High-quality early education produces long-lasting benefits for young children. Based on this evidence, the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe (“Coalition”) recognizes that the implementation of a developmentally appropriate curriculum is the fundamental building block of a high-quality program that improves the school readiness skills of all children. A curriculum includes the goals for the knowledge and skills to be acquired by children and the plans for learning experiences through which such knowledge and skills will be achieved. (NAEYC, 2005) At its simplest, a curriculum is defined as what to teach and how to teach it.
While providers are given the task of choosing a curriculum for their program, it can be a confusing one, given the multitude of available curriculum models. If you are considering the selection of a new curriculum, reflect on the following questions:
- Does the curriculum support the goals and philosophy of my program?
- Will the curriculum guide teachers in the development of learning opportunities for children in all areas of development consistent with the programs’ goals?
- Does the curriculum reflect responsiveness to values, experiences and languages of the families in my program?
- Is the child assessment system consistent with the teaching philosophy of my program?
- Does the curriculum provide adaptations and modifications to meet the needs of ALL children; including those with special needs?
- Is the curriculum appropriate for all of my teachers, regardless of their qualifications?
- Are there specific materials and resources necessary to implement this curriculum? If so, are they affordable and am I willing to purchase them?
- Are there on-going professional development opportunities available for my teachers?
- Is there validated research that supports the effectiveness of this curriculum?
Curriculum Task Force
In 2005, the Coalition formed a Curriculum Task Force in an effort to look at curriculum selection and implementation at a county-wide level. One of the major tasks of this group was to review early childhood curriculum based on a strict set of criteria with an outcome of an “Approved Curriculum” list. These curricula were reviewed with the goal of placing them into two categories:
- Comprehensive (Core) Curriculum
- Supplemental Curriculum (Literacy or Character Development)
A comprehensive or core curriculum is intended to be the primary instructional tool used to guide high quality teaching practices. It encompasses all areas of development including:
- Social, Emotional
- Approaches to Learning
- Cognition and General Knowledge; such as Math, Science, Social Studies and Art
- Language and Communication
- Physical Development (Gross and Fine Motor)
A comprehensive curriculum provides activities, materials and guidance for the entire day
A supplemental curriculum is intended for flexible use in instruction or as an intervention that meets children’s needs in specific areas, such as phonological awareness, oral language, literacy, math, etc. A supplemental curriculum provides activities, materials and guidance for a particular “portion” of the day; not the entire day. The two types of supplemental curriculum included on the approved list are language/literacy and character development.
Approved School Readiness Curriculum List
# Designates proprietary curricula, not available for purchase.
* Montessori is approved for use with a Montessori-certified teacher per program.
Character Development Supplement Only
Approved VPK Curriculum List
|Beyond Centers and Circle Time (PDF, 587 KB)||Kaplan Early Learning Company|
|Creative Curriculum (PDF, 176KB)||Teaching Strategies, Inc.|
|DLM Early Childhood Express (PDF, 380KB)||School Education Group, a division of The Mc-Graw-Hill Companies, Inc.|
|The Empowered Child (PDF, 66KB)||Learning Care Group|
|Frog Street Pre-K (PDF, 200KB)||Frog Street Press|
|Frog Street Pre-K Summer (PDF, 108KB)||Frog Street Press|
|Galileo Pre-K Online Curriculum||Assessment Technology Incorporated (ATI)|
|HighScope||HighScope Educational Research Foundation|
|InvestiGator Club (PDF, 129KB)||Robert-Leslie Publishing|
|Journey Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum||Learning Care Group|
|Learn Every Day and Nemours Bright Start (PDF, 168KB)||Kaplan Early Learning Company|
|Let's Begin with the Letter People Comprehensive Program||Abrams Learning Trends|
|LifeSmart Curriculum||Learning Care Group|
|Little Treasures (PDF, 141KB)||School Education Group, a division of The Mc-Graw-Hill Companies, Inc.|
|Scholastic Big Day for Pre-K (PDF, 723KB)||Scholastic, Inc.|
|Splash into Pre-K||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
Curriculum Review and Approval Process
- If an early learning program is not implementing a curriculum listed on the Coalition’s Approved List, there are two options:
- Immediately select a curriculum on the Coalition’s Approved List. You must notify the Coalition that you have selected a new curriculum by filling out and returning the form, Notification of Curriculum Selection.
- Complete the Curriculum Review and Approval Process. To complete this process, you will also need to print out, Documentation for Curriculum Approval and Curriculum Review Documentation Checklist. This is also applicable for all self-developed curriculum. You must notify the Coalition that you will complete this process by filling out the form, Intent to Submit Curriculum for Review.
- he following curricula have been reviewed and are not approved for implementation: HighReach (First Edition), ABeka, and Mother Goose Time.