messages and practice responding to dangerous situations. (“Let’s pretend the fire alarm went off. What should we do?”)

9. Continue to supervise older toddlers closely. They are beginning to develop self-control, but it is easy for them to get excited and forget what is dangerous.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

86North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development86North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Safety Awareness

1. Provide a safe, healthy, supportive environment with appropriate supervision.

2. Teach safety rules and model safe practices (e.g., bus safety, playground safety, staying with the group, safe use of classroom materials, and knowing personal identification information).

3. Teach and model appropriate responses to potentially dangerous situations, including fire, violent weather, and strangers or other individuals who may cause harm.

4. Repeat safety messages every time they are needed. Understand that you may have to repeat them many times. (“Please put your feet on the ground. Chairs are for sitting.”)

5. Use play to reinforce safety messages and practice responding to dangerous situations. (“Let’s pretend the fire alarm went off. What should we do?”)

6. Talk about consequences of unsafe behavior such as injury to self or damage to property.

7. Help preschoolers identify people they can go to when they feel afraid or where to go to feel safe when they need help (family members, caregivers, fire fighters, and other community helpers).

Strategies for Preschoolers

88North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

89Language Development and Communication

Language Development and Communication (LDC)

90North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

From birth, children are learning language and developing the ability to communicate. The Language Development and Communication domain describes many important

aspects of children’s language and early literacy development. Language development begins with children’s ability to understand what others are communicating to them. Infants and toddlers often can understand much more than they can say. They learn the meaning of words and other forms of communication first, and gradually learn to express themselves, starting with the ability to express their needs through crying, gesturing, and facial expressions, and later using words to express themselves. By the time they are preschoolers, most children have developed a large vocabulary and are learning the rules of language, such as grammar.

Children also learn many important early literacy skills as they grow and develop. The youngest children build the foundation for reading and writing as they explore books, listen to songs and nursery rhymes, hear stories, and begin to draw and scribble. Preschoolers learn to follow along as someone reads to them, remember familiar stories and talk about them, learn the names of the

letters of the alphabet, and begin to be more intentional about what they draw and scribble.

Adults who build nurturing relationships by paying close attention to what children are trying to communicate and responding consistently to children’s communication help children become good communicators. This is especially important for infants and toddlers as they learn first how to communicate nonverbally, and then with words. Teachers and caregivers also promote communication skills and early literacy skills as they talk with, read to, and sing with children of all ages. Children learn that reading and writing are important as they see adults using these skills in everyday life and, for preschoolers, as they begin to point out letters, help children follow print, and play games to introduce early literacy concepts such as the sounds included in words. Teachers and caregivers support children’s early literacy development through learning experiences that introduce early literacy concepts such as the names of letters naturally as a part of daily routines and activities, as opposed to teaching one letter per week or focusing on early literacy skills outside of daily activities that children find meaningful.

Many families speak languages other than English at home. Children need to continue

Subdomains

Learning to Communicate

Foundations for Reading

Foundations for Writing

91Language Development and Communication

to learn and speak their family’s language because learning their home language lays the foundation for learning English, plus they will learn other concepts more easily. Children whose families speak a language other than English will probably demonstrate progress on the Goals and Developmental Indicators included in Foundations in their home language, so it’s really important to encourage children and their families to continue to use their own language while they are learning English.

Teachers and caregivers should also keep in mind that children with disabilities may need extra support when they are communicating with others. They may need listening devices to help them hear so that they can learn the sounds and words used in language. They may need therapy or assistive devices to help them communicate clearly. Teachers and caregivers should communicate with and observe young children carefully to see if they are picking up communication skills early on, and seek additional assistance if a child seems to have a delay in this area.

92North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Language Development and Communication (LDC)Learning to Communicate • Goal LDC-1: Children understand communications from others.• Goal LDC-2: Children participate in conversations with peers and adults in one-on-one, small, and larger

group interactions.• Goal LDC-3: Children ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something

that is not understood.• Goal LDC-4: Children speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.• Goal LDC-5: Children describe familiar people, places, things, and events.• Goal LDC-6: Children use most grammatical constructions of their home language well. • Goal LDC-7: Children respond to and use a growing vocabulary.

Foundations for Reading• Goal LDC-8: Children develop interest in books and motivation to read.• Goal LDC-9: Children comprehend and use information presented in books and other print media.• Goal LDC-10: Children develop book knowledge and print awareness.• Goal LDC-11: Children develop phonological awareness.• Goal LDC-12: Children develop knowledge of the alphabet and the alphabetic principle.

Foundations for Writing• Goal LDC-13: Children use writing and other symbols to record information and communicate for a variety

of purposes.• Goal LDC-14: Children use knowledge of letters in their attempts to write.• Goal LDC-15: Children use writing skills and writing conventions.

93Language Development and Communication

Learning to Communicate

Goal LDC-1: Children understand communications from others.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Engage in individual and reciprocal sound exploration and play (make “raspberries” or other sounds with someone). LDC-1a

•Show interest in voices, and focus on speech directed at them. LDC-1b

•Respond to different tones in speech directed at them. LDC-1c

•Respond to simple requests (“Come here.” or “Do you want more?”). LDC-1d

•Respond to others by using words or signs. LDC-1e

•Respond to gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, and some words that show emotions. LDC-1f

•Follow simple directions and/or visual cues (“Put your pillow on the mat.” “Please sit by me.”). LDC-1g

•Respond when others talk to them, using a larger variety of words or signs. LDC-1h

•Respond to gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, and some words that show emotions. LDC-1i

•Follow two-step directions with visual cues if needed (“Pick up the paper and put it in the trash.” “Get your cup and put it on the table.”). LDC-1j

•Show understanding of increasingly complex sentences. LDC-1k

•With prompting and support, respond to requests for information or action. LDC-1l

•Follow simple multistep directions with visual cues if needed. LDC-1m

•Show understanding of increasingly complex sentences. LDC-1n

•Respond to requests for information or action. LDC-1o

•Follow more detailed multistep directions. LDC-1p

Receptive communication, or understanding what others are

communicating, is one of the first communication skills to emerge .

Children begin to understand what others are communicating to them much earlier than they are able to

express themselves to others .

94North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal LDC-2: Children participate in conversations with peers and adults in one-on-one, small, and larger group interactions.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Respond differently to facial expressions and tones of voice. LDC-2a

•Pay brief attention to the same object the caregiver is looking at. LDC-2b

•Engage in turn taking during social and vocal play with adults and other children (babbling, imitating facial expressions, repeating sounds from languages they hear). LDC-2c

•Establish joint attention by looking at an object, at their caregiver, and back at the object. LDC-2d

•Respond to and initiate dialogue with another person. LDC-2e

•Use movement or behavior to initiate interaction with another person. LDC-2f

•Engage in short dialogues of a few turns. LDC-2g

•Ask questions or use verbal or nonverbal cues to initiate communication with another. LDC-2h

•Demonstrate an understanding that people communicate in many ways (gestures, facial expressions, multiple spoken languages, sign language, augmentative communication). LDC-2i

•Initiate and carry on conversations, and ask questions about things that interest them. LDC-2j

•With prompting and support, make comments and ask questions related to the topic of discussion. LDC-2k

•Express an understanding that people communicate in many ways (gestures, facial expressions, multiple spoken languages, sign language, and augmentative communication). LDC-2l

•Initiate and carry on conversations that involve multiple back and forth communications or turns between the persons involved in the conversation. LDC-2m

•Initiate and participate in conversations related to interests of their own or the persons they are communicating with. LDC-2n

•Participate in a group discussion, making comments and asking questions related to the topic. LDC-2o

•Appreciate and use humor. LDC-2p

Dual Language Learners who are learning a home language that is not English most often have stronger communication skills

in their home language . It is important that they continue to learn communication

skills in their home language even when they begin to learn to speak English .

95Language Development and Communication

Goal LDC-3: Children ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging •Respond to simple statements and questions about pictures, play, people, and things that are happening. LDC-3a

•Answer simple questions (“What is she doing?” “What happened to the bear in the story?”). LDC-3b

•Use simple sentences or questions to ask for things (e.g., people, actions, objects, pets) or gain information. LDC-3c

•Answer longer questions using more detail. LDC-3d

•Use sentences or questions to ask for things (people, actions, objects, pets) or gain information. LDC-3e

• Answer more complex questions with more explanation (“I didn’t like camping out because it rained.” “Emily is my friend because she’s nice to me.”). LDC-3f

•Ask specific questions to learn more about their world, understand tasks, and solve problems. LDC-3g

96North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal LDC-4: Children speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Repeat actions that mean something specific (lift arms to be picked up, point at desired toys). LDC-4a

•Make different sounds for different purposes (whimper when wet, cry loudly when hungry). LDC-4b

•“Jabber” and pretend to talk using many sounds or signs from the languages used around them. LDC-4c

•Communicate through facial expressions, sounds, and body movements. LDC-4d

•Expect others to understand them and show frustration, often through their behavior, if not understood. LDC-4e

•Communicate messages with expression, tone, and inflection. LDC-4f

•Use speech that is understood most of the time by familiar listeners. LDC-4g

•Communicate messages with expression, tone, and inflection appropriate to the situation. LDC-4h

•Speak clearly enough to be understood by familiar adults and children. LDC-4i

•Use language and nonverbal cues to communicate thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and intentions. LDC-4j

•Adapt their communication to meet social expectations (speak quietly in library, speak politely to older relative). LDC-4k

•Speak clearly enough to be understood by most people. LDC-4l

Children who are generally more quiet than others and children who are learning English as a second language may speak less often, so it’s important for teachers and caregivers to pay

close attention when quiet children do talk . Be sure to give them many opportunities to express themselves in different ways, and listen carefully

to see if you can understand the child easily . Children with disabilities may not have clear

speech . If a child has a diagnosed language delay or disability, look for other ways in which he or she can communicate to see if his/her communication

skills are progressing .

97Language Development and Communication

Goal LDC-5: Children describe familiar people, places, things, and events.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging •Act out familiar scenes and events, and imitate familiar people. LDC-5a

•Talk to themselves and others about what they are “working on,” what they are doing, routines, and events of the day. LDC-5b

•Use dramatic play to act out familiar scenes and events, and imitate familiar people. LDC-5c

•Talk to themselves and others about what they are “working on,” what they are doing, routines, and events of the day. LDC-5d

•Describe experiences and create or retell short narratives. LDC-5e

•Describe experiences and create and/or retell longer narratives. LDC-5f➡

98North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal LDC-6: Children use most grammatical constructions of their home language well.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Make different sounds for different purposes (whimper when wet, cry loudly when hungry). LDC-6a

•“Jabber” and pretend to talk using many sounds or signs from the languages used around them to communicate. LDC-6b

•“Jabber” and put together vocalizations in a way that sounds similar to the rhythm and flow of their home language. LDC-6c

•Use a few words to communicate (make requests and ask questions). LDC-6d

•Communicate in short sentences that follow the word order of their home language. LDC-6e

•Combine two and three words. LDC-6f

•Communicate in longer sentences and use more conventional grammar in their home language (plurals, tenses, prepositions). LDC-6g

•Make grammatical errors that follow language rules (say, “mouses” instead of “mice”). LDC-6h

•Speak in full sentences that are grammatically correct most of the time. LDC-6i

Children learn to speak with proper grammar slowly, over time . For instance, it takes longer

for children to understand how to use personal pronouns like “I” or “you .” They often make

mistakes that may be puzzling or funny to adults, but this is part of the process of learning the

rules of language . Dual Language Learners learn grammar rules first in their home language . It takes longer for them to get the hang of the rules of the second language they are learning, and they may use the grammatical constructions of their home

language even when they use English words .

99Language Development and Communication

Goal LDC-7: Children respond to and use a growing vocabulary.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Make specific sounds, facial expressions, and/or gestures for certain people and objects. LDC-7a

•Imitate sounds, words, and gestures. LDC-7b

•Recognize spoken or signed words for common items. LDC-7c

•Show steady increase in words used (e.g., name family members and familiar objects). LDC-7d

•Imitate parts of familiar songs, chants, or rhymes. LDC-7e

•Respond to simple words and phrases that they hear often. LDC-7f

•Use several words to make requests (e.g., “done,” “wannit,” “please”) as well as to label people and objects. LDC-7g

•Use new words each day and have a word for almost all familiar people, objects, actions, and conditions (hot, rainy, sleepy). LDC-7h

•Participate in or repeat familiar songs, chants, or rhymes. LDC-7i

•Show they understand many new vocabulary words and a variety of concepts (big and little, in and out). LDC-7j

•Repeat familiar songs, chants, or rhymes. LDC-7k

•Use more than one word for the same object and use words for parts of objects (e.g., dog, beagle, Rover; arm, leg). LDC-7l

•Make up names for things using words they know (e.g., dog doctor for veterinarian). LDC-7m

•Use many kinds of cues in the environment to figure out what words mean. LDC-7n

•Repeat familiar songs, chants, or rhymes. LDC-7o

•Use a growing vocabulary that includes many different kinds of words to express ideas clearly. LDC-7p

•Infer the meaning of different kinds of new words from the context in which they are used (for example, hear “sandals” and “boots” used to describe two pairs of shoes, and infer that the unfamiliar shoes must be sandals because they know that the other pair of shoes are boots). LDC-7q

Young children first learn vocabulary words for people, objects, and activities . Later, children begin to learn words for more abstract concepts or things they don’t experience

directly . Dual Language Learners develop vocabulary first in their home language . As they begin to learn their

second language, they will build their vocabulary the same way as their home language—learning words that relate to things and people they experience first, followed by words

that are more abstract . They may mix words from their home language and words from their second language as

their vocabulary grows . This is typical for children who are learning two languages .

100North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Learning to Communicate

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

1. Make sure babies can see or feel your mouth when you hold them. Then, make sounds or repeat the sounds babies make.

2. Respond to infants when they look at you, cry, smile, coo, say words, and reach or move toward you. Talk to them, pick them up, and imitate their sounds back to them. Show them you enjoy these conversations.

3. Take turns with infants and toddlers through talking, actions, and playing games like “peek-a-boo” or other communication games from their culture. Ask family members to teach you some of these games.

4. Smile big, make silly faces, use high and low voices, and hug infants and toddlers. Use many hand gestures and sign language appropriate for infants and toddlers, like waving your hand when saying, “Come here.”

5. Take infants and toddlers outdoors to listen to different sounds. Point out the sounds by saying things like, “Hear the fire truck!” or “Listen to the buzzing bees!”

6. Even if you don’t fluently speak the child’s home language, learn to say at least a few words. Learn greetings, words for favorite people and things, and words or phrases for common events and routines.

7. Play audio recordings of family members’ voices in their own language for infants and toddlers to hear. This will help infants and toddlers feel connected to their families.

8. Use a variety of words when you talk, including labels for things, action words, and many descriptive words. (“Look at the squirrel with the long, fluffy tail! It is running and jumping all over the yard.”)

9. Describe what you are doing and what infants and toddlers are doing. (“I’m putting lunch in the oven right now. I can see you are all ready because you are waiting for me at the table.”)

101Language Development and Communication

10. When you speak, make your tone and facial expression match what you are saying. (For example, use a serious tone and don’t smile when saying, “We don’t hit our friends. Hitting hurts.”)

11. Imitate and repeat the child’s motions, sounds, and attempts at words in different languages and in a positive and encouraging manner.

12. Recognize that young infants do not cry or act out in order to be naughty or to make you angry. They are simply learning to communicate their wants and needs. Try to meet their needs or wants.

13. Realize that toddler behaviors such as biting or tantrums may happen because they do not yet have the words to communicate. Help toddlers to calm down and give them words for their feelings.

14. Encourage children to try out new sounds and words, including words in different languages (family language, school language, and/or other language).

15. Talk with infants and toddlers in a positive tone and speak in an encouraging way about what they are hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. Talk about printed words they see related to these experiences.

16. Be an appropriate language model by using correct grammar and a variety of different words. Show infants and toddlers how to participate in conversations by having many conversations with them and with other children and adults.

17. Sing songs, say rhymes, and do finger plays with infants and toddlers in English and other languages.

102North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Learning to Communicate

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Use facial expressions, gestures, and a rich and varied vocabulary when speaking and reading with children.

2. For Dual Language Learners, repeat common phrases frequently, slowly, and clearly.

3. Introduce new words and concepts by labeling what children are doing and experiencing.

4. Before reading a book or introducing a new concept, determine which words the Dual Language Learners in your class might not know that are important to understand the book. Plan strategies to teach these words. For instance, say the word in their home language first before introducing it in English and/or use pictures or objects to illustrate what the word means.

5. Use the new words you have introduced in a variety of contexts during the day. Be intentional in your use of new words and phrases so children, especially Dual Language Learners, are repeatedly exposed to these words and phrases.

6. Learn new words in the child’s family language and use them when introducing new concepts.

7. Give children clear instructions that help them move from simple directions to a more complex sequence. State directions positively, respectfully, carefully, and only as needed.

8. Use visual cues such as props, demonstrations, and gestures to help children understand instructions, especially children who are just beginning to learn English and children with disabilities who have limited language skills.

9. Engage children in conversations in small groups so you are able to monitor their understanding and they have more opportunities to express themselves than in the large group.

10. Engage children frequently in one-on-one conversations; listen and respond to what they are saying. Show interest by sitting face to face at the child’s level and maintaining eye contact.

103Language Development and Communication

11. Help children discriminate sounds in spoken language through rhymes, songs, and word games, using various media (e.g., CDs and tapes of music and stories).

12. Model good conversational skills and encourage children to use them (e.g., encourage children not to interrupt others, help children to clarify what they are saying when they feel misunderstood).

13. Model and provide opportunities for children to communicate in different ways (e.g., home languages and also manual signs, gestures, pictures, and devices).

14. Encourage opportunities for Dual Language Learners to interact with peers. Help them communicate with English-speaking peers by offering words, showing them how to use gestures, etc.

15. Encourage children to describe their family, home, community, and classroom. Expand on what they say by adding information, explanations, and descriptions.

16. Help children remain focused on the main topic of conversation by redirecting and restating current ideas.

17. Ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation and stimulate children’s creativity. Take into consideration Dual Language Learners’ process of second language acquisition when asking questions (see section on DLLs). Even if they cannot respond to open-ended questions in complete sentences in English yet, they might be able to respond with a familiar word.

18. Allow enough wait time for children respond to questions.

19. Make the value of bilingualism explicit in the classroom. Reinforce children’s use of another language.

104North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Foundations for Reading

Goal LDC-8: Children develop interest in books and motivation to read.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Pat and chew on tactile books. LDC-8a

•Look at pictures of faces and simple objects. LDC-8b

•Listen to simple and repetitive books, stories, and songs. LDC-8c

•Engage in reading behaviors independently (choose books, turn pages (but not always in order, tell the story). LDC-8d

•Show interest in books (e.g., tactile and picture books). LDC-8e

•Listen to simple and repetitive books, stories, and songs for a brief period of time. LDC-8f

•Carry books around, “name” them, and select books for adults to read out loud. LDC-8g

•Engage in reading behaviors independently (choose books, turn pages but not always in order, tell the story). LDC-8h

•Listen for short periods of time to storybooks, informational books stories, poetry, songs and finger plays. LDC-8i

•Engage in reading behaviors independently (choose books, turn pages but not always in order, tell the story). LDC-8j

•Show an interest in books, other print, and reading-related activities. LDC-8k

•Listen to and discuss storybooks, simple information books, and poetry. LDC-8l

•Engage in reading behaviors independently with increased focus for longer periods of time. LDC-8m

•Use and share books and print in their play. LDC-8n

•Listen to and discuss increasingly complex storybooks, information books, and poetry. LDC-8o

➡ ➡

Teachers and caregivers who model reading with different types

of books and provide different types of book-reading experiences inspire children to want to learn to read . Children who are developing the motivation to read often want to hear the same book read over and over . This is a sign that they

are developing an interest in books and starting to understand the

importance of reading .

105Language Development and Communication

Goal LDC-9: Children comprehend and use information presented in books and other print media.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging •Listen to and repeat parts of simple and repetitive books, stories, songs, and finger plays. LDC-9a

•Allow entire short book to be “read” with willingness to look at most pages. LDC-9b

•Make appropriate sounds when looking at pictures (say, “Quack, quack” when looking at a duck, “Vrrrrooom” when looking at a car). LDC-9c

•Chime in on a repeated line in a book while being read to by an adult. LDC-9d

•Pretend to read familiar books from memory; repeat familiar phrases while looking at a book. LDC-9e

•Begin to relate personal experiences to events described in familiar books. LDC-9f

•Answer simple questions about stories. LDC-9g

•Imitate the special language in storybooks and story dialogue (repetitive language patterns, sound effects, and words from familiar stories). LDC-9h

•Imitate the special language in storybooks and story dialogue with some accuracy and detail. LDC-9i

•With prompting and support, use books and other media that communicate information to learn about the world by looking at pictures, asking questions, and talking about the information. LDC-9j

•Use their knowledge of the world (what things are, how things work) to make sense of stories and information texts. LDC-9k

•Relate personal experiences to events described in familiar books, with prompting and support. LDC-9l

•Ask questions about a story or the information in a book. LDC-9m

•With prompting and support, discuss storybooks by responding to questions about what is happening and predicting what will happen next. LDC-9n

•Imitate the special language in storybooks and story dialogue with accuracy and detail. LDC-9o

•Use informational texts and other media to learn about the world, and infer from illustrations, ask questions and talk about the information. LDC-9p

•Use knowledge of the world to make sense of more challenging texts. LDC-9q

•Relate personal experiences to an increasing variety of events described in familiar and new books. LDC-9r

•Ask more focused and detailed questions about a story or the information in a book. LDC-9s

•Discuss storybooks by responding to questions about what is happening and predicting what will happen next. LDC-9t

106North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal LDC-10: Children develop book knowledge and print awareness.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Explore books and paper by tasting, mouthing, crumpling, banging, and patting. LDC-10a

•Look at pictures while cuddling with caregiver. LDC-10b

•Turn pages (but not always in the right order); point to and label pictures in books; sometimes treat pictures as real (licking a picture of ice cream, rubbing “fur” of a cat in a book). LDC-10c

•Identify some environmental print and logos (favorite cereal box, a sign for a familiar store). LDC-10d

•Hold a book upright, turn some pages front to back (but not always in the right order), close book, and say, “done” or “the end.” LDC-10e

•Demonstrate understanding of the need for and the uses of print (pretend to read a “grocery list” during play; say, “I want chicken” when looking at a menu). LDC-10f

•Demonstrate an understanding of realistic symbols such as photographs, and later abstract symbols such as signs and environmental print (know which pictures stand for which activities on a daily schedule; say, “That means light” when looking at a symbol of a light bulb located over the light switch). LDC-10g

•Hold a book upright while turning pages one by one front to back, but not always in order. LDC-10h

•With prompting and support, recognize print occurs in different forms and is used for a variety of functions (sign naming block structure, “message” on card for family member). LDC-10i

•Demonstrate an understanding that print can tell people what to do (such as print and symbols to organize classroom activities—where to store things, when they will have a turn). LDC-10j

•Hold a book upright while turning pages one by one from front to back. LDC-10k

•Recognize print in different forms for a variety of functions (writing message to friend, pointing to print and saying, “Those words tell the story.”). LDC-10l

•Recognize print and symbols used to organize classroom activities and show understanding of their meaning (put toys in box with correct symbol and name; check sign-up sheet for popular activity; check schedule to learn next activity). LDC-10m

•With prompting and support, run their finger under or over print as they pretend to read text. LDC-10n

•Demonstrate understanding of some basic print conventions (the concept of what a letter is, the concept of words, directionality of print). LDC-10o

•Identify their name and the names of some friends when they see them in print. LDC-10p

Different languages have different “print conventions” or ways of printing the text on the page . For instance, writing in some

languages is read from left to right, and writing from other languages is read from right to left . Dual Language Learners may learn about how print works in more than one language . Teachers and caregivers should be aware of these differences when helping

children learn book knowledge and print awareness skills .

107Language Development and Communication

Goal LDC-11: Children develop phonological awareness.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Imitate and take turns with caregivers making different sounds. LDC-11a

•Focus on and enjoy playing with repetitive sounds, words, rhymes, and gestures. LDC-11b

•Participate in rhyming games. LDC-11c

•Notice sounds that are the same and different. LDC-11d

•Participate in experiences using rhythmic patterns in poems and songs using words, clapping, marching, and/or using instruments. LDC-11e

•Participate in experiences with songs, poems, and books that have rhyme and wordplay, and learn words well enough to complete refrains and fill in missing words and sounds. LDC-11f

•Repeat rhythmic patterns in poems and songs using words, clapping, marching, and/or using instruments. LDC-11g

•Play with the sounds of language and begin to identify rhymes (make up silly-sounding words, repeat rhyming words). LDC-11h

•Enjoy rhymes and wordplay, and sometimes add their own variations. LDC-11i

•Repeat a variety of rhythmic patterns in poems and songs using words, clapping, marching, and/or instruments to repeat the rhythm or beat syllables. LDC-11j

•Play with the sounds of language, identify a variety of rhymes, create some rhymes, and recognize the first sounds in some words. LDC-11k

•Associate sounds with specific words, such as awareness that different words begin with the same sound. LDC-11lChildren benefit from playful experiences

where they hear lots of different types of sounds . However, it’s important

to remember that phonological skills emerge later in the preschool period, so teachers and caregivers should provide

little/limited formal instruction for phonological awareness . Remember too that Dual Language Learners will have

more opportunities to hear and process sounds in their home language than their second language, so they often are more

aware of and able to produce sounds from their home language .

108North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal LDC-12: Children begin to develop knowledge of the alphabet and the alphabetic principle.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging Emerging •Demonstrate an interest in letters by asking about and/or naming some of them. LDC-12a

•Demonstrate an interest in learning the alphabet. LDC-12b

•Recognize letters of the alphabet as a special category of print, different from pictures, shapes, and numerals. LDC-12c

•Recognize and name some letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name. LDC-12d

•Demonstrate an interest in learning the alphabet. LDC-12e

•Show they know that letters function to represent sounds in spoken words. LDC-12f

•Recognize and name several letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name and in the names of others who are important to them. LDC-12g

•Make some sound-to-letter matches, using letter name knowledge (notice the letter B with picture of ball and say, “Ball”; say, “ A-a-apple.”). LDC-12h

•Associate sounds with the letters at the beginning of some words, such as awareness that two words begin with the same letter and the same sound. LDC-12i

109Language Development and Communication

Foundations for Reading

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

1. Provide daily lap reading time.

2. Read and share books with small groups of infants and toddlers every day. Look at and talk about pictures and read simple stories. Choose books about things infants and toddlers are interested in (families, pets, trees, flowers).

3. Include books that show children with disabilities in a natural way as part of the stories and pictures.

4. Make available books that reflect children’s sociocultural experiences at home and their communities.

5. Give infants and toddlers access to books throughout the day. Provide books that children can put in their mouths and books with pages that turn easily, such as cloth and board books.

6. Place clear pictures of children and everyday objects throughout the room. Talk and sing about pictures in books and in the room.

7. Make books using pictures of family members and other familiar objects found in magazines, catalogs, and environmental print (such as pictures from catalog cut-outs and labels from favorite foods). Make books of trips, events you have shared, and children’s art.

8. Share nursery rhymes, sing songs, and read simple poems in different languages.

9. Make stories come alive by using different voices and body movements.

10. Ask simple questions and make comments about books to start conversations with children. Talk about similar things that young children may have experienced. (”Do you have a pet?” “What did you see at the zoo?”) Welcome and encourage children’s questions too!

11. Help children tell stories and act out parts of stories they have heard using words, pictures, movement, puppets, and toys.

12. Place appealing books, signs, and posters in all interest areas indoors and outdoors at children’s eye level.

13. Point out words in books and in the environment (street signs, toy boxes, words on pictures in room).

14. Model respect for books and help children care for books.

15. Introduce a new book in the children’s family language first before reading it in English. If you do not speak the language, ask a parent or community member to read aloud.

110North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Foundations for Reading

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Provide and share fiction and non-fiction books that stimulate children’s curiosity.

2. Create comfortable and inviting spaces in different parts of the classroom for children to read; stock these reading nooks with a variety of reading materials.

3. Provide time when children are encouraged to look at books on their own.

4. Promote positive feelings about reading. Allow children to choose books they want to read. Reread favorite books.

5. Make multicultural books and materials available to help children develop an awareness of individual differences and similarities.

