Importance of Curriculum

A high-quality curriculum defines specific, sequenced learning goals to meet all children’s individual needs, including children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs, and provides developmentally-appropriate structure and sequence to classroom activities that promote children’s engagement.

Curriculum in VQB5

VQB5 measures the quality of infant, toddler, and preschool teaching and learning based on two nationally recognized quality indicators: Interactions and Curriculum.

Research shows that stimulating and supportive interactions between teachers and children and effective use of quality curriculum promotes children’s holistic learning and development, resulting in improved school readiness.

Curriculum is a key ingredient to helping teachers improve their interactions, providing ways to create nurturing and responsive practices and environments that foster trust and emotional security.

The optional use of a comprehensive curriculum in alignment with Virginia’s Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) ensures that all areas of learning and development are being covered in developmentally appropriate ways. Programs participating in VQB5 are not required to use curriculum.

The Connection between CLASS and Curriculum

Curriculum consists of the “plans for the learning experiences through which all children acquire knowledge, skills, abilities, and understanding.”

Curriculum helps teachers provide quality interactions that promote learning.

The following document describes how the CLASS Framework and a high-quality curriculum play complementary roles in promoting positive outcomes for young children.

Want to Learn More?

Contact the Foundation First office near you to speak to a team member about curriculums and related resources in your area.

Resources to Support

Virginia is addressing disparities in access to quality curriculum by expanding options for publicly funded birth to five programs that do not have an approved curriculum in place. Programs that do not have a curriculum that meets VDOE’s Baseline Criteria for High-Quality Birth to Five Curriculum, as listed in the pre-submission checklist, should not rush to purchase a new product. The resources listed below are designed to support programs in selecting a quality curriculum that meets the program’s unique needs.

Virginia’s Vetted and Approved Curriculum List

Virginia ECE programs can choose and use one of the 50+ VDOE-approved curriculum. This document, updated monthly, includes a list of currently approved early childhood curriculum options.

Access The Currently Approved Curriculum

There are three free / low-cost approved options:

STREAMin3, available for publicly funded Virginia ECE programs

Early Learning Matters, available nationally to ECE programs

Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence, available nationally to ECE programs