What should children learn in early childhood education programs, and what skills do teachers need to help them? The Learning Policy Institute has released an Early Childhood Essentials Framework that draws from the literature on early childhood to establish a list of essential skills for children and educator competencies that should be part of early childhood programs.
The five essential child skills, which predict later success in school or lay the foundation for other important skills are:
- Social-emotional development.
- Cognitive development.
- Language and literacy development.
- Mathematical and scientific reasoning.
- Physical development.
In order to help students develop the five essential skills, early childhood educators need to be competent in these five areas:
- Developmentally appropriate practice and environments.
- Observation and assessment of development and learning.
- Individualized supports and inclusion-based practices.
- Family support and partnership.
- Continuous improvement and professionalism.
The report describes these skills and competencies, as well as foundational competencies for children and teachers, in more detail.
Source: Meloy, B. & Schachner, A. (2019). Early childhood essentials: A framework for aligning child skills and educator competencies. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.