A couple of Fridays ago, I was invited to attend a training for Educational Consultants on the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS). As our state continues to encourage programs to use these standards, it is my job as a consultant to support programs when and where needed. During our 6 hour training, great conversations around early education, teacher responsibility, and child development took place. Hot topics that arose included continued challenges in bridging the gap between preschool and public school, and of course, the challenge of allocating proper planning time into program budgets.
As the CT ELDS continue to be introduced and incorporated into centers, there will be a time of transition. Transitioning to something new can be challenging, however, with proper communication, time, and education it can be done. As the training took place and discussions were had, I jotted down some tips that came to mind. I hope you find these helpful in your quest to bring the CTELDS to your program.
Tressa’s Tips and Thoughts for incorporating the CT ELDS into your program …
- Implementing the CT ELDS will be a process that will take time for administrators and staff. As programs begin to transition to using the CT ELDS, it crucial that communication between staff AND families takes place.
- The CT ELDS are intended to better the growth of children age zero through five, stressing that all age groups are crucial to a child’s development.
- When beginning the implementation of the CT ELDS, it is important to reflect and acknowledge the areas in which the program is already meeting the standards. These acknowledgements can then become a spring board for further progression and improvement. It will also provide self-reflection in regards to standards that are not being met.
- Provide staff time to discover similarities between their curriculum, the CT Preschool Framework, and NAEYC criteria. There are TONS of similarities!
- Encourage staff to plan experiences around specific CT ELDS. This will provide staff deeper meaning for that specific standard, and hands-on experience with specific learning progressions.
- Encourage staff to document progress; note how students are doing based on the CT ELDS, and look for ways to stretch thinking, plan and move through learning progressions. Use the intentional teaching cycle!
- Provide teachers time for opportunities to collaboratively create experience plans so they can talk through the progressions and help each other understand them, as well as brainstorm creative execution approaches.
- Try to steer away from teaching for assessment and steer toward helping children through learning progressions.
Have a specific question about how to implement CT ELDS?
Post a comment or email us!
Here are some helpful links!
CT Office of Early Childhood ELDS page:
CT ELDS with aligned Preschool Framework: http://www.ct.gov/oec/lib/oec/earlycare/elds/ct_elds_and_paf_alignment.pdf
Creative Curriculum / CT ELDS crosswalk: