Learning Guidelines and Standards

The parent activities are based on the themes and activities in the MA Early Learning Curriculum. These activities have been fully aligned to the standards and guidelines listed below. (Visit the Educator’s section to view the MA Early Learning Curriculum and the standards alignments.)

  • Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences: developed by the Massachusetts Department of Education in April 2003 


  • Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy, Grades Pre-Kindergarten–12 (which include MA Common Core standards): developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) in March 2011


  • Massachusetts Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: developed by the Massachusetts Association for the Education of Young Children for the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) in 2010  


  • Massachusetts Quality Rating System (QRIS): developed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and revised in December 2010


  • The Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework: developed by the Office of Head Start, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and revised in September 2011


Why align activities to standards?

Research shows that a child’s brain growth and development is at its most rapid during her early years (0–5). In these first years, a child forms her orientation to the world, builds a foundation for learning, and develops her social emotional character. The purpose of aligning activities to specific standards is to provide guidance about the knowledge and skills that most preschoolers are capable of learning during these early years.

The guidelines and standards help educators and parents follow a child’s progression and learning in both in the content areas (such as math, science, social studies) and in the developmental domains (such as language, cognitive, and social-emotional).

For more information about the guidelines and standards, including definitions of terms, visit http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-education-and-care/curriculum-and-learning/.

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