Welcome to the Iowa Early Learning Standards 3rd edition. The Iowa Early Learning Standards (IELS) are for everyone who cares for, educates, and works with young children. The standards are a resource to support and enhance children’s learning and development. The standards are a tool to share information among families, caregivers, child care providers, family support, mental health, and health care professionals, teachers, program administrators, and others who care for or work with children during the first 2,000 days of life.
The Cover presents the color coding used throughout the IELS. The IELS document is the product of Early Childhood Iowa. The Table of Contents provides a summary and page numbers for each of the eight Areas: Social and Emotional Development; Physical Well-Being and Motor Development; Approaches to Learning; Social Studies; Creative Arts; Communication, Language, and Literacy, Mathematics, and Science. The Invitation Letter encourages every adult in Iowa to learn more about the necessity for quality experiences during the first years of a child’s life and the impact of these experiences on future learning and success. The Iowa Early Learning Standards 3rd edition was approved by the Early Childhood Iowa State Board and the Iowa State Board of Education. The revision committee, representing individuals from every region of Iowa and from a variety of positions within early care and education, recognized the efforts of the 2006 and 2012 writing committees. A list of the 2006, 2012, and 2017 committees is included in the Iowa Early Learning Standards Writing and Revision Committees. The Introduction describes the intent of the IELS, the sections of the IELS document, the history of early learning standards in Iowa, revisions and updates to the 2012 version, and where to access the document online. The Essential Considerations explains the connection of the IELS to the principles contained in the Iowa Core Knowledge of Child Development, developed in 2016. Additional information includes the role of relationships in learning, the importance of physical and mental health, diversity and inclusion, the importance of play, the role of technology and interactive media, the role of observation and monitoring child’s development, and understanding school readiness. The Index provides a list of the standards for the age levels of infant and toddler (birth - 3 years) and preschool (3 - 5 years) in each of the eight Areas, and a list of the alignments of the IELS to the Iowa CORE and Iowa Fine Arts Standards. The Rationale provides details of why each standard is important for every child. This information provides a foundation for all adults to consider the impact of each standard. Research is noted throughout the Rationale section.
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