The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), responsible for early care and education programs throughout the state, is providing a state-recommended list of early childhood curricula for child care centers, Head Start programs, and nursery schools.
The Early Childhood Curriculum Project is meant to offer resources for the classroom which match up with the state's prekindergarten and kindergarten curricular frameworks, also known as Voluntary State Curriculum. The project is designed to support preschool age children before they start their school careers. MSDE's newly established Division of Early Childhood Development has created policies and procedures for getting the resources to the providers.
"Quality early childhood programs have always worked with curricular resources and often, early childhood providers from the non-public sector ask the Department which curricula to use with three- and four-year-olds," said Nancy S. Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools. "We are very excited about this effort to provide guidance to child care and other early childhood programs about the selected preschool curricula."
The selected programs are:
- CORE Knowledge - Preschool
- MacMillan/McGraw Hill - Little Treasures/Treasures
- Pearson Early Learning - Opening the World of Learning
- Teaching Strategies - Creative Curriculum
- Houghton-Mifflin - Prekindergarten/Kindergarten
- Success for All - Kinder Corner
The initiative also ensures that the teaching of these resources aligns with the guidelines of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Representatives from the early care and education community, higher education, public and non-public schools reviewed the submitted curricula for three- to five-year-olds.
"We have established a very rigorous review process to determine the soundness of the curricular resources with regard to the state's expectations of what young children should know and be able to do," said Rolf Grafwallner, Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Early Childhood Development. "The challenge remains of getting these resources to as many child care, Head Start, and nursery programs as possible."
Maryland is joining a handful of other states which have established a state-recommended list of preschool curricula. This initiative is part of a three-year strategic plan, devised by the Maryland State Department of Education, to improve the early learning opportunities for young children before they start school.
More information about the Early Childhood Curriculum Project is available online at Early Childhood Curriculum Project.