A high-quality, research-based curriculum promotes measurable progress toward children’s development. The content and learning outcomes of the curriculum align with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) and state early care and education standards. It provides guidance on what (content) and how (learning experiences and teaching practices) to teach. Content is drawn from current child development science, the interests and ideas of the children, family input, and the values of the community. A curriculum also provides ways to create nurturing and responsive practices, interactions, and environments that foster trust and emotional security. It helps families to actively engage in their child’s education. Staff use what they know about each child's strengths and needs and each family's goals to plan their use of the curriculum.
The following resources are related to curriculum and instruction in Head Start: