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Illinois Early Learning Guidelines

2013 Illinois Early Learning Guidelines
Appendices
Vertical Alignment

Illinois Early Learning Guidelines: The Foundation for Later Learning

The growth that happens in the first three years of life lays the foundation for later learning; therefore it is important to consider the alignment of the Early Learning Guidelines with the learning standards and guidelines for children in older age groups. Vertical alignment refers to the process of ensuring guidelines for one age period are in sync with guidelines from the age periods that come before it and/or those periods that follow after.

An understanding of the learning and growth from birth to three is fundamental to understanding and supporting the growth and development expected in all future age periods. In general, while the Standards and Guidelines for the younger ages are more oriented toward a developmental approach to learning and growth, standards for the K–12 period become more oriented toward academic or subject matter content.

Ensuring “vertical” alignment was a priority throughout the development of these Guidelines. This was done through content configuration and the careful consideration of age appropriate indicators. The content of the Early Learning Guidelines outlines growth and development from birth to age three and is the essential building block upon which all other development progresses.

Just as the domains of development cannot be fully detangled from one another, the learning that happens within a specific domain of the early learning guidelines for children birth to three informs learning and development beyond any one other specific domain in the learning standards for later ages. For example, while there is a direct correlation between language development happening from birth to three years and the fulfillment of the Language Arts benchmarks outlined in the Illinois State Board of Education’s standards for Kindergarteners, the acquisition of language that happens in the first three years of life allows for all learning that happens subsequently far beyond those specific benchmarks for Language Arts—including, at minimum, Math, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts, and Foreign Language.

In Illinois, the guidelines and standards in place for children from three to four years old include the Illinois Early Learning Standards and the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework. Next, vertical alignment considers the Illinois Early Learning Standards for Kindergarten and the content areas covered by these standards, which are designed for children age five and six. Following these standards are the Illinois Learning Standards that cover elementary through high school and include Social Emotional Learning, and the Common Core Standards.

Set of Standards Includes:
Illinois Learning Standards, including new Common Core Standards (Early Elementary through High School)
  • Fine Arts
  • Foreign Language
  • Language Arts (Common Core K–12)
  • Mathematics (Common Core K–12)
  • Physical Development and Health
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Social Emotional Learning
Illinois Early Learning Standards for Kindergarten (Age 5 to 6)
  • Fine Arts
  • Foreign Language
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Development and Health
  • Science
  • Social/Emotional Development
  • Social Science
Head Start Child Outcome Framework (Age 3 to 5)
  • Approaches to Learning
  • Creative Arts
  • Language Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Health and Development Science
  • Social and Emotional Development
Illinois Early Learning Standards for 3- to 4-Year-Olds (Age 3 to 4)
  • Fine Arts
  • Foreign Language
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Development and Health
  • Science
  • Social/Emotional Development
  • Social Science
Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age 3 (Birth to age 3)
  • Approaches to Learning
  • Cognitive Development
  • Language Development,
  • Communication, & Literacy
  • Physical Development & Health
  • Self-Regulation
  • Social & Emotional Development

Resources

IEL Resources

  • List of standards
    IEL has created a convenient HTML list of the standards included in the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines.
    English | Spanish
  • IEL FAQ: What Do Parents Need to Know About the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age 3? About

Guidelines Posters and Brochures

  • Guidelines poster
    IEL has a large poster that lists all of the standards in the Guidelines.
    English | Spanish
  • Guidelines brochure
    This handy pamphlet, which also lists all the standards, can be handed out to parents and others interested in learning more about the Guidelines.
    English | Spanish
  • Order online
    Use our online form and IEL will mail up to 10 posters and 20 brochures free of charge to any address within the state of Illinois.

Additional Resources

Print Version

IEL is providing access to a PDF of the full 170-page printed version of the Guidelines:

Guidelines Webinar

This webinar provides a short overview of the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age Three. It also provides a tour of the resources available on the Illinois Early Learning Project website that can support the use of the guidelines in practice and at home.

Resources

Find resources related to the Illinois Early Learning Birth to 3 Guidelines:

Disclaimer

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.

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