Arkansas Child Development and Early Learning Standards: Birth through 60 Months

The first five years of life is a period of rapid and intense development.  Research has found that during this time, children build critical foundational skills that profoundly influence their later health, ability to learn, social relationships, and overall success. High-quality early childhood environments— whether they be in a child’s home; in the care of a family member, friend, or neighbor; with a family child care provider, or in an early learning program—are critical to supporting child development and learning. A foundational aspect of a high-quality early learning environment is an early childhood professional’s clear understanding of child development and learning. With this knowledge, an early childhood professional knows where children are developmentally, can build on their skills to support new development and learning, and, when necessary, identify areas of potential developmental delay.

Child development and early learning standards support awareness and knowledge of how children develop and learn. Standards create a common understanding of child development and learning and provide those who work with young children a guide to the progression that takes place over time across all of a child’s critical domains of development and learning. Given the important role standards play in promoting high-quality care, Arkansas has used the latest research in the early childhood field to create a new set of child development and early learning standards to support the state’s early childhood community.