Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Curriculum Statement

Quality programs recognize the importance of carefully planned activities and instruction that guide children’s development and learning. These programs create developmentally appropriate environments through plans that outline what children will learn, how they will learn it, and how adults will facilitate that learning.

Selecting a developmentally and age appropriate curriculum lays a strong foundation for a quality learning environment where all children can learn, grow, and experience success.

a male teacher showing a book to his young students
Curriculum and Quality Learning Environments

This section helps Family Child Care or Child Care Center programs meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Curriculum: DAP 4.4. It helps you review, revise, or create a statement that explains how your program uses a curriculum that is aligned with Maryland Early Learning Standards, or a state recommended or recognized curriculum.

NOTE: There section applies to Family Child Care and Child Care Center programs only. There is no Curriculum requirement for School-Age Only programs.

Select the Requirements tab to learn more about key information to include in your documentation.

Requirements

Let's look at the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Curriculum: DAP 4.4. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot to find information about what to include in your evidence.

Select the option that applies to your program type:

 

Child Care Center
DAP 4.4: Curriculum Implementation of a curriculum that is aligned with Maryland Early Learning Standards, and / or a state-recommended or recognized curriculum. Documentation to submit: Curriculum statement

Family Child Care
DAP 4.4: Curriculum Implementation of a curriculum that is aligned with Maryland Early Learning Standards, and / or a state-recommended or recognized curriculum. Documentation to submit: Curriculum statement

School-Age Only
DAP 4.4: Curriculum There is no curriculum requirement for School-Age programs.

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Curriculum: DAP 4.4, you will provide a statement describing your program’s use of a curriculum that is:

The Policy or Statement Builder provides a step-by-step guide for creating your statement.






Maryland Early Learning Standards

Maryland Early Learning Standards define key aspects of development and learning that are the foundation for a child’s success in school and beyond. While individual children’s progress will vary, the standards help child care providers, prekindergarten through grade 2 teachers, and public school administrators share common goals for children’s learning and development across 8 domains: Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Health, Physical Education, Fine Arts, and Social Foundations.

 

What does the documentation look like?

Your curriculum statement indicates that Maryland Early Learning Standards are used to guide your lesson planning process and implementation. If you describe your curriculum in your program’s handbook, you may upload your handbook as documentation.

 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

You are on the right track if your program uses Maryland Early Learning Standards to help guide your lesson planning process along with consideration of the ages and developmental needs of the children in your program.

 

Where can you learn more?

Information on Maryland’s Early Learning Standards and learning domains is available through Maryland State Department of Education Division of Early Childhood Education:

Maryland Early Learning Standards

(null)

(null)






State Recommended or Recognized Curriculum

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Early Childhood Curriculum Project provides guidance to child care and other non-public early childhood programs about curricular resources. The project is designed to work as a support for preschool-aged children before they start their school careers. There are state recommended or recognized curricula for children birth through the preschool years.

 

What does the documentation look like?

You will submit a statement that describes how your program uses a State recommended or recognized curriculum that matches the ages of the children enrolled. In some cases, more than one curriculum may be used to ensure all age groups are supported. Keep in mind that all curricula you choose must meet MSDE requirements.

If your program enrolls children of different ages, be sure to explain which curriculum you use with each age group. Your statement should explain how your curriculum aligns with the different ages and developmental needs of children in your program.

 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

You are on the right track if your statement explains which state recommended or recognized curricula your program uses to help guide your lesson planning process and program activities. It includes how the curriculum matches the ages and developmental needs of the children in your program.

 

Where can you learn more?

This website from Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood Development provides helpful information about curriculum choices for early childhood programs, including a listing of state-recommended or recognized curricula for different age groups.

Early Childhood Curriculum Project

Early Childhood Curriculum | Early Childhood Development

The OUNCE Scale helps caregivers and families monitor a child's development. It has many approaches to collecting information, and methods for keeping track of accomplishments and includes family members in the assessment process. The Teaching Strategies curriculum has a clear organizational structure and a focus on routines and experiences.

Your local Child Care Resource and Referral Center has sample copies of curriculum materials available for you to explore. These materials include curriculum guides, books, props, and assessments. Contact your resource center to arrange a visit for exploring curricula. Technical Assistance Specialists are also available to help you reflect on your program and determine which curriculum best suits your needs.

Maryland Child Care Resource Network

Maryland's Child Care Resource Network | Maryland Family Network

Every community in Maryland is served by one of twelve regional Child Care Resource Centers (CCRCs). Together, these Centers make up the Maryland Child Care Resource Network (MCCRN), which provides leadership and services designed to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in communities across the state.






Policy or Statement Builder

This interactive helps you describe how your program's curriculum is used in your lesson planning process. You have the option of emailing your responses to yourself and editing your final statement before uploading it to the Maryland EXCELS System. You are encouraged to type your responses in full sentences to make it easier to edit your final statement.

 

Build-A-Statement: Curriculum

Final Touches

Check your curriculum statement as you prepare to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS System. Remember, curriculum information may be a statement or part of your program’s handbook.

 

Check to be sure your documentation includes:

A statement describing that your program’s use of:

 
 

If your program includes children of multiple ages, be sure to describe the curriculum you use with each age group.

 

Save your document:

  • Use a file name that you can find easily when you upload it to the system (example: curriculum.docx).
  • Use any one of these formats:
    • Typed electronic version of your written statement (examples: Microsoft Word, PDF)
    • Identified section within your handbook related to curriculum and lesson planning (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your curriculum statement, look ahead, and think about a plan for ongoing improvement.

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Your Document

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate where you saved your written document on the computer
 

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

If your program uses a state recommended or recognized curriculum, your statement may meet the requirements DAP 4.5!

Plan for Improvement

Set a goal to review your curriculum periodically to make sure it still meets the developmental needs of the children in your program. Learn more about Maryland’s Curriculum Project by visiting the Division of Early Childhood Development’s website.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (DAP 4.4)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your curriculum statement.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation