1. Teaching and Learning

1D. Curriculum and Child Assessment


Informational Resources

Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Birth to Three
The Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age 3 provide early childhood professionals and policy makers a framework for understanding child development by presenting information on what children know and should do and what development looks like in everyday life. The main goal of the Guidelines is to offer early childhood professionals a cohesive analysis of children’s development with common expectations and common language. These Guidelines also provide suggestions and ideas on how to create early experiences that benefit all children’s learning and development.

Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for Preschool
The Illinois Early Learning Project has launched a convenient HTML version of the 2013 Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS), ages 3 to kindergarten enrollment age, allowing users easy access from a variety of platforms. The HTML version includes a handy drop-down feature that shows the Example Performance Descriptors for most standards.


Specific Tools

Below are curriculums in alphabetical order that have been reviewed and are aligned to the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age Three Years (IELG) and the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for Preschool 3 years old to Kindergarten Enrollment Age (IELDS).  

The State of Illinois and its administering agencies (ISBE, IDHS, DCFS) do not "approve" or "endorse" any specific curriculum for implementation in any of its funded and/or regulated early childhood programs. The Curriculum Crosswalk is solely to determine whether the curriculum is aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for ages birth–3, and/or the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for ages 3–5. If determined aligned, the curriculum is accepted by ExceleRate Illinois as evidence of program compliance with Standard 1B, Curriculum for centers and Standard 1D, Curriculum for family child care.

Please Note

  • Aligned curricula are generally acceptable for use in both center-based and family child care settings, unless the publisher provides a separate and distinct curriculum for family child care.
  • Child Assessment Tools which accompany and align with the curricula on this list are generally acceptable for Child Assessment Standard 1E in centers and Standard 1D in family child care. A separate alignment process is not required unless the child assessment tool is independent of the curriculum.
  • Even though a curriculum is determined to be aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines and/or the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, it may not meet all criteria as set forth by individual early childhood programs, such as Preschool for All and Head Start. Please check with the appropriate administering agency for specific guidelines.
  • If programs use a core curriculum and then layer on additional or supplement curriculum specific to certain program areas (i.e. literacy, math/STEM, social-emotional, inclusion, etc…) only the core curriculum must be on the aligned curriculum list. 

Proprietary Curriculum

Bank Street Developmental Interaction Approach

Big Day for PreK

Blueprint for Early Literacy, published by the Children's Literacy Initiative (CLI), ages 3-5

The Creative Curriculum®


Curiosity Corner Preschool Curriculum

DIG (Discover, Inspire, Grow) Preschool Curriculum, Abrams Learning Trends

Frog Street Pre-K
Frog Street Threes
Frog Street Toddlers
Frog Street Infants 

FunShine Express Early Learning Curricula 

Galileo Pre-K Online Curriculum

Gee Whiz Family Child Care Curriculum

HighScope Infant and Toddler Curriculum

HighScope Preschool Curriculum

The Innovations Series
Innovations:  The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum


Innovations:  The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum

Innovations:  The Comprehensive Preschool Curriculum

InvestiGator Club Inquiry-Based Learning System

Learn Every Day™: Infants, Toddlers and Twos

Learn Every Day™: The Preschool Curriculum

Mother Goose Time Comprehensive Curriculum

Open a World of Learning (OWL)

Program for Infant Toddler Care/PITC

The Redleaf Family Child Care Curriculum

Starfall PreK4

We Can!™

WEE Learn Early Childhood Curriculum


Proprietary Curriculum – not available for use in other programs

American Montessori Society (proprietary curriculum - only for AMS)
The Empowered Child (ages 3-5, proprietary curriculum  - only for Child Time Schools)
Goddard Schools Flex Learning Program Curriculum (ages birth-5, proprietary curriculum - only for Goddard Schools)
Journey (ages 3-5, proprietary curriculum - only for La Petite Academy schools)
Kids 'R' Kids First Class Curriculum (ages birth-5, proprietary for Kids 'R' Kids)
Knowledge Universe (proprietary curriculum - only for KinderCare)
Learn As We Grow (ages 2-3, proprietary curriculum - only for Learning Care Group)
Learn from the Start  (birth – age 3, proprietary curriculum – only for Learning Care Group Schools)
Life Essentials (proprietary curriculum - only for schools operated by Kiddie Academy)
Life Smart (ages 3-5, proprietary curriculum – only for Tutor Time schools)