Early Learning Guidelines
The New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines serve as a framework for the incredible process of children’s growth, development, and learning in the early years. They are designed to provide reasonable expectations for children at different ages so that educators have criteria to refer to as they observe children in action, determine their levels of performance, and plan curricular interventions to help them grow, develop, and learn to their fullest potential.
The New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines were developed by educators from a variety of programs and settings. The Guidelines provide a common vocabulary to describe children’s growth, development, and learning. They are formatted as a continuum to remind us that children do not all develop at the same rate or pace. Rather, each child develops in his or her unique way. Some children have strengths in areas that go beyond their chronological age. Most develop appropriately for their ages. There are also children who may not reach age-appropriate milestones in some areas and need special interventions.
The Guidelines reflect current brain development research and early childhood education best practices. They represent the growing consensus among educators that a greater emphasis be placed on young children’s conceptual learning, social and emotional development, and active participation in culturally and linguistically relevant and meaningful learning experiences.