Intