Early Childhood Education


The Early Childhood Education Program provides coordinated resources, strategies, and initiatives to support at-risk students and foster collaboration among the different programs while working within state and federal regulations.

Kindergarten Formative Assessment

In May 2013, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) published a notice inviting applications under the Enhanced Assessment Grants Program (EAG) to support the development or enhancement of a kindergarten entry assessment (KEA) that is aligned with state early learning and development standards and that covers all essential domains of school readiness.

North Carolina, serving as lead state and fiscal agent, invited North Dakota and other interested states to jointly apply for funding under this competition. North Carolina was funded at $6.1 million. This consortium will agree to engage in work to collaborate on the development of a KEA within a larger K-3 formative assessment. The primary purpose of the assessment will be to guide instruction and give teachers and students a meaningful tool to adjust teaching and learning to meet or exceed standards across multiple domains of development.

Pre-kindergarten Curriculum

The NDDPI Selecting a Comprehensive Preschool Curriculum is designed to aid early childhood educators in choosing an effective pre-kindergarten curriculum that is appropriate for their program's staff and children and a curriculum that supports developmentally appropriate practice.

Waterford UPSTART Program and the ND Reading Academy

Waterford Upstart

Waterford UPSTART is an in-home kindergarten readiness program for families that will give your child a fun start in reading or math and science in just 15-20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The UPSTART program is now accepting 450 learners for the 2020-2021 school year to participate in the program at no charge.

ND Reading Academy

North Dakota's Center for Distance Education (NDCDE) has partnered with Waterford to provide the same adaptive software used in the UPSTART program to all young learner's Pre-K - Grade 2 with a focus on Reading only. With only 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, learners will actively engage with fun reading content at their own ability level with the goal of getting them to grade level. NDCDE's standard course enrollment fees apply to this program.