Standard 2: NAEYC Accreditation Criteria for Curriculum

Program Standard: The program implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive.

Rationale: A curriculum that draws on research assists teachers in identifying important concepts and skills as well as effective methods for fostering children’s learning and development. When informed by teachers’ knowledge of individual children, a well-articulated curriculum guides teachers so they can provide children with experiences that foster growth across a broad range of developmental and content areas. A curriculum also helps ensure that the teacher is intentional in planning a daily schedule that (a) maximizes children’s learning through effective use of time, materials used for play, self-initiated learning, and creative expression as well as (b) offers opportunities for children to learn individually and in groups according to their developmental needs and interests.

Definition of Curriculum: For the purposes of these standards and criteria, the curriculum includes the goals for the knowledge and skills to be acquired by children and the plans for learning experiences through which such knowledge and skills will be achieved.

Within each of the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards are topic areas that highlight the big ideas to more fully express the meaning and value of the standard. Each topic area includes criteria that further define the meaning of quality in that area. The topic areas are identified by letters (A, B, C, etc.). The number of topic areas within a standard varies. The following chart presents the topic areas for this standard. Click on the topic area to link to the accreditation criteria.

Topic Area

Curriculum: Essential Characteristics

Areas of Development: Social-Emotional Development

Areas of Development: Physical Development

Areas of Development: Language Development

Curriculum Content Area for Cognitive Development: Early Literacy

Curriculum Content Area for Cognitive Development: Early Mathematics

Curriculum Content Area for Cognitive Development: Science

Curriculum Content Area for Cognitive Development: Technology

To avoid confusion in the numbering system, there are no criteria labeled 2.I.

Curriculum Area for Cognitive Development: Creative Expression and Appreciation for the Arts

Curriculum Content Area for Cognitive Development: Health and Safety

Curriculum Content Area for Cognitive Development: Social Studies