Children’s experiences in the first three years of life influence how they develop, learn, and interact with their world. This period is marked by an extraordinary amount of growth and sets the foundation for children’s future learning and ongoing development.
The Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age 3 provide early childhood professionals and policy makers a framework for understanding child development by presenting information on what children know and should do and what development looks like in everyday life. The main goal of the Guidelines is to offer early childhood professionals a cohesive analysis of children’s development with common expectations and common language. These Guidelines also provide suggestions and ideas on how to create early experiences that benefit all children’s learning and development.
IEL is providing our users access to the Guidelines in two formats. Our new HTML version (in both English and Spanish) allows users to easily access the Guidelines from a variety of platforms. The HTML version allows users to easily go to other interconnected sections of the Guidelines. It also provides an easy-to-use drop-down view of the age descriptors that describe the progression of development for four different age groups across the birth-to-three age range.
- HTML version
Table of contents for the HTML version of the Guidelines.
English | Spanish
- PDF version
IEL is providing access to a PDF of the full 170-page printed version of the Guidelines.
English | Spanish (7.66 MB and 3.87 MB PDF files)
- Guidelines FAQ
IEL also has an FAQ on what parents need to know about the Guidelines.
English | Spanish
The opinions, resources, and referrals provided on the IEL Web site are intended for informational purposes only and are not intended to take the place of medical or legal advice, or of other appropriate services. We encourage you to seek direct local assistance from a qualified professional if necessary before taking action.
The content of the IEL Web site does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Illinois Early Learning Project, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or the Illinois State Board of Education; nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the Illinois Early Learning Project, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or the Illinois State Board of Education.
NOTE: There may be publications on this page that are available as PDF (portable document format) files. To be able to read these files, download the free Adobe Reader.