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Early Learning

Early learning experiences help a child become ready for Kindergarten.  In 2014, the Governor-appointed Early Learning Advisory Committee approved the following definition of Kindergarten readiness: “In Indiana, we work together so that every child can develop to his or her fullest potential socially, emotionally, physically, cognitively, and academically. Through growth in all of these domains, the child will become a healthy, capable, competent, and powerful learner.”  To achieve these outcomes, Indiana provides robust, academically enriched early learning experiences for students through a wide range of early childhood programs including developmental preschool, Head Start, licensed childcare centers, licensed family child care homes, public community preschools, Title I preschools, and unlicensed registered ministries.  The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) works very closely with the Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning to support young learners through various initiatives including Indiana’s early learning development framework, The Foundations, as well as the ISPROUT assessment tool.  IDOE also provides additional support and guidance to schools on topics from preschool expansion to kindergarten transitions and beyond.

Indiana’s Early Learning Development Framework: The Foundations (2015)

The Foundations comprise Indiana’s early learning development framework and are aligned to the 2014 Indiana Academic Standards. This framework provides core elements that children should achieve from birth to age five to be ready for future success. The Foundations sets forth common language and expectations for all types of staff working in the early childhood field. In 2015, the Foundations were revised based on research, feedback from practitioners, and work from professionals with expertise in each specialized area.

The Indiana Department of Education’s Early Learning Guidance is a resource for educators and other early childhood professionals to support and enhance children’s learning and development while using the Foundations. The information can be used to support a child’s development at different levels of learning and promotes fluid movement between developmental stages. The Early Learning Guidance can be accessed from the “Collections” page of the Indiana Learning Lab.

Additional Foundations Tools

Foundations Training Resources

Additional Resources for Educators and Administrators

Resources for Families