California Preschool Curriculum Foundations & Frameworks

California Preschool Curriculum Foundations & Frameworks

The California Preschool Learning Foundations outline key knowledge and skills that most children can achieve when provided with the kinds of interactions, instruction, and environments that research has shown to promote early learning and development. The foundations can provide early childhood educators, parents, and the public with a clear understanding of the wide range of knowledge and skills that preschool children typically attain when given the benefits of a high-quality preschool program.

The foundations were developed using an inclusive and deliberative input process, including statewide stakeholder meetings, public input sessions held throughout the state, public hearings, and public comment. Input from the various review opportunities was considered and incorporated as appropriate.

Created as companion volumes to the California Preschool Learning Foundations, the California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks present strategies for early childhood educators that enrich learning and development opportunities for all of California’s preschool children. The California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks include ideas for how to intentionally integrate learning into children’s play; implement child-directed and teacher-guided activities; plan environments, interactions, routines, and materials that engage children in learning; and individualize curriculum based on children’s knowledge, skills, needs and interests.


Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations

The purpose of the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations is to describe research and evidence-based expectations for the way most infants and toddlers make progress in the major domains of social-emotional, language, cognitive, and perceptual and motor development. By creating a common language to facilitate communication among families, infant care professionals, community members, and policymakers, the foundations build an understanding about the importance of the early years in children’s learning and development.

This publication presents 28 foundations in four domains that describe the competencies that infants and toddlers typically attain in the first three years of life. The descriptions of competencies are enriched with examples of typical behaviors at each age level in each of the four domains as well as behaviors leading up to attainment of those competencies. This publication is a counterpart to the preschool learning foundations and is a companion to the Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Program Guidelines.

A companion curriculum framework for the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations, this publication is aligned with the Preschool Curriculum Framework in both design and function. Together these frameworks support early childhood educators working in programs serving children birth to three years of age in implementing high-quality curriculum practices that lead to acquisition of the knowledge and skills described in the foundations.

The purpose of the Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework is to provide early childhood professionals with a structure they can use to make informed decisions about curriculum practices. The framework is based on current research on how infants and toddlers learn and develop in four domains described in the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations—social-emotional, language, intellectual, and perceptual and motor development. It presents principles, a planning process, and strategies to assist teachers in their efforts to support children’s learning from birth to three years of age.

Head Start is designed to help children develop language and literacy, problem solving skills, and learn how to socialize and interact with others. Children are provided with the opportunity to participate in activities that support math, science, art, language and literacy, and culture.  The preschool curriculum is research-based, developmentally appropriate and is designed to develop Kindergarten readiness skills.


Services are provided in the home to children ages 3 to 5 years old and their families. A Home Visitor makes weekly visits to provide comprehensive services in the family’s home. A socialization, conducted twice a month, allows children and families to mutually interact in a group setting and to learn a variety of skills and topics of interest important to the educational development of the child.

Center-Based(Full-day & Part-day)

Services are provided in a classroom environment to children ages 3 to 5 years old.  Children have a daily schedule that includes engaging indoor and outdoor activities with hands-on experiences, music and movement, nutritious family style meals.  The full day option is available to families that meet requirements for employment and/or enrollment in a vocational/training program.