6. Create a connection between home and school through such means as developing a take-home book program, sharing books from home, engaging parents in literacy experiences, holding workshops, or creating a newsletter for parents. Make sure you send books home in the family language.

7. Provide multi-sensory approaches to assist reading (e.g., tape players, computers, and assistive technology).

8. Point out authors and illustrators; discuss what makes a book a favorite book.

9. Provide children with materials they can use to act out and retell stories (flannel board cutouts, puppets, dolls, props, pictures, etc.).

10. Respond to children’s observations about books and answer their questions.

11. Reread books multiple times, changing the approach as children become familiar with the book. On occasion, ask questions that tap their understanding of why characters are doing things and talk about the meaning of unfamiliar words.

12. Make books available in children’s home languages. Help children identify the language of the book and point out to children the differences and similarities in script.

13. Make available books that reflect children’s sociocultural experiences at home and their communities.

14. Include strategies for promoting phonological awareness, print and alphabet knowledge within daily conversation, activities, and routines.

15. Discuss letter names in the context of daily activities (as opposed to teaching one letter per week) and provide opportunities for children to hear specific letter sounds, particularly beginning sounds.

16. Introduce a new book in the children’s family language first before reading it in English. If you do not speak the language, ask a parent or community member to read aloud.

17. Ensure that Dual Language Learners can participate in reading aloud even if they do not have the English proficiency to do so. For example, ask them to point to pictures, make gestures, repeat words and phrases, etc.

111Language Development and Communication

Foundations for Writing

Goal LDC-13: Children use writing and other symbols to record information and communicate for a variety of purposes.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging •Make marks, scribble, and paint (e.g., cover easel paper with big crayon or paint marks, make marks with marker or crayon). LDC-13a

•Pretend to write in ways that mimic adult writing (e.g., scribble on paper while sitting with caregiver who is writing, hold phone to ear and make marks with pencil). LDC-13b

•Represent thoughts and ideas through marks, scribbles, drawings, and paintings (draw a picture of something they did during the day, indicate what they want for lunch with a mark under the picture of the food they want). LDC-13c

•With prompting and support, communicate their thoughts for an adult to write. LDC-13d

•Engage in writing behaviors that imitate real-life situations (e.g., make marks to take food order during pretend restaurant play). LDC-13e

•Represent thoughts and ideas in drawings and by writing letters or letter-like forms. LDC-13f

•Communicate their thoughts for an adult to write. LDC-13g

•Independently engage in writing behaviors for various purposes (e.g., write symbols or letters for names, use materials at writing center, write lists with symbols/letters in pretend play, write messages that include letters or symbols). LDC-13h

112North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal LDC-14: Children use knowledge of letters in their attempts to write.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging Emerging Emerging •Begin to use letters and approximations of letters to write their name. LC-14a

•Show they know that written words are made up of particular letters (point to the first letter of their own name, find the first letter of their own name in a list of letters). LC-14b

•Use known letters and approximations of letters to write their own name and some familiar words. LC-14c

•Try to connect the sounds in a spoken word with letters in the written word (write “M” and say, “This is Mommy.”). LC-14d

Children’s first attempts to write look more like squiggly lines . Over time, they begin

to use marks that look more and more like letters, but initially their letters may be just random letters (not really a part of the word

they are trying to write) and/or look different from how adults write . Their letters may

be upside down, sideways, and/or running together . Gradually, with practice, the letters

they use will look more like conventional writing, but many children still will be

using only some letters and writing them in different ways on the page at the end of the

older preschool period .

113Language Development and Communication

Goal LDC-15: Children use writing skills and conventions.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging •Hold marker or crayon with the fist. LC-15a

•Dot or scribble with crayons, may progress to vertical lines. LC-15b

•Explore a variety of tools that can be used for writing. LC-15c

•Scribble and/or imitate an adult’s marks with markers, crayons, paints, etc. LC-15d

•Transition from holding a crayon or marker in their fist to holding it between thumb and forefinger. LC-15e

•Use a variety of writing tools and materials with purpose and control (pencils, chalk, markers, crayons, paintbrushes, finger paint, computers). LC-15f

•Make marks they call “writing” that look different from drawings (vertical series of marks for a “grocery list,” horizontal line of marks for a “story”). LC-15g

•Play with writing letters and make letter-like forms. LC-15h

•Use a variety of writing tools and materials with increasing precision. LC-15i

•Imitate adult writing conventions that they have observed (write groups of letter-like forms separated by spaces, try to write on a line, press Enter key on computer after typing a series of “words”). LC-15j

•Use some conventional letters in their writing. LC-15k

Teachers and caregivers should encourage children to learn to write by modeling writing, providing

opportunities to pretend or practice writing when they are playing, and letting them draw and

color with different types of writing materials . Experiences that are fun and use writing as a way to communicate (rather than just for the sake of

practicing letters) are the best way to teach writing skills . Children with fine motor delays may need

adaptations such as larger crayons or special pencil grips . For Dual Language Learners it is important that teachers ask children in which language they are writing, so children can become aware of the differences between writing in each language .

114North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Foundations for Writing

1. Provide crayons and other art materials for infants and toddlers to explore. Adapt art materials if needed so children with disabilities can use them.

2. Model the use of reading, writing, and drawing in everyday activities.

3. Bring books, paper, and writing/drawing tools outside for children to use and enjoy.

4. Make sure that children often see their name in writing, such as on their cubby/personal space, on all personal belongings, and on their artwork or other creations if they wish.

5. For older toddlers, point out a few familiar letters such as the first letter in a child’s name and call attention to them occasionally. If a child asks for a letter name, provide it. Do not drill toddlers on reciting the alphabet or naming letters.

6. Promote literacy-related play activities that reflect children’s interests and sociocultural experiences by supplying materials such as telephone books, recipe cards, shopping lists, greeting cards, and storybooks for use in daily activities.

7. Encourage children to retell experiences and events that are important to them through pictures and dictation.

8. Write down what children say and share those dictated writings with them.

9. Assist children in making their own books and class books.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

115Language Development and Communication

Foundations for Writing

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Give children frequent opportunities to draw, scribble, and print for a variety of purposes.

2. Provide a variety of tools, such as markers, crayons, pencils, chalk, finger paint, and clay. Provide adaptive writing/drawing instruments and computer access to children with disabilities.

3. Promote literacy-related play activities that reflect children’s interests and sociocultural experiences by supplying materials such as telephone books, recipe cards, shopping lists, greeting cards, and storybooks for use in daily activities.

4. Provide a variety of writing tools and props in centers (e.g., stamps and envelopes for the post office; blank cards, markers, and tape for signs in the block center).

5. Help children use writing to communicate by stocking the writing center with letters and cards that have frequently used and requested words (e.g., “love,” “Mom,” “Dad,” and children’s names with photos).

6. Show step-by-step how to form a letter on unlined paper when a child asks.

7. Encourage children to retell experiences and events that are important to them through pictures and dictation.

8. Write down what children say and share those dictated writings with them.

9. Think aloud (or describe step-by-step what you are doing) as you model writing for a variety of purposes in classroom routines (e.g., thank-you notes, menus, recipes).

10. Assist children in making their own books and class books.

11. Display children’s writing and comment on their successes.

12. Discuss letter names in the context of daily activities (as opposed to teaching one letter per week) and provide opportunities for children to hear specific letter sounds, particularly beginning sounds.

13. Use unlined paper for children’s writing so they will focus on letter formation instead of letter orientation.

14. Provide multiple opportunities for children to experiment writing their name (e.g. sign-in list, waiting list, labeling pictures, graphs, etc.).

15. Encourage children to write without an adult model for a variety of purposes (e.g. label their drawings, leave a note to a friend, shopping list, etc.).

16. Ask children if they have written in English or in another language to help them begin to understand that writing in one language is different from writing in another language.

116North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

117Cognitive Development

Cognitive Development (CD)

118North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

The Cognitive Development domain focuses on children’s ability to acquire, organize, and use information in increasingly complex ways. In their search for

understanding and meaning, young children play an active role in their own cognitive development. They begin to explain, organize, construct, and predict—skills that lay the cognitive foundation needed to explore and understand increasingly sophisticated concepts and the world they live in. They learn to apply prior knowledge to new experiences, and then use this information to refine their understanding of concepts as well as form new understanding.

For very young children, cognitive development is supported and encouraged through their relationships with others. It happens through daily activities, routines, and interactions with adults and other children. Through relationships, children become aware of things in the physical environment, as well as other people. Relationships facilitate children’s growing awareness of self, family, and community. They begin to understand that their actions have an effect on their environment and are able to think about things that are not present. They typically learn a great deal about themselves and form ideas about family roles and community

helpers. They also begin to understand simple scientific concepts by noticing, wondering, and exploring.

As children grow older and move into the preschool years, their thinking becomes increasingly complex. They move from simpler to more complex cognitive skills and become more effective thinkers. They begin to ask questions as they engage in increasingly more focused explorations. They begin to demonstrate good problem-solving skills and also begin to express themselves creatively using a variety of media. They also begin to remember and use what they learn in the areas of mathematics, science, creative expression, and social connections, the focus of four subdomains within the Cognitive Development domain. As you read through this domain, you will begin to notice the interrelatedness among subdomains. Processes and skills such as making observations, comparing and classifying objects, solving problems, asking questions, and making predictions support learning across all of the domains and link them together.

Many factors can be related to the progress children demonstrate in the Cognitive Development domain. For instance, some

Subdomains

Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

Creative Expression

Social Connections

Mathematical Thinking and Expression

Scientific Exploration and Knowledge

119Cognitive Development

children’s home environments provide many opportunities to explore and learn new concepts, while other children’s homes may be less stimulating. Children with disabilities may need extra support to make progress on the Developmental Indicators in this domain because individual differences in how they see, hear, process information, and/or communicate can affect how they take in information and how they express what they learn. Similarly, Dual Language Learners may learn new concepts and demonstrate what they know best in their home language.

Teachers and caregivers can promote children’s cognitive development by providing interesting materials and experiences, and encouraging children to explore and try using the materials in different ways. Whether it’s toys that require children to figure out how they work, art materials, or blocks they put together in different shapes, almost any experience can be used to support children’s understanding of the concepts included in the Cognitive Development domain.

Cognitive Development (CD)Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning• Goal CD-1: Children use their senses to construct knowledge about

the world around them. • Goal CD-2: Children recall information and use it for new situations

and problems.• Goal CD-3: Children demonstrate the ability to think about their own

thinking: reasoning, taking perspectives, and making decisions.

Creative Expression• Goal CD-4: Children demonstrate appreciation for different forms of

artistic expression. • Goal CD-5: Children demonstrate self-expression and creativity in

a variety of forms and contexts, including play, visual arts, music, drama, and dance.

Social Connections• Goal CD-6: Children demonstrate knowledge of relationships

and roles within their own families, homes, classrooms, and communities.

• Goal CD-7: Children recognize that they are members of different groups (e.g. family, preschool class, cultural group).

• Goal CD-8: Children identify and demonstrate acceptance of similarities and differences between themselves and others.

• Goal CD-9: Children explore concepts connected with their daily experiences in their community. ☛

120North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Cognitive Development (CD)(continued)

Mathematical Thinking and Expression• Goal CD-10: Children show understanding of numbers and

quantities during play and other activities.• Goal CD-11: Children compare, sort, group, organize, and measure

objects and create patterns in their everyday environment. • Goal CD-12: Children identify and use common shapes and

concepts about position during play and other activities. • Goal CD-13: Children use mathematical thinking to solve problems in

their everyday environment.

Scientific Exploration and Knowledge• Goal CD-14: Children observe and describe characteristics of living

things and the physical world.• Goal CD -15: Children explore the natural world by observing,

manipulating objects, asking questions, making predictions, and developing generalizations.

121Cognitive Development

Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

Goal CD-1: Children use their senses to construct knowledge about the world around them.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Discover different shapes, sizes and textures by exploring (put toys in mouth, crawl over pillows, pick up large objects). CD-1a

•Turn head or move toward sounds. CD-1b

•Actively explore objects by handling them in many ways (moving, carrying, filling, dumping, smelling, and putting in mouth). CD-1c

•Explore space with their bodies (fit self into large box, crawl under table, climb over low walls). CD-1d

•Explore objects and materials physically to learn about their properties. CD-1e

•Experiment with safe tools to learn how they work (wooden hammer with pegs, sifter, funnel). CD-1f

•Express knowledge gathered through their senses through play (imitate something they have seen an adult do, show they understand how to sort by sorting toys as they are playing). CD-1g

•Explore objects, tools, and materials systematically to learn about their properties (weigh an object, observe something from the top of the object to the bottom). CD-1h

•Express knowledge gathered through their senses using play, art, language, and other forms of representation. CD-1i

•Group familiar objects that go together (shoe and sock, brush and paint, hammer and nail). CD-1j

•Explore objects, tools, and materials systematically to learn about their properties (weigh an object, observe something from the top of the object to the bottom). CD-1k

•Express knowledge gathered through their senses using play, art, language, and other forms of representation. CD-1l

•Distinguish appearance from reality (the person behind a mask is still the same person; recognize that a fantasy story could not be real). CD-1m

•Organize and use information through matching, grouping, and sequencing. CD-1n

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Goal CD-2: Children recall information and use it for new situations and problems.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Search for objects that are hidden or partly hidden. CD-2a

•Respond differently to familiar vs. unfamiliar people, objects, and situations (reach for new interesting toy instead of old familiar toy; move toward familiar caregiver but hide head on parent’s shoulder when new person comes near). CD-2b

•Anticipate routine events (smile, wave arms and legs, move toward adult holding bottle). CD-2c

•Repeat an action to make something happen again (make sounds when music stops, bounce up and down to get adult to continue “horsey ride”). CD-2d

•Observe and imitate sounds, movements, and facial expressions, including things they have seen in the past or in other places. CD-2e

•Search in several places where an object has been hidden recently. CD-2f

•Notice a change in familiar objects, places, or events (frown at parent with a new haircut, look for furniture that was moved). CD-2g

•Perform routine events and use familiar objects in appropriate ways (carry clean diaper to changing table, talk on phone, “water” plants with pitcher). CD-2h

•Imitate behaviors they have seen in the past or in other places. CD-2i

•Identify objects and people in pictures by pointing or looking. CD-2j

•Search for objects in several places, even when not seen recently. CD-2k

•Show they remember people, objects, and events (tell about them, act them out, point out similar happenings). CD-2l

