North Dakota Early Childhood Care and Education Collaborate to Create New Early Learning Standards

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BISMARCK, N.D., Oct. 23, 2018 – The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction recently completed an extensive review and revision process of the North Dakota Early Learning Standards: Birth to Kindergarten. In collaboration with the North Dakota Department of Human Services, a team of 22 North Dakota educators, early childhood service providers, and caregivers wrote the new standards with a comprehensive focus towards kindergarten and school readiness.

The North Dakota Early Learning Standards Birth to Kindergarten 2018 edition streamlines and replaces North Dakota Early Learning Guidelines Birth through Age 3, North Dakota Early Learning Guidelines Ages 3 through 5, and the North Dakota Pre-Kindergarten Content Standards.

"This collaborative effort created a common set of expectations for a child’s learning and development that begins at birth," said Amanda Carlson, the Early Childhood Services Administrator for the Department of Human Services. "We were pleased to be part of the discussion as learning starts at home, in licensed child care and preschool programs and in other settings where the focus is on school readiness."

The Standards were also guided by comments received during a statewide public comment and review period, national technical assistance personnel, and state experts in the early childhood educational field.

"We want to create environments that instill a love for learning among ND children," said Tara Fuhrer, Director of Early Learning from the Department of Public Instruction. "The new standards support student achievement by offering them engaging, age-appropriate learning opportunities that prepare them for a successful kindergarten experience."

The Standards promote the understanding of early learning and development, provide comprehensive and a coherent set of expectations for children’s development and learning, and guide the design and implementation of curriculum, assessment, and instructional practices with young children.

"This effort really allowed key team members across the state to gather together with one mission in mind- to create comprehensive standards that serve our young children well," said Kirsten Baesler, ND State Superintendent.

Professional development opportunities will be offered to assist programs understand and implement the new standards.