Update

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Early Childhood Essentials: A Framework for Aligning Child Skills and Educator Competencies

Report originally published October 15, 2019


After initial publication, the following changes were made. All online versions of this report were changed. This update was published on November 20, 2019.

Bottom of p. 11 and top of p. 12, the following paragraphs were changed:

Phonological awareness. At an early age, children begin to understand that symbols convey meaning. For example, young children may point to and label some letters or characters in their own names. Preschoolers are beginning to grasp how written language is structured. They develop phonological awareness—an understanding that symbols carry meaning through associated sounds, and they begin to notice patterns in those sounds—such as recognizing that mommy, milk, and mine all begin with the /m/ sound. With guidance from supportive adults, they begin to understand and enjoy rhymes, and they learn the names of most letters and their associated sounds.

Print concept. Through infancy and toddlerhood, children who are read to develop an understanding of familiar books by associating the pictures with the story adults read to them. They may ask adults to read favorite books again and again. Toddlers who are exposed to books begin to understand simple concepts about written material—such as how to hold a book and turn the pages. Some young children may pretend to read. By age 3, children should be able to ask and answer questions about familiar books and can usually identify the feelings of characters in the story.

By the end of preschool, children understand that print carries specific meaning and begin to develop an understanding that print is organized differently for different purposes, such as in books, on signs, or as part of lists. They may recognize familiar street signs—such as knowing that a stop sign tells drivers to stop and look before driving on. Through proper instruction, older children begin to understand that words are groupings of individual letters.

The updated paragraphs read as follows:

Phonological awareness. At an early age, children begin to understand that speech sounds convey meaning. Older children are beginning to grasp how language is structured and to develop an understanding that language is composed of simple and more complex sounds. They notice patterns in those sounds—such as recognizing that mommy, milk, and mine all begin with the /m/ sound. With guidance from supportive adults, they begin to understand and enjoy rhymes and other manipulations of the language sounds.

Print concept. Through infancy and toddlerhood, children who are read to develop an understanding of familiar books by associating the pictures with the story adults read to them. They may ask adults to read favorite books again and again. Toddlers who are exposed to books begin to understand simple concepts about written material—such as how to hold a book and turn the pages. Some young children may pretend to read. By age 3, children should be able to ask and answer questions about familiar books and can usually identify the feelings of characters in the story. Young children begin to understand that letters are associated with unique sounds. For example, young children may point to and label some letters or characters in their own names and will learn the names of most letters and their associated sounds. By the end of preschool, children understand that print carries specific meaning and begin to develop an understanding that print is organized differently for different purposes, such as in books, on signs, or as part of lists. They may recognize familiar street signs—such as knowing that a stop sign tells drivers to stop and look before driving on. Through proper instruction, older children begin to understand that words are groupings of individual letters.