•Show they remember the order in which familiar events happen (finish line in story or song, get ready to go outdoors after snack). CD-2m

•Choose objects to represent something else with similar features during play (block for cell phone, large sheet for tent). CD-2n

•Recognize whether a picture or object is the same as or different from something they have seen before. CD-2o

•Apply what they know about everyday experiences to new situations (look for the seatbelt on the bus). CD-2p

•Describe or act out a memory of a situation or action, with adult support. CD-2q

•Make predictions about what will happen using what they know. CD-2r

•Introduce ideas or actions in play based on previous knowledge or experience. CD-2s

•Ask questions about why things happen and try to understand cause and effect. CD-2t

•Demonstrate their ability to apply what they know about everyday experiences to new situations. CD-2u

•Describe past events in an organized way, including details or personal reactions. CD-2v

•Improve their ability to make predictions and explain why things happen using what they know. CD-2w

•Introduce more elaborate or detailed ideas or actions into play based on previous knowledge or experience. CD-2x

•Try to reach logical conclusions (including conclusions regarding cause and effect) about familiar situations and materials, based on information gathered with their senses. CD-2y

123Cognitive Development

Goal CD-3: Children demonstrate the ability to think about their own thinking: reasoning, taking perspectives, and making decisions.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show awareness of others’ reactions to people, objects, and events. CD-3a

•Show awareness of another person’s intentions by establishing joint attention (look at an object, then at caregiver, and back at object). CD-3b

•Show awareness of others’ feelings about things by looking to see how they react. CD-3c

•Use words like “think,” “remember,” and “pretend.” CD-3d

•Talk about what they and other people want or like. CD-3e

•Use language to identify pretend or fantasy situations (say, “Let’s pretend we’re going on a trip.” “That’s a pretend story.”). CD-3f

•Use words like “think” and “know” to talk about thoughts and beliefs. CD-3g

•Recognize that beliefs and desires can determine what people do (e.g., a person will look for a missing object based on where they think it is rather than where it actually is). CD-3h

•Use language to identify pretend or fantasy situations (say, “Let’s pretend we’re going on a trip.” “That’s a pretend story.”). CD-3i

•Express understanding that others may have different thoughts, beliefs, or feelings than their own (“I like ketchup and you don’t.”). CD-3j

•Use language to describe their thinking processes with adult support. CD-3k

Teachers and caregivers can encourage and support perspective taking in young children by explaining how

another child might feel and/or how the other child

might view a situation .

124North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

1. Comfort premature infants if they become overstimulated. Premature infants may look away, fuss, or cry when they experience too much light, sound, or interaction with people. Turn lights low, keep noise down, swaddle gently, and stop interacting with if needed. Provide private space for children who become overstimulated to calm themselves.

2. Provide a variety of sensory experiences for infants and toddlers. Include fresh air; a range of smells, sounds, temperatures, materials to touch and feel; different surfaces (such as vinyl floors, carpet, grass, concrete, sand, and mud) and movement activities.

3. Place non-mobile children where they have opportunities to see and hear new things, see familiar things from different views, and watch or join in with others. Hang clear, simple pictures, mobiles, and unbreakable mirrors where infants and toddlers can see and/or hear them.

4. Make large objects available to toddlers to play with such as empty appliance boxes

(check for staples and sharp edges), baskets, or pillows.

5. Welcome questions from children about why things happen. If possible, show them while you explain. (For example, if a child asks, “Where did the ice go?” in a pitcher of water, put out a bowl of ice and invite children to watch what happens.)

6. Give toddlers choices to allow them to communicate likes and dislikes, such as deciding between two toys or choosing which color shirt to wear. For children who cannot point or talk, look for gazes or other gestures that show their likes and dislikes. Encourage use of some version of “yes” or “no” in words, signs, or gestures.

7. Use routines and real-life situations to help infants and toddlers learn. For example, talk about body parts during diapering or “hot” and “cold” while eating. Toddlers learn about things that go together and the concepts of “same” and “different” while sorting laundry and picking up toys.

8. Make extra efforts to help infants and toddlers with disabilities connect concepts

and words to their experiences. For example, for an infant who is blind, provide different things to touch, hear, feel and smell as the infant explores. Make sure a child with hearing loss is looking at you and at the object you are communicating about before speaking or signing about it.

9. Allow infants and toddlers to play for long periods of time and repeat activities over and over.

10. Hide toys while infants are watching and encourage them to find them (under a blanket, in your hand, behind the chair).

11. Give toddlers a chance to collect, sort, and organize objects and materials both indoors and outdoors. Make sure children with disabilities and non-mobile infants have access to the same wide variety of materials.

12. Provide toys and household items that pose problems for infants and toddlers to solve, such as empty containers with matching lids, measuring cups, pots and pans, sorters, busy boxes, simple puzzles, and large Duplo® blocks.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

125Cognitive Development

Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Help children participate in activities and enjoy a wide range of sensory experiences, especially for children with sensory impairments. For example, play music with a bass beat that children who are deaf can feel through their bare feet. Make sure children see others moving in time to the music. Remember, some children are overly sensitive to sound, light, or touch. Expose them to new sensory experiences gradually.

2. Take walks around the neighborhood to experience changes in nature. Point out flowers, colored leaves, wind, water, animals, and other items in nature. Observe what children are interested in and provide materials and books to follow their interests.

3. Provide opportunities to play with materials in ways that change them, such as cutting Play-Doh® and squishing it back together or mixing two colors of finger paint.

4. Read and act out stories in which the characters must work to solve challenging problems or make decisions. Talk about what the characters might be thinking or feeling.

5. Introduce a problem and encourage the children to come up with as many solutions as possible. Then ask them to think about possible consequences: “What would happen if they use this solution?”

6. Play games that involve thinking and reasoning, such as “I Spy” or “I’m Thinking of an Animal.”

7. Make planning a regular part of your program day. For example, after morning meeting or during breakfast ask children what they would like to do and how they plan to carry it out.

8. Ask open-ended questions that encourage children to think about what they are doing and possible next steps (e.g., “I wonder what would happen if you …”).

126North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

9. Set aside a part of each day to talk about and reflect on the day’s activities. Gather children into a small group and ask them to share what they have done. Encourage other children to be active listeners.

10. Interpret and expand on what children do and say. Children who are nonverbal or those beginning to learn English may gesture or present materials to indicate what they did. You can add words to their actions, checking with them for cues that indicate you understand their message.

11. Use reflective dialogue and comment on what you see children doing as they play. This encourages children to pay attention to what they are doing and it makes it easier for them to recall the event later.

12. Encourage children to carry over their activities to the next day. For example, if children run into a problem they had not anticipated, they can come up with solutions to try the following day.

13. Be aware that children might be solving problems silently. Allow them time to do so. Invite a child to use words to state, or show you, what the problem is if you believe this will lead them to a solution (don’t require them to explain the problem to you).

14. Invite children to tell or retell stories and talk about recent events. Discuss the sequencing and timing of experiences.

15. Promote decision-making for individual and/or class decisions (such as a choice of which author to study next or where to go on a field trip). Talk about what you are thinking or what children might be thinking as decisions are made. (“I know we need to choose what to do next, but I like both of the choices. I think we need to look at our choices to see which will work best …“)

127Cognitive Development

Creative Expression

Goal CD-4: Children demonstrate appreciation for different forms of artistic expression.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show wonder or fascination with objects, activities, or experiences (gaze at an object, become quiet or vocal when they hear lullabies, show bodily excitement when they hear music). CD-4a

•Hold, touch, and experience different textures (fuzzy blanket, smooth skin, rough carpet). CD-4b

•Show interest or pleasure in response to images, objects, and music (say, “Aaah” and reach for a brightly colored picture, look at or reach toward fluttering leaves). CD-4c

•Participate in and explore all possible media (use finger paint, glue scraps of paper on another paper, dance to music). CD-4d

•Express pleasure in different forms of art (call something “pretty,” express preferences, choose to look at book of photographs or listen to music again). CD-4e

•Participate in and describe art, music, dance, drama, or other aesthetic experiences (describe dancers spinning round and round; talk about colors in a painting). CD-4f

•Express pleasure in different forms of art (call something “pretty,” express preferences, choose to look at book of photographs or listen to music again). CD-4g

•Participate in, describe and ask questions about art, music, dance, drama, or other aesthetic experiences (describe dancers spinning round and round; talk about colors in a painting). CD-4h

•Express pleasure in different forms of art (call something “pretty,” express preferences, choose to look at book of photographs or listen to music again). CD-4i

•Participate in, describe and ask questions about art, music, dance, drama, or other aesthetic experiences (describe dancers spinning round and round; talk about colors in a painting). CD-4j

•Use art-specific vocabulary to express ideas and thoughts about artistic creations more clearly (say, “We need a stage for our puppet show.”). CD-4k

128North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal CD-5: Children demonstrate self-expression and creativity in a variety of forms and contexts, including play, visual arts, music, drama, and dance.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Use toys and household objects in a variety of different ways during play (wave, then scrunch, then throw scarf). CD-5a

•Explore sensory properties of art media (smear paint, pat and pound dough). CD-5b

•Make a variety of sounds with simple instruments, toys, and their own voice. CD-5c

•Express themselves by moving their bodies (wave arms when excited, hug soft toy). CD-5d

•Use hats and clothes for dress-up make-believe. CD-5e

•Explore art materials freely (make marks, squeeze clay, tear paper). CD-5f

•Use materials purposefully to create sounds (bang blocks together, ring bell, shake can to make contents jingle). CD-5g

•Move to music in their own way. CD-5h

•Recreate familiar scenes using play materials, language, and actions. CD-5i

•Experiment and create art with clay, crayons, markers, paint, and collage materials. CD-5j

•Make up simple nonsense songs, sign, chant, and dance (sing “la-la-la-la” on two pitches, twirl around and fall down, “march” by lifting knees high). CD-5k

•Express ideas and feelings through music, movement, and dance. CD-5l

•Choose to participate and express themselves through a variety of creative experiences, such as art, music, movement, dance, and dramatic play. CD-5m

•Show creativity and imagination when using materials and assuming roles during pretend play. CD-5n

•Explore the properties of art materials and use them with purpose to draw, paint, sculpt, and create in other ways. CD-5o

•Show awareness of different musical instruments, rhythms, and tonal patterns as they make music or participate in music activities. CD-5p

•Show awareness of various patterns of beat, rhythm, and movement through music and dance activities. CD-5q

•Choose to participate and express themselves through a variety of creative experiences, such as art, music, movement, dance, and dramatic play. CD-5r

•Plan and act out scenes based on books, stories, everyday life, and imagination. CD-5s

•Plan and complete artistic creations such as drawings, paintings, collages, and sculptures. CD-5t

•Recall and imitate different musical tones, rhythms, rhymes, and songs as they make music or participate in musical activities (clap previous beat to a new song). CD-5u

•Recall and imitate patterns of beat, rhythm, and movement as they create dances or participate in movement and dance activities. CD-5v

Most children seem to naturally enjoy participating in creative arts activities .

Teachers and caregivers support children’s creativity by providing lots of different

types of materials and experiences, and then encouraging children to use them in

different ways without evaluating what children are doing .

129Cognitive Development

Creative Expression

1. Provide musical mobiles for infants to watch and listen to.

2. Place pictures and photographs at eye level for infants and toddlers and talk about them. Laminate pictures and attach them to the wall with Velcro® so children can handle them without damage.

3. Display children’s artwork at their eye level and go back often to talk about it. Help young children respect their artwork by encouraging them to keep the art on the walls.

4. Provide a wide variety of sensory materials both indoors and outdoors, such as Play-Doh®, goop (cornstarch and water), clay, finger paint, chalk, sand, mud, and wood pieces.

5. Provide materials for drawing, painting, building, molding, and making collages. Choose materials that are suitable for the age and development of the children. For example, use contact paper for collages with children who cannot handle glue.

6. Invite children to talk about the art they create. Recognize that they may not have words for their creations or may not want to describe them. Make specific, non-judgmental comments about what they have done. (“You put a lot of feathers in this corner.”)

7. Provide toys that create life scenes like a farm, parking lot, bus station, or school. Use puppets and stuffed animals to act out songs, rhymes, and stories. Encourage children to pretend using these materials

8. Provide dress-up materials to encourage pretend play about a variety of themes (gowns and top hats for a night on the town; hardhats, big boots, and tools for builders; dresses, ties, shoes, and watches for house and office play).

9. Offer creative play activities both indoors and outdoors. For example, children might use chalk on a blackboard indoors or on the sidewalk outdoors. Play music outdoors where children can make large dance movements.

10. Encourage children to move and dance to music in many different ways (march, clap, stomp, gallop, jump, sway). Offer dance props such as scarves, streamers, and shakers for toddlers to twirl and shake.

11. Take pictures of the children doing creative activities. Display these pictures to help children recall what they have done and to help families appreciate the creative process.

12. Give infants and toddlers many opportunities to experience beauty through all their senses (touching snow, looking at rainbows, smelling freshly mowed grass, tasting different foods, listening to birds chirp).

13. Set an example by demonstrating spontaneity, a sense of wonder, and excitement.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

130North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Creative Expression

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Encourage children to talk about and/or share their creative expressions with others.

2. Provide access to a variety of materials (non-hazardous paints, modeling materials, a wide variety of paper types, writing and drawing utensils of various sizes and types, and collage materials), media, and activities that encourage children to use their imagination and express ideas through art, construction, movement, music, etc.

3. Use a variety of horizontal and vertical surfaces (easels, floor, and walls) and two- and three-dimensional objects (boxes, clay, and plastic containers) for creative expression.

4. Develop classroom procedures that encourage children to move materials from one learning center to another (such as using markers and paper in a dramatic play area).

5. Use an abundance of multicultural books, pictures, tapes, and CDs in the classroom.

6. Take children to museums, galleries, plays, concerts, and other appropriate cultural activities.

7. Invite parents, authors, artists, musicians, and storytellers from different cultural and language backgrounds to the classroom so children can observe firsthand the creative work of a variety of people in the arts.

8. Give children opportunities to respond through music, movement, dance, dramatic play, and art (e.g., following expressive movement experiences, ask them to draw a picture of themselves and then tell you about the picture).

9. Provide appropriate instruments (e.g., maracas, rhythm sticks, bells, tambourines, drums, sand blocks, shakers) for musical experimentation.

10. Play music, provide materials such as scarves, streamers, and bells, and make room indoors and outdoors for children to move freely.

11. Encourage children to move and use their bodies in space (e.g., pretending to be a cat, a volcano, or a butterfly). Assist children with modeling movement positions as needed.

12. Furnish materials that will facilitate the re-creation of memories or experiences that a child can share (for example, materials and medium to re-create a memory of a field trip apple picking).

13. Display children’s artwork on their eye level on a rotating basis, along with other items of beauty (e.g., wall hangings, tapestry, weavings, posters, stained glass, or arrangements of flowers and leaves).

14. Borrow library prints of great artwork representing a variety of countries and ethnic groups, hang them at the eye level of the children, and have conversations about them.

131Cognitive Development

Social Connections

Goal CD-6: Children demonstrate knowledge of relationships and roles within their own families, homes, classrooms, and communities.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Intently observe actions of children, adults, pets, and objects nearby. CD-6a

•Seek parents, siblings, caregivers, and teachers for play and for meeting needs. CD-6b

•Imitate routine actions of their caregivers (rock a baby doll, push a lawnmower, “read” a magazine). CD-6c

•Know whom they can go to for help (regular caregiver vs. visitor, parent vs. neighbor). CD-6d

•Use play to show what they know about relationships and roles in families and other familiar contexts. CD-6e

•Talk about what others do during the day (“Mommy at work. Mimi at home.”). CD-6f

•Help with daily routines (put cups out for lunch, feed pets, wash tables). CD-6g

•Talk about close family members, name their relationships to each other, and describe family routines (“Marika is my sister.” “My grandma takes care of me at night.”). CD-6h

•Adopt roles of family and community members during play, given support and realistic props. CD-6i

•Recognize and identify the roles of some community helpers (police, fire fighters, garbage collectors). CD-6j

•Talk about a wide circle of family members and other people important to the family, their relationships to each other, and shared experiences. CD-6k

•Adopt roles of a wide variety of family and community members during dramatic play, using props, language, and actions to add detail to their play. CD-6l

•Recognize and identify the roles of a wide variety of community helpers (police, fire fighters, garbage collectors, doctors, dentists). CD-6m

Children’s families and communities differ from each other and from their

teachers’ family and community . Teachers and caregivers can best

support children’s understanding of their family, home, and community by being accepting and respecting

each child’s unique experiences with relationships and roles .

132North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal CD-7: Children recognize that they are members of different groups (e.g., family, preschool class, cultural group).

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Show a clear preference for familiar people. CD-7a

•Recognize children and others they spend a lot of time with (make sounds, say name, move toward or away from child). CD-7b

•Put self into categories based on age, gender, and physical characteristics (“I’m a girl.” “I have long hair.”). CD-7c

•Identify self as a part of a specific family, preschool class, or other familiar group (e.g., point to picture and say, “That’s my family,” or “I’m in Ms. Emily’s class.”). CD-7d

•Identify and express self as a part of several groups (e.g., family, preschool class, faith community). CD-7e

133Cognitive Development

Goal CD-8: Children identify and demonstrate acceptance of similarities and differences between themselves and others.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging •Compare their own physical features with those of others by looking and touching. CD-8a

•Describe people who are similar and different based on characteristics such as age, gender, and other physical characteristics. CD-8b

•Show awareness of similarities and differences among people and families during play. CD-8c

•Show acceptance of people who are different from themselves as well as people who are similar. CD-8d

•Given support and guidance, explore different cultural practices during play and planned activities. CD-8e

•Show acceptance of people who are different from themselves as well as people who are similar. CD-8f

•Talk about how other children have different family members and family structures than their own (“I live with my Grandma and Shanika lives with her Mom and Dad.” “David’s dad works but my Daddy stays home and takes care of me.”). CD-8g

•Show acceptance of different cultures through exploration of varying customs and traditions, past and present (how people dress, how people speak, food, music, art, etc.). CD-8h

Children’s ability to identify and demonstrate acceptance of similarities and differences with other people is based on

opportunities they have to see teachers and caregivers modeling

acceptance and respect, and opportunities to talk about the

importance of accepting people who are similar to and different

from themselves .

134North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal CD-9: Children explore concepts connected with their daily experiences in their community.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging Emerging •Use play to communicate what they know about their community (pretend to go to the store, pretend to be a police person). CD-9a

•Describe characteristics of the places where they live and play (say, “My house is big and there are trees in my yard.” “The playground has swings and a sandbox.”). CD-9b

•Notice changes that happen over time (seasons, self or others growing bigger). CD-9c

•Notice and talk about weather conditions. CD-9d

•With prompting and support, participate as a member of a democratic classroom community (vote for name of class pet, wait turn to paint when easels are full). CD-9e

•Describe characteristics of the places where they live and play (say, “My house is big and there are trees in my yard.” “The playground has swings and a sandbox.”). CD-9f

•Observe and talk about changes in themselves and their families over time. CD-9g

•Observe and talk about how people adapt to seasons and weather conditions (put out salt in icy weather, wear rain gear). CD-9h

•Show awareness of the basic needs all families have (food, shelter, clothing) and how needs are met (work, help each other). CD-9i

•Demonstrate positive social behaviors and take personal responsibility as a member of a group (share, take turns, follow rules, take responsibility for classroom jobs). CD-9j

135Cognitive Development

Social Connections

1. Hold and hug infants and toddlers throughout the day. Learn from families how they hold, calm, and soothe their infant so you can do the same. This helps each child feel safe and secure.

2. Tell infants and toddlers what you are going to do before you perform caregiving tasks. (“I’m going to wash your face and then we can play.”)

3. Learn as much as you can about the cultures of the families in your program. Provide books, pictures, toys, music, and other materials that are familiar to children. This brings their cultures into the play area in positive ways.

4. Provide materials and activities that show other cultures and people from many different backgrounds in positive ways so children can see and experience how diverse humans are (diversity of all types including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation).

5. Learn to say a few important words in the home language of infants and toddlers whose families speak a different language. (Consult with parents about which phrases are most important.)

6. Model pleasant, polite interactions with family members and other adults. Infants and toddlers will imitate you.

7. Help toddlers begin to recognize and explore differences among people. Talk about these differences in a positive way.

8. Allow and support children’s choice of playmates. Help children play together, including children who are different from each other. Model and encourage gentle touch while playing. Make a special effort to help children who speak different languages play together by helping them communicate with each other.

9. Allow toddlers to help with daily routines such as putting out napkins, folding laundry, feeding pets, and watering plants. Adapt tasks so children with disabilities can participate.

10. Share children’s pleasure in learning and discovering new things through daily routines and their play, both indoors and outdoors. Take children to community events and places such as parks, playgrounds, and the petting zoo, farmer’s market, and library to learn about the world.

11. Make scrapbooks or memory books and revisit them with the children.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

136North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Social Connections

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Equip a dramatic play area with a variety of props reflecting different aspects of families, communities, and cultures. This will encourage a true understanding of others. Change props according to the interests of the children.

2. Provide literature and music that reflect a variety of cultures and traditions.

3. Use literature, puppets, and role playing to help children relate to the feelings of others.

4. Give children access to a wide selection of quality multicultural books.

5. Implement activities that reflect the similarities and differences among the children and families within the classroom (e.g., do body tracing and provide children with multicultural crayons to represent the variety of skin tones).

6. Invite community helpers into the classroom.

7. Welcome families into the classroom to share their cultures, traditions, and talents.

8. Explore the physical, biological, and social world beginning with your school (e.g., a visit to another classroom) and then into the community through field trips.

9. Involve children in school and community service projects.

10. Model cooperation and negotiation. Involve children in making rules for the classroom.

11. Hold class meetings to discuss concerns and issues that occur in the classroom. Encourage children to use a variety of problem-solving strategies to work through any concerns (e.g., use role-playing and puppets to help children empathize with their peers).

12. Learn to say a few important words in the home language of children whose families speak a different language. (Consult with parents about which phrases are most important.)

13. Talk with children about relevant past and future events.

137Cognitive Development

Mathematical Thinking and Expression

Goal CD-10: Children show understanding of numbers and quantities during play and other activities.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Indicate they want “more” with signs, sounds, or looks. CD10a

•Show interest (look at or reach for) in obvious differences in quantity (look at a tower with 3 blocks longer than a tower with 7 blocks, reach for a basket with three balls rather than a basket with one ball). CD-10b

•Explore quantity (for example, filling and dumping containers). CD-10c

•Use words or actions that show understanding of the concepts of “more” and “all” (ask for more food, stop asking for more blocks when told they have “all” of the blocks). CD-10d

•Recognize the difference between two small sets of objects (6 or under) that include a different number of objects (point to which set of crayons has more). CD-10e

•Use words or actions that show understanding of the concepts of “more,” “all,” and/or “none” (ask for more food, stop asking for more blocks when told they have “all” of the blocks, become upset when told there is no more Play-Doh®). CD-10f

•Attempt to chant or recite numbers, but not necessarily in the correct order. CD-10g

•Place items in one-to-one correspondence during play and daily routines (one spoon at each plate; one doll in each toy car). CD-10h

•Rote count in order to 10 with increasing accuracy. CD-10j

•Count up to 5 objects arranged in a line using one-to-one correspondence with increasing accuracy, and answer the question “How many?” CD-10k

•Compare visually two groups of objects that are obviously equal or unequal in quantity and communicate that they are the same or different, and which one has more (choose a plate with four cookies rather than a plate with one cookie). CD-10l

•Rote count in order to 20 with increasing accuracy. CD-10n

•Without counting, state the number of objects in a small collection (1-3) (when a friend holds up two fingers, look at her hand and say, “Two fingers” without counting). CD-10o

•Count up to 10 objects arranged in a line using one-to-one correspondence with increasing accuracy, and answer the question “How many?” CD-10p

•Given a number 0-5, count out that many objects. CD-10q

•Compare the amount of items in small sets of objects (up to 5 objects) by matching or counting and use language such as “more than” and “less than” to describe the sets of objects. CD-10r

138North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Goal CD-10: Children show understanding of numbers and quantities during play and other activities.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger ToddlersOlder Toddlers

(continued) Younger Preschoolers

(continued)Older Preschoolers

(continued)

•Make a small group (1-3) with the same number of items as another group of items (take 3 balls from a basket after the teacher shows the group that she has 3 balls and asks each person to take the same number of balls). CD-10i

•Show they understand that adding objects to a group will make a bigger group, and taking away objects will make a smaller group. CD-10m

•Show they understand that putting two groups of objects together will make a bigger group and that a group of objects can be taken apart into smaller groups. C-10s

•Write numerals or number-like forms during play and daily activities. CD-10t

•Match numerals 1-5 to sets of objects, with guidance and support. CD-10u

•Recognize some numerals and attempt to write them during play and daily activities. CD-10v

•Show understanding of first, next, and last during play and daily activities (answer questions about who is first and last to slide down the slide; say, “The engine is first, and the caboose is last” when making a train). CD-10w

Children gain an understanding of numbers and mathematical concepts through hands-on activities that are related to real life better than activities that

focus on the names of numbers and on counting objects just for the sake of

learning to count .

139Cognitive Development

Goal CD-11: Children compare, sort, group, organize and measure objects and create patterns in their everyday environment.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

• Discover objects of different sizes by exploring (put toys in mouth, pick up large objects). CD-11a

•Participate in activities that compare the size and weight of objects. CD-11b

•Show awareness of different categories during play (put balls in a box and dolls in a bed; give one friend all the cars and another friend all of the trucks when playing in the block area). CD-11c

•Group objects into categories (cars with cars, plates separated from cups). CD-11d

•Use size and amount words to label objects, people, and collections (big truck, a lot of cookies, little baby). CD-11e

•Use descriptive language for size, length, or weight (short, tall, long, heavy, big). CD-11f

•Use simple measurement tools with guidance and support to measure objects (a ruler, measuring cup, scale). CD-11g

•Compare the size or weight of two objects and identify which one is longer/taller/heavier than the other (“That rock is heavier than this one; I can’t lift it.” “A snake is longer than a worm.”). CD-11h

•Identify familiar objects as the same or different. CD-11i

•Sort familiar objects into categories with increasing accuracy (tools for woodworking and utensils for cooking; rectangle blocks on one shelf and square blocks on another shelf). CD-11j

•Recognize simple repeating patterns and attempt to create them during play (repeat a movement pattern during a song, make a line of blocks in alternating colors). CD-11k

•Use descriptive language for size, length, or weight (short, tall, long, heavy, big). CD-11l

•Use simple measurement tools with guidance and support to measure objects (a ruler, measuring cup, scale). CD-11m

•Directly compare more than two objects by size, length, or weight (“That rock is heavier than these others; I can’t lift it.” Look at three strings that are different lengths and select the longest string). CD-11n

•Put a few objects in order by length (ar-range a group of 3 blocks in order from the shortest to the longest). CD-11o

•Sort a group of objects (0-10) using one attribute (color, size, shape, quantity) with increasing accuracy (sort blocks by shape and place like-shaped blocks on the shelf; sort beads by color). CD-11p

•Duplicate and extend simple patterns using concrete objects (look at a pattern of beads and tell what bead comes next in the pattern). CD-11q

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Goal CD-12: Children identify and use common shapes and concepts about position during play and other activities.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Discover different shapes by exploring (put blocks in mouth, roll balls). CD-12a

•Attempt to put objects into other objects (such as putting pieces into holes or other spaces). CD-12b

•Explore space with their bodies (fit self into large box, crawl under table, climb over low walls). CD-12c

•Put basic shapes into a shape sorter using trial and error. CD-12d

•Respond to and begin to use words describing positions (in, on, over, under, etc.). CD-12e

•Name or match a few shapes. CD-12f

•Stack or line up blocks that are the same shape. CD-12g

•Show they understand positions in space by using position words during play and by following directions from an adult (say, “Stand behind the chair.” “Put the ball in the box.”). CD-12h

•Use 2- and 3-dimensional shapes to create pictures, designs, or structures. CD-12i

•Find shapes in the environment and describe them in their own words. CD-12j

•Consistently use a variety of words for positions in space, and follow directions using these words. CD-12k

•Use 2- and 3-dimensional shapes to represent real-world objects (say, “We are building a castle and we need a round block for the tunnel.” “I glued a circle and a square on my picture to make a house.”). CD-12l

•Name basic shapes and describe their characteristics using descriptive and geometric attributes (“That’s a triangle; it’s pointy.” “It’s a circle because it’s round.”). CD-12m

141Cognitive Development

Goal CD-13: Children use mathematical thinking to solve problems in their everyday environment.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers

Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

Emerging Emerging •Use observation and emerging counting skills (1, 2, 3) during play and other daily activities. CD-13a

•Seek answers to questions by using mathematical thinking during play and daily activities (determine who is taller by standing next to classmate; find two smaller blocks to replace larger block). CD-13b

•Use observation and counting (not always correctly) to find out how many things are needed during play and other daily activities (figure out how many spoons are needed for snack, find enough dolls so each person has one when playing in the dramatic play area). CD-13c

•Use drawing and concrete materials to represent mathematical ideas (draw many circles to show “lots of people,” put Popsicle® sticks in a pile to show the number of children who want crackers for snack). CD-13d

•Seek answers to questions during play and daily activities using an increasing variety of mathematical strategies. CD-13e

•Use observation and counting with increasing accuracy to answer questions such as “How many do we need?” and “How many more do we need?” during play and other daily activities (count new children to see how many more plates are needed for snack; return extra drinks to cooler at picnic to arrive at the correct number). CD-13f

•Use drawing and concrete materials to represent an increasing variety of mathematical ideas (draw shapes to represent pattern; stack different-colored blocks to represent classmates’ answers to a survey question). CD-13g

•Begin to explain how a mathematical problem was solved (“I saw that there was always a blue flower after a red flower so I knew to put a blue one next.” “I counted four friends who didn’t have cookies so I got four more.”). CD-13h

142North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Mathematical Thinking and Expression

1. Teach concepts such as shapes to toddlers through everyday routines and interactions. For example, say, “I see that you have red circles on your shirt.”

2. Offer toys or objects with one-to-one relationships (e.g., containers with lids, markers with tops).

3. During mealtimes, ask children, “Would you like to have some more?”

4. Play games, sing songs, and read books that use numbers and counting (e.g., “This Little Piggy”).

5. Begin to ask children questions such as, “How many do you see?” or “How tall is your tower?”

6. Talk with children about what they are doing or how they are playing. Use words that introduce children to concepts such as counting or making comparisons (e.g., bigger/smaller, 1-2-3, etc.).

7. Read books that present basic mathematics concepts in the context of everyday environments or routines (e.g., home, going to bed, mealtimes, etc.).

8. Provide toys that have incremental sizes (e.g., nesting cups or stackable rings).

9. Provide opportunities to notice patterns in nature (e.g., shape of leaves or types of flowers).

10. Provide sand and water play, giving children opportunities to pour, fill, scoop, and dump to develop an understanding of volume, under adult supervision.

11. Help children pair items that go together because they are used together (pail and shovel).

12. Count out the number of objects as you give them out (e.g., at snack time, count out the number of crackers by saying, “One, two, three ….”).

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

143Cognitive Development

Mathematical Thinking and Expression

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Make a variety of materials easily accessible for children for the purpose of developing and refining mathematical knowledge (e.g., blocks and accessories, collections, sand and water accessories, art supplies, dramatic-play props, manipulatives, and literacy materials).

2. Prompt thinking and analysis by asking open-ended questions. (“How will you know how many plates you need for the guests at your party?”)

3. Provide a variety of manipulatives that can be counted, sorted, and ordered (for example, blocks by colors, sizes, shapes).

4. Incorporate many different types of counting activities in the context of daily experiences and routines.

5. Read stories, sing songs, and act out poems and finger plays that involve counting, numerals, and shapes.

6. Identify shapes within the classroom and surrounding environment, and talk about them using terms that are associated with geometry.

7. Display a picture schedule of the daily classroom routine that can be referred to throughout the day.

8. Model problem-solving strategies (talk out loud about what you are thinking as you solve a problem).

9. Provide opportunities to observe naturally occurring patterns within the indoor and outdoor environments. Use art materials and manipulatives with children to create patterns (e.g., weaving, painting, stringing beads, and building blocks).

10. Provide opportunities to measure (e.g., “How many steps does it take to walk from the front door to your cubby?” or “How many blocks long is your arm?”).

11. Provide opportunities to weigh objects (comparing the weight of common classroom objects using a balance scale).

12. Provide real-life and purposeful experiences that are related to children’s understanding of quantities. (“How many graham crackers will we need for your table at snack time?”)

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Scientific Exploration and Knowledge

Goal CD-14: Children observe and describe characteristics of living things and the physical world.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Observe and explore natural phenomena indoors and outdoors, using all senses (rub hands over grass, lift face to feel wind, pat family dog, splash water). CD-14a

•Use abilities to observe and explore natural phenomena indoors and outdoors with focus, using all senses (notice and interact with small insects, smell flowers, catch falling snow, shuffle through leaves). CD-14b

•Participate in the care of living things with guidance and support (water plants, help to feed classroom pet). CD-14c

•Show curiosity and investigate the world of nature indoors and outdoors (pick up rocks, scratch frost on window, ask questions about things seen outdoors). CD-14d

•Participate in the care of living things, with guidance and support (water plants, help to feed classroom pet). CD-14e

•Notice and react to the natural world and the outdoor environment. CD-14f

•Notice and describe characteristics of plants and animals, such as appearance, similarities, differences, behavior, and habitat. CD-14g

•Notice and describe current weather conditions. CD-14h

•Notice and describe properties of materials and changes in substances (water freezes into ice, pudding thickens, clay hardens). CD-14i

•Participate in activities that help to care for the environment, with guidance and support (pick up trash, recycle paper). CD-14j

•Collect items from nature (rocks, leaves, insects) and classify them using physical characteristics (color, size, shape, texture). CD-14k

•Notice and react to the natural world and the outdoor environment. CD-14l

•Describe some things plants and animals need to live and grow (sunlight, water, food). CD-14m

•Take responsibility for the care of living things (independently feed classroom pet as daily chore, water plant when dry, weed vegetable garden). CD-14n

•Notice and describe weather conditions, position of the sun and moon at different times, and seasonal changes. CD-14o

•Notice, describe, and attempt to explain properties of materials and changes in substances (metal railing is hot because the sun shines on it; ice melts when it gets warmer). CD-14p

•Participate in activities that help to care for the environment and explain why they are important with guidance and support (gathering cans for recycling, planting trees). CD-14q

➡➡

Children with disabilities may need extra support as they observe and

describe living things and objects . Be sure they can use different senses to

observe, and provide opportunities for them to describe observations wtih

words, gestures, and/or pictures . Dual Language Learners will also benefit from opportunities to express their observation in their home language

or in English .

145Cognitive Development

Goal CD-15: Children explore the world by observing, manipulating objects, asking questions, making predictions, and developing generalizations.

Developmental Indicators

Infants Younger Toddlers Older Toddlers Younger Preschoolers Older Preschoolers

•Gather information through sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. CD-15a

•Use multiple senses to focus intently on objects, displays, materials, or events. CD-15b

•Use all senses to examine the environment carefully (reach out to touch rain, stop playing to watch shadows, gaze at moon). CD-15c

•Use toys and other objects to make things happen (kick a ball, push a button on a toy). CD-15d

•Explore objects and materials by handling them in many ways (moving, carrying, filling, dumping, smelling, putting in mouth). CD-15e

•Investigate differences between materials (sand, water, goop, moving air). CD-15f

•Use simple tools to manipulate and explore objects and materials, with guidance and support (containers for pouring, sand mold, magnifying glass). CD-15g

•Notice changes in materials when mixing and manipulating (paint, Play-Doh®, food ingredients). CD-15h

•Represent what they learn during scientific exploration through drawing, modeling, building, movement, or other methods. CD-15i

•Observe objects, materials, and phenomena and describe what they notice (temperature, texture, size, weight, color, etc.). CD-15j

•Ask questions to find out more about the natural world. CD-15k

•Use simple tools to investigate objects and materials, with guidance and support (magnifying glass, sifter, ramps for rolling balls and cars). CD-15l

•Describe and predict changes that take place when mixing and manipulating materials. CD-15m

•Represent what they learn during scientific exploration through drawing, modeling, building, movement, or other methods. CD-15n

•Ask questions and identify ways to find answers (look in a book, use the computer, try something and watch what happens). CD-15o

•Compare objects, materials, and phenomena by observing and describing their physical characteristics. CD-15p

•Use an increasing variety of tools to investigate the world around them (measuring tools, balance, prism, droppers). CD-15q

•Make and check predictions through observations and experimentation, with adult support and guidance. CD-15r

•Manipulate the environment to produce desired effects and invent solutions to problems (attach a piece of string to the light switch so they can independently turn off the lights). CD-15s

146North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Scientific Exploration and Knowledge

1. Offer toys that allow infants and toddlers to experiment with cause and effect (for example, knobs that twist to make a sound or levers that slide open to make an object appear).

2. Observe what infants and toddlers are interested in (i.e., what toys/objects they like to play with). Notice and name things that interest them. Add toys or other objects that may extend their current play or make it slightly more complex.

3. Arrange the environment to encourage exploration. For infants who are not yet able to roll over or search for desired toys, teachers may need to help infants find or hold these items.

4. Use moving objects to attract an infant’s attention and stimulate interest. Hang mobiles or plants where children can watch them move, as well as enjoy their color and shape.

5. Make a telescope out of a paper towel tube and encourage children to look around the room or playground for certain objects (e.g., “Do you see anything green? or “Where is an animal?”).

6. Play “Name That Body Part” while dressing or changing infants and toddlers. (For example, ask “Where are your toes?” or “Show me your ears.”)

7. Look for books with real pictures of animals and practice making animal sounds together. Talk about the animals. (For example, “The goat is furry and makes a sound like this, ‘M-a-a-a-a.’ ”)

8. Offer different textures and surfaces for infants and toddlers to explore (e.g., furry material, smooth silk, bumpy or hard plastic). This helps infants and toddlers learn about the world around them.

9. Allow infants and toddlers time to figure out what to do with new play materials. Take time to watch rather than direct their actions.

Strategies for Infants and Toddlers

147Cognitive Development

Scientific Exploration and Knowledge

Strategies for Preschoolers

1. Expose children to the scientific method of inquiry: observing, questioning, predicting, experimenting, and representing results.

2. Engage children in observing events, exploring natural objects, and reflecting on what they learn (e.g., hang a bird feeder outside the classroom window and use binoculars to observe the birds; go outdoors).

3. Give children freedom to come up with their own solutions to problems. Listen to their ideas. Model the thinking process by talking out loud, writing or mapping about a problem, and reflecting on how it might be solved.

4. Model language that encourages children to express wonder, pose questions, and provide evidence of discoveries.

5. Create a sensory center to stimulate curiosity and exploration. Mix colors (paint, markers, food coloring, crayons) to see what happens.

6. Model and teach responsible behavior. Guide children in the handling and care of pets, plants, and learning tools.

7. Provide a science discovery center where children can compare the properties of objects such as shells, rocks, nests, and skeletons. Also include science materials throughout the indoor and outdoor environments.

8. Provide simple tools (e.g., magnifying glass, binoculars, eyedropper, sieve, simple microscope) to use in exploration. Modify simple tools when needed to make them accessible to all children in the group.

9. Encourage scientific exploration throughout the classroom (e.g., set up sinking and floating experiments at the water table; provide cooking experiences that encourage the observation of changes in matter; equip the block center with materials that encourage exploration of vehicles and ramps).

10. Plant gardens that change over the seasons. Provide a diversity of plants and trees that attract wildlife (e.g., butterfly bushes, trees for birdhouses, and bird feeders).

11. Provide a variety of outdoor natural materials (smooth stones, shells, pinecones, acorns) that children can investigate.

149North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Supporting Dual Language Learners (DLL)

A growing number of young children in North Carolina speak a language other than English at home. For example, Latino children made up the fastest-growing group of North

Carolina’s children, increasing by 34% in just three years (2005–2008).1 Given these changing demographics, it’s important for teachers, child care providers, and administrators to understand how children who speak a language other than English develop in order to support their progress on the skills and knowledge described in Foundations. While this brief section cannot provide all the information that a teacher or caregiver might need, it provides a starting point by describing Dual Language Learners, providing information on how to work with Dual Language children and families, and presenting ideas for how to use the Foundations document when working with Dual Language children.

Defining Dual Language LearnersDifferent terms have been used to describe children who speak a language other than English at home: English language learner, second language learner, limited English proficient, to name a few. This document uses the term “Dual Language Learners.” A Dual Language Learner (DLL) is a child who is learning a second language, in most cases English, at the same time he or she is learning his/her first or home language.2 The term “Dual Language Learner” highlights the fact that the child is learning two languages, or becoming bilingual, which is an important consideration for teachers and caregivers. Teachers also have to consider how the child is learning both the home language and English. In fact, children can become DLLs in many different ways. Some are exposed to both languages from birth, while others are exposed to one language at birth and then

begin to learn English when they enroll in child care/preschool.

The Dual Language Learning Process The process of learning a second language is complex, particularly when children are learning a second language at the same time they are learning their home language. In fact, the process of learning a second language is similar to learning a first language–it happens over a period of years. Also, children go through similar stages, such as babbling nonsense sounds, saying their first words, putting words together into phrases, and eventually speaking in full sentences. However, there are some differences in the language learning process when children are learning two languages at the same time. For instance, they may use the language they know best (their home language) when they try to speak the second language. This is

150North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

called “code switching.” A child might say, “Me gusta cookies,” mixing the Spanish words “Me gusta” (“I like”) with an English word (“cookies”). Examples such as this show that children are making progress in learning the second language, although it may seem like they are confusing their home language and the second language. This example also shows that learning language takes time. Although it might appear that children are learning the new language “like sponges,” it actually takes many years to learn a second language and to learn how to use it in different contexts such as the school and the community.

Children’s ability to learn a second language is influenced by many factors, including how they are exposed to the new language. Children who interact more often with persons who speak the second language will generally learn the second language more quickly. Also, the child’s temperament and her/his need to use the language to communicate will also affect how a child learns the second language. Children who are shy or children who are in settings where their home language is used frequently may not learn the second language as quickly as children who are outgoing and/or children in settings where the second language (i.e., English for many DLLs in North Carolina) is used more frequently.

Although the pace at which children learn the second language may vary based on a number of factors, researchers have found that children generally go through four stages as they learn a second language. The four stages are listed below and described in the table:3

• Home Language Use • Nonverbal Period• Telegraphic and Formulaic Speech• Productive Language Use

Teachers and caregivers who understand the dual language learning process and can recognize these four stages of dual language learning can support the children’s language development more effectively. Remember, children may appear to have completely adjusted to the new language and be functioning appropriately in the classroom (i.e., using English and following classroom routines and rules), but their language learning process is far from over. It is important to continue to provide support and use the strategies shown in the table with DLLs even as they move into the productive language stage.

One myth that educators sometimes hear is the idea that children will learn the second language (i.e., English) more quickly if they are in settings that use only English. Research has shown that children actually learn

English more effectively if they are in settings where both their home language and English are used. It turns out that when children can hear their own language and English, they can pick up concepts more easily and begin to understand what the English words mean because they can use clues from their home language. It is, however, difficult for many early learning programs and schools to provide support for children to use their home language because the teachers and caregivers may not speak the children’s home language. However, providing no support in the child’s first language can have negative effects in many aspects of the child’s cognitive development. Therefore it is worth trying in any way possible to help the children use both their home language and English. Teachers and caregivers who speak only English might train parents, volunteers, and members of the community who speak the children’s language to help in the classroom, and can encourage family members to continue to speak to the child in their home language.4

DLL and CultureDLL children are not just learning a second language. They also are growing up in a culture that is different from the culture of an English-speaking home. Therefore, in addition

151North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

Dual Language Learning Stages and Suggestions for Teaching Strategies

Developmental Sequence

of Language Acquisition What Does it Look Like in Children? What Should Teachers Do?

Stage 1— Home Language Use

•Continue using their home language.•Become aware that there is more than one language.•Decrease the use of their home language as they

recognize that others are speaking another language and don’t understand them.

•Create a positive environment that values children’s language and culture.•Allow children to use their home language to communicate.•Simplify your sentences and speak slowly.•Emphasize key words and phrases.•Focus on one language at a time.•Learn some words and phrases in the children’s home language.•Greet children in their language.•Encourage any attempt the children make to communicate.•Model conversations without requiring children to repeat words (teacher says, “Who wants a

cookie?” and the co-teacher responds, “I do. I want a cookie”). •Talk about the here and now and add words to their actions (“Maria is rocking the baby”).•Help children to get to know each other. Use repetitive songs and activities to help children

introduce themselves. •Encourage the children to work in small groups.•Invite volunteers who speak the children’s language to read and tell stories, and to interact with

them.•Label items in the classroom in both languages (use pictures and words).•Maintain an orderly and organized classroom.•Keep a regular routine so children learn vocabulary as you repeat activities every day.•Use a picture schedule.•Introduce new materials and vocabulary that you will use for any lesson or activity before the

lesson or activity. •Provide nonverbal and verbal clues to help children understand what others are saying (pointing,

gestures, facial expressions, body movements, intonation, modeling, and role playing).•Use a variety of visuals: real objects (realia), signs, props, maps, diagrams, charts, and pictures.•Use all the senses and a lot of hands-on activities. •Offer several activities that are all related to a topic the children are interested in or familiar with.•Use songs, finger plays, rhymes, and stories with predictable text.•Use music and movement activities frequently so children become aware of word patterns and

sounds.

Stage 2—Nonverbal Period

•Gather information about the new language.•Might use nonverbal communication (gestures, visuals,

facial expressions, imitating, attention-getting).•Observe others using the second language and build

their understanding about the new language.•Try out new sounds.•Might attempt conversations with those who

understand the new language.

Stage 3— Telegraphic and Formulaic Speech

•Start using one or two words (such as “Daddy shoes” and “Fish water,” which are examples of telegraphic sentences).

•Use phrases learned to help them communicate (such as “I like milk” and “I wanna play,” which are examples of formulaic speech).

Stage 4— Productive Language Use

•Start to construct phrases and sentences in the new language.

•Continue to make many mistakes as they develop their vocabulary.

•Become aware of their errors in the new language and use this knowledge to understand the rules of the new language.

Adapted from Tabors, P. (2008).

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to considering their language development process, teachers and caregivers must also think about the culture that children experience in their families and communities. In fact, the culture children experience can impact how they use their language, their general approach to learning, and their motivation to learn the knowledge and skills described in Foundations.5 When thinking of how to best meet the needs of DLLs, teachers need to consider variations in individual cultural practices as well as language differences among the children with whom they work. For instance, there may be cultural differences in the degree to which children are expected/taught to explore on their own or to express curiosity. Families may also differ in the extent to which they want their child to show independence and do things for him/herself. Teachers and caregivers must be sensitive to cultural differences in how and what children learn across all areas of their development.

The Importance of FamiliesWhile early educators commonly acknowledge that members of a child’s family are the first and most important teachers in a child’s life,

this view is especially important for DLLs. Family members know their child best and can provide unique insights into the child’s development, particularly his/her language development. For example, families can inform teachers about the child’s home language development, especially in those cases when the teacher or child care provider speaks only English. It is important to use a strengths-based approach to working with DLL families. The families, their culture, and their language are assets in educating their child, and they bring considerable resources to the classroom as a whole. Instead of thinking about what a family or a child does not know or understand, we should consider and honor what they do contribute to the education of their own child and to the classroom.

In order to use a strengths-based approach to working with DLL families, teachers and caregivers should keep in mind several considerations. First, it is important to ensure that families have the support that they need, including translation of written documents and interpretation services for oral communications, to fully participate in their child’s education. Parents of DLLs may have limited literacy in their own language so materials should be available in a language that the parents can read, and in formats such as

videos that can be understood by non-literate parents. Also, family members may experience difficulty participating in meetings (such as IEP meetings) to discuss their child’s needs or progress. Limited understanding of the education system and language barriers can get in the way of families’ participation. Also, because of cultural differences, family members may view teachers and administrators as “the experts” and be uncomfortable voicing their own observations of the child and/or concerns. Other barriers such as lack of transportation, long work hours, or multiple jobs can present additional challenges for parents. Teachers and caregivers should take steps to understand the challenges that families face and to provide information and resources that might help to overcome those obstacles.

Another important aspect of working with DLL children’s families is the need to build mutual trust. Teachers and caregivers can foster either trust or distrust, depending on how they relate with family members. It’s important to remember that both verbal and nonverbal messages can convey interest and empathy, which build trust. This is particularly true in cross-cultural and cross-language exchanges. Therefore, teachers and caregivers need to be aware of both what they say and how they say it, and be careful to treat families with respect

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and openness. Also keep in mind members of families that have experience in the child care or preschool program can be great allies in building trust. They can explain what to expect and introduce the teacher/caregiver to new families, helping them get off to a smoother start in the program. Relying on experienced families to help build relationships with other families can be a good strategy.

DLL and StandardsWhile it may seem that learning two languages at a young age might interfere with a child’s learning and development in other areas, it turns out that being a DLL is actually beneficial for children. In fact, research shows that DLLs often experience improved cognitive and social development. They are better at critical thinking skills, are more creative, acquire some literacy skills more quickly, and have a greater sense of respect for differences among people.6,7

In spite of these potential advantages, there are a number of considerations teachers and caregivers need to keep in mind when supporting DLL children’s progress in all of the areas described in Foundations. The table summarizes some strategies for how teachers can support DLL children’s development and learning, and this section provides additional advice. First, it is important to remember that

at the same time they are acquiring a second language, DLLs also need to learn the content such as early mathematics skills, early literacy skills, science, and social studies. Therefore, when planning learning experiences in areas such as science and mathematics, teachers need to take steps to make the content more accessible or understandable to children who speak another language. This may mean that teachers have to use props and/or pictures to show children a concept rather than just talking about what they are supposed to learn, or try other strategies to explain the skill they are teaching. Although strategies such as these are helpful for all children, they are particularly important for DLL children.

Teachers and caregivers also need to pay especially close attention to DLL children’s thinking related to areas such as mathematics and science. Because DLLs may still be learning the vocabulary the teacher/caregiver is using, it’s important to check to make sure they really understand the concept rather than relying on a simple correct answer that they might offer to questions. When working with any child but particularly with DLLs, teachers can get a better understanding of what the DLL child is thinking by asking why she/he gave a particular answer or how she/he decided what to say (or do if they are demonstrating a skill with actions).

Teachers can also check for understanding by asking the children to demonstrate concepts such as using manipulatives to indicate a specific number, etc. Probes such as this will help teachers get a better feel for whether the child really understands the concept they are trying to teach.

It is also important to think about how to integrate children’s sociocultural experiences at home into the curriculum. Building on what the children experience at home is more effective than introducing new skills and concepts in a way that is unfamiliar to DLLs. Young DLLs acquire knowledge of mathematics and science while they are engaged in daily routines and activities that are part of the cultural practices of their families and communities.8 Teachers need to incorporate families’ daily routines that involve mathematical and science learning into their curriculum.

Finally, teachers and caregivers should help DLLs demonstrate what they know in different ways, beyond just answering questions verbally. Young DLLs might demonstrate what they know through gestures, their first language, using pictures, or using props such as blocks or other objects.9 A knowledgeable and observant teacher can often determine children’s understanding of concepts even if they cannot express them verbally in academic English.

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ConclusionAll children, including DLLs, should have experiences that help them make progress on the skills and knowledge described in Foundations. Teachers and caregivers who provide support for the children to continue to use their home language, who are knowledgeable about and value the children’s home culture and family, and who intentionally seek to help children learn both English and concepts from Foundations will most effectively support the learning and development of DLLs.

Endnotes1 Action for Children North Carolina. (2010). Latino children

in North Carolina: An Action for Children North Carolina Data Report. Available at http://www.ncchild.org/publication-or-research-type/latino-children-north-carolina-2010

2 Center for Early Care and Education Research – Dual Language Learners. (2012). Primary definition of dual language learners (DLLs) used by the CECER-DLL. Available at http://cecerdll.fpg.unc.edu/

3 Tabors, P. (2008). One child, two languages: A guide for early childhood educators of children learning English as a second language (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

4 Espinosa, L. M. (2008). Challenging common myths about young English language learners. Foundation for Child Development Advancing PreK–3rd Series No. 8. Available at http://fcd-us.org/resources/challenging-common-myths-about-young-english-language-learners

5 Espinosa, L. M. (2005). Curriculum and assessment considerations for young children from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse backgrounds. Psychology in the Schools, 42(8), 837–853.

6 Genessee, F. (2008). Early dual language learning. Washington, DC: Zero to Three.

7 Hammer, C. S., & Miccio, A. W. (2006). Early language and reading development of bilingual preschoolers from low-income families. Topics in Language Disorders, 26, 322–337.

8 Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

9 Moschkovich, J. (2002). A situated and sociocultural perspective on bilingual mathematics learners. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 4(2–3), 189–212.

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Glossary

Active exploration – Activities that promote and encourage child development and learning through movement or by doing something.

Active learners –Children who learn by doing, participating, and/or playing.

Active physical play – Playful physical activities (structured or free-play) that promote physical fitness and motor development.

Accommodate – To make changes in materials, activities, interactions, or environments so all children can participate fully.

Activities – Experiences planned by the teacher or caregiver that create opportunities for children to explore and learn about their world.

Adaptive equipment – Devices or equipment designed to be used to support development and learning by helping a child more easily participate in play, curriculum activities, and caregiving routines.

Age levels – Overlapping ages of young children described in broad categories: infants, young toddlers, older toddlers, young preschoolers, and older preschoolers.

Alignment – The relationship between content addressed in two sets or age levels of standards.

Alphabetic principle – The understanding that letters and letter patterns represent the sounds of spoken language.

Appropriate – What is typically expected for a child’s age and ability level.

Artistic expression – A child’s effort to express thoughts, feelings, and experiences through some form of art (e.g., painting, drawing, sculpting, music, etc.).

Assessment – The act of gathering information about a child’s level of development and learning for purposes of making decisions that will benefit the child.

Assistive technology – A range of devices and strategies used to promote a child’s access to and participation in learning opportunities, from making simple changes to the environment and materials to helping a child use special equipment.

Attach/Attachment – The strong emotional tie children feel with special people in their lives (family members and other caregivers).

Attentiveness – The ability to focus and maintain attention on one topic or thing.

Audibly – Capable of being heard.

Augmentative communication – A term that refers to communication methods that can be used to supplement or replace speech or writing for children who are impaired in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language.

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Book knowledge – Knowledge of the basic features of a book such as the cover, title, author, etc.

Caregivers – Adults who care for infants and toddlers in homes, child care centers, family child care homes; adults who are kith and kin or family, friend and neighbor care providers; and adults who are early intervention professionals or specialized service providers.

Caregiving routines/care routines – Everyday experiences that meet young children’s needs such as diapering, feeding, and dressing.

Checklist – A list of characteristics used to indicate mastery of specific areas and used to evaluate a child’s progress.

Child-directed play – Allowing children to choose their own play in an environment that includes several options or choices.

Confidence – The general belief that one will be successful or can do something well.

Communication – The act of understanding and/or expressing wants, needs, feelings, and thoughts with others. Forms of communication may include crying, vocalizing, facial expressions, speech, gestures, sign language, pictures, and/or objects.

Consistent relationships – Relationships that develop when a child experiences predictable care from a primary caregiver(s) such as a parent or child care provider.

Construct knowledge – To gain understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and then reflecting on those experiences.

Coo – Production of vowel sounds, often in response to a human face or voice, usually beginning around the second month of life expressing happiness or contentment.

Cooperate – To work or act with others willingly and agreeably.

Creative expression – Expressing one’s own ideas, feelings, experiences, and/or perceptions through artistic media such as dance, music, and/or visual arts.

Creativity – The ability to move beyond the usual ideas, rules, patterns, or relationships.

Culture – A way of life of a group of people, including the behaviors, beliefs, values, traditions, religion, and symbols that are typical for the group and generally done/accepted without thinking about them.

Curriculum – A written set of materials that provides an integrated framework to guide

decisions adults make when providing experiences for children.

Demonstrate – To show clearly.

Developmental delay – When children’s development in one or more domains lags behind what is typical for their age.

Developmental Indicator – Specific statement that defines what children are able to do at a particular age level.

Developmental Indicator Continuum – A chart that shows the Goals and Developmental Indicators for each age level for a domain.

Developmental milestone – A set of skills or tasks that most children can do in a certain age range.

Developmental stage – The typical progression in children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development, which includes developmental milestones or specific skills or tasks that most children can do in a certain age range.

Dexterity – Skill and grace in physical movements.

Disability – A delay or impairment that is physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, or some combination of these.

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Diversity – Refers to the variety of characteristics that make individuals (and/or families) unique (e.g., culture, ethnicity, education, religion, economic background, etc.).

Domain – One of the five broad categories of learning and development in which goals and strategies are grouped, such as Emotional-Social Development.

Dramatic play – Refers to the various kinds of play where children can take on roles and act them out (e.g., pretending to be a parent or using dolls to tell a story).

Dual Language Learner (DLL) – Refers to children who are learning a second language at the same time they are continuing to develop their native or home language.

Early literacy – Describes the foundations of reading and writing that begin to develop in infancy and continue to emerge through the toddler, preschool, and kindergarten age periods.

Engage – To become involved or to be attentive.

Enthusiasm – Great excitement and interest.

Examine – To observe, test, or investigate.

Experiment – An action used to discover something unknown, to test a principle or idea, or to learn about a cause and its effect.

Expressive language – The ability to use words or gestures to communicate meaning.

Extend – (1) To make a longer sentence or add a thought to what the child has said; (2) to allow for more play by adding new ideas or materials to the setting; (3) to lengthen or stretch the human body, torso, arm, or leg.

Explore – To investigate or study.

Family – Refers to the closest relationships that a child has, including the child’s mother, father, foster or adoptive parents, grandparents, and/or others who are the primary caregivers in a child’s life.

“Feeling” words – Words used by adults to name the common feelings experienced by people (happiness, anger, fear, and sadness) to help young children learn to connect specific feelings with words.

Gaze – To look steadily and intently with curiosity, interest, pleasure, or wonder.

Generalization – The ability to take what has been learned in one situation and apply it to new and different situations (e.g., when children use a previously used or observed strategy to solve a new problem).

Gestures – Moving the limbs or body as an expression of thought or emphasis.

Goal – Statement that describes a general area or aspect of development that children make progress on throughout the birth through age five period.

Grammatical construction – Words that are put together according to the conventional rules of grammar to form sentences.

Hand-eye coordination – The ability to coordinate vision and hand movement in order to accomplish a task.

Hands-on learning experiences – Learning activities that enhance children’s understanding of a concept through activities that they do with materials, toys, etc., rather than just listening to an adult or rotely practicing isolated skills or knowledge.

Home language – The language that a child’s family typically speaks and that the child learns first.

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Imagination – Forming mental images or concepts of things that are not actually present to the senses.

Imitate – To copy, pretend or practice the activity of another individual.

Impulsive – A sudden spontaneous action based on needs or wants.

Inclusive setting/Inclusion – The environment, attitude, and knowledge that encourages the enrollment and participation of all children, including children with disabilities.

Independence – The child’s ability to do, think, and learn on his/her own with little or no assistance from others.

Independent choices – Choosing freely between developmentally appropriate alternatives.

Informational text – A type of non-fiction writing that conveys factual information about the natural or social world.

Initiative – The inclination or ability to start or begin an activity.

Interest areas – Areas in a child care environment where similar materials, such as dramatic play materials, are grouped together to capture children’s interest and engage them in play and learning activities.

Inventiveness – The ability to invent or create with one’s imagination.

Intervene – (1) To step in to a situation to help; (2) To alter or hinder an action.

Investigate – To study the details, to examine, or to observe in order to gain knowledge.

Jabber – Rapid sounds or vocalizations made by infants and young children that sound like sentences or conversations but do not yet include words.

Joint attention – A state in which the child and the caregiver pay attention to the same object or event, and the caregiver often talks about what they are looking at.

Label – To attach a word to a picture, object, action, or event, either verbally or in writing.

Language – Words, signs, and symbols used by a group of people to communicate.

Large muscle control – Ability to use the large muscle groups, such as the muscles in the arms and legs, in a relatively coordinated manner.

Manipulatives – Materials that allow children to explore, experiment, and interact by using their hands. Such items include, but are not limited to, beads and laces, puzzles, small blocks, and items that can be snapped or hooked together.

Materials – Resources that caregivers add to the environment to enhance development and learning, including toys, pictures, and other things children can explore.

Model – The act of teaching others (children) through the example of doing the desired behavior.

Motivation to read – A child’s eagerness to learn to read and to read.

Motor coordination – Various parts of the body working together in a smooth, purposeful way.

Natural reflexes – The body’s automatic response to specific stimuli (leg kicks upward when knee is tapped).

Numeral – A written symbol used to represent a number.

Observe – Taking notice of the unique characteristics of each child or something in the environment.

One-to-one correspondence – The ability to match each item in one set to another item within a different but equal set (e.g., matching a set of socks with a set of shoes).

Parallel talk – Adults talking to a child, describing what the child is doing.

Persistence – Continued effort; steadfastness.

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Phonological awareness – An individual’s awareness of the sounds and structure of spoken words.

Pincer grasp – Putting the index finger and the thumb together.

Play – Spontaneous actions chosen by children and considered by them to be fun and meaningful.

Policymaker – An individual who works to create laws, rules, and/or guidelines that can affect children and families.

Primary caregiver – The adult caregiver who is responsible for developing an emotional connection with a specific infant or toddler and who is usually first to respond to the child when needs arise.

Print awareness – The basic understanding of how print works—what print looks like, how it works, and the fact that print carries meaning.

Print conventions – The concept of the basic features of print, including what a letter is, the concept of words, and the understanding of the directionality of print.

Problem-solving – Behaviors practiced by young children that allow them to explore questions or situations and try different solutions.

Prompt – To encourage an action or behavior.

Prop – Any object used by children during play.

Random movements – Unexpected and unplanned body movements in a young child.

Reading behaviors – An understanding of the reading process, including the developmental skills and strategies children need to become proficient readers.

Recall – The act of remembering; to bring back from memory.

Redirect – A teaching strategy used to re-focus a child’s attention on an alternative object, feature in the environment, and/or activity rather than directly correcting the child’s behavior.

Reinforce – To strengthen a response with some type of physical, emotional, or verbal reward.

Repetitive books – Books that repeat the same words or phrases over and over again.

Represent – To use something to stand for or symbolize something else.

Respect – To show esteem for another person; to communicate that his or her ideas, feelings, and needs are worthy of consideration.

Responsive – Warm, sensitive, well-timed, and appropriate to the child’s needs; used to describe caregiver-child interactions that promote healthy development.

Reciprocal – Refers to something that goes both ways or to something that is done in return for a similar behavior (e.g., mom blows a kiss to her child and the child responds by blowing a kiss back to mom).

Role – Behavior exhibited by a person that identifies their work, status, or responsibilities.

Rote count – The act of counting out loud.

Routines – A pattern of events or interactions planned and occurring on a regular basis.

Rhythm – A musical term that refers to the repeated pattern of sounds or silences. Also referred to as the “beat” of a song.

Safe environments – Environments where children can be actively involved in things that interest them and are appropriate for them to use without getting hurt.

Security – Freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; feelings of safety and trust.

Self-awareness – Being aware of oneself, including feelings, behaviors, and characteristics (e.g., “I like playing baseball”).

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Self-care routines – Tasks or routines carried out to take care of health and hygiene needs.

Self-identity – Refers to a person’s view of him/herself and how he/she might identify with certain groups (such as racial or ethnic group).

Sensitive adults – Adults who accept that each child is different, interact with children in ways that match their individual needs, and show warmth and caring for all children.

Sensory – Related to the senses: hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, and smelling.

Sensory impairments – Vision or hearing losses or other sensory disabilities that may require specialized assistance or early intervention.

Sensory materials – Materials and experiences that stimulate at least one of the five senses: hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, and smelling.

Separation anxiety – The stress experienced by a child when separated from a parent or primary caregiver.

Setting – Any place where children receive care.

Sleep routine – The process by which a child settles down, with or without the assistance of an adult, and allows sleep to occur.

Small muscle control – Ability to use the small muscles of the hands in a relatively coordinated manner.

Social Connections – A subdomain that describes Goals and Developmental Indicators related to children’s knowledge of and ability to function successfully in groups of people; roughly equivalent to the Social Studies academic content area.

Specialized care – Care routines or services needed to ensure the successful development of children with special needs or special health care needs.

Special circumstances – Situations in a child’s life that may call for additional care or nurturing from the caregiver.

Special needs – Developmental disabilities that may require specialized care.

Stamina – The ability to maintain prolonged physical or mental effort.

Stimulation – Any number of sounds, textures, temperatures, tastes, or sights that impact a child’s senses or development.

Strategies – Suggested activities, materials, and ways of interacting that promote development and learning in the areas described by the Goals and Developmental Indicators.

Subdomain – Subtopics that fall within a domain, such as “Developing a Sense of Self” which is included in the Emotional and Social Development domain.

Symbol – Something that represents something else by association.

Teachers – Adults who care for infants and toddlers in homes, child care centers, family child care homes; adults who are kith and kin or family, friend and neighbor care providers; and adults who are early intervention professionals or technical assistance experts.

Temperament – The unique way a child responds to the world.

Themes – Activities, materials, or interest areas in the child care environment that center around a certain concept or topic.

Tonal pattern – Sequence of notes, individual pitches, and durations that form a pattern.

Tools – Anything used or created to accomplish a task or purpose.

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Trial and error – Attempting to solve a problem by randomly trying different approaches.

Transition – To move or change from one activity or location to another activity or location.

Turn-taking games – Games between adults and young children where an adult makes a sound or action and waits for the child to mimic or copy them. Once the child responds, the adult makes a sound or action.

Two-dimensional shape and three-dimensional shape – A two-dimensional shape is a flat image of the shape; a three-dimensional shape appears to have width and height and allows for rotation and depth.

Visual effects – Results of a child’s artistic efforts that can be seen by others.

Vocabulary – The collection of words that a child understands or uses to communicate.

Writing conventions – Generally accepted rules for writing, such as spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

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Selected Sources

The team that revised Foundations consulted many research-based sources and publications when writing the Goals and Developmental Indicators. The

following list presents selected resources that were invaluable in the effort to describe expectations for children’s development from birth through age five.

Berk, L. E. (2008). Child development (8th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education.

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/

Council for Exceptional Children, The Division for Early Childhood. http://www.dec-sped.org/

Dickinson, D. K., & Neuman, S. B. (Eds.). (2006). Handbook of early literacy research, Vol. 2. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Gonzalez-Mena, J., & Eyer, D. W. (2009). Infants, toddlers, and caregivers: A curriculum of respectful, responsive care and education (9th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.

Hyson, M. (2008). Enthusiastic and engaged learners: Approaches to learning in the early childhood classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

National Early Literacy Panel. (2008). Developing early literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel. Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy.

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common core state standards. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington D.C. http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/download-the-standards

National Research Council. (2009). Mathematics learning in early childhood: Paths toward excellence and equity. Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics, Christopher T. Cross, Taniesha A. Woods, and Heidi Schweingruber, Editors. Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development. Jack P. Shonkoff and Deborah A. Phillips (Eds.). Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

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North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (n.d.). Instructional support tools for achieving new standards: English/language arts, unpacked content. http://dpi.state.nc.us/docs/acre/standards/common-core-tools/unpacking/ela/kindergarten.pdf

Parlakian, R. (2003). Before the ABCs: Promoting school readiness in infants and toddlers. Washington, DC: Zero to Three.

Raikes, H. H., & Edwards, C. P. (2009). Extending the dance in infant & toddler caregiving: Enhancing attachment and relationships. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

Trawick-Smith, J. (2010). Early childhood development: A multicultural perspective (5th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education.

Wittmer, D. S., & Petersen, S. H. (2006). Infant and toddler development and responsive program planning: A relationship-based approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.

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History of This Foundations Document

North Carolina has a long-standing commitment to supporting the learning and development of young children. This commitment is evident in numerous efforts to improve the quality of children’s early experiences, including initiatives designed to describe goals for children’s learning and development. In 1999 the North Carolina Ready for School Goal Team, in concert with the State Board of Education, was charged with defining school readiness for the state of North Carolina. The Ready for School Goal Team’s report recommended that school readiness be defined as the condition of children when they enter school and the capacity of schools to serve all children effectively, with families and communities playing supporting roles. This definition established the importance of five developmental domains for children’s school readiness: health and physical development, social and emotional development, approaches toward learning, language development and communication, and cognition and general knowledge.

Although the Goal Team definition of school readiness was a useful guide for early childhood policy initiatives, there was a need for a more specific description of goals for children’s learning and development that teachers could use as a guide for what to teach. Therefore, in 2005, the

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction published Foundations: Early Learning Standards for North Carolina Preschoolers and Strategies for Guiding Their Success. Developed by a large and diverse task force of stakeholders, this document described widely held expectations for preschool children’s development in each of the five domains and provided strategies that could be used to support children’s progress on the widely held expectations. The document and corresponding professional development were widely available to pre-kindergarten, child care, Head Start and family child care home programs.

In 2007 the North Carolina Division of Child Development published Infant–Toddler Foundations: Guidelines for Development and Learning for North Carolina’s Infants and Toddlers (birth to 36 months). Infant-Toddler Foundations, developed by a multi-disciplinary task force of early childhood experts, described goals for North Carolina’s youngest children in five developmental domains. The document also included strategies that adults could use to support babies’ development and learning. Teachers and caregivers in North Carolina infant-toddler programs used the document as a resource to guide their interactions and the learning experiences they provided for babies in their care.

These efforts to define goals for North Carolina’s children affirmed the importance of children’s learning and development before school entry, and highlighted the benefits of intentional, goal-directed teaching for young children. They did not, however, support the vision of a seamless birth-through-five-years system of early care and education because the goals for infants and toddlers were included in a separate document from goals for preschoolers and were, in some cases, expressed differently in the two documents. To address the need for a comprehensive set of early learning and development standards that cover the full age range, in 2011 North Carolina’s Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) convened a leadership team with representatives from the Division of Child Development and Early Education and the Department of Public Instruction to revise Foundations. With the help of a broadly representative stakeholder group, the leadership team combined and updated North Carolina’s early learning and development standards for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. As a result of this work, North Carolina now has one document that articulates our state’s goals for children on a continuum that includes infants, toddlers, and preschoolers— North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development.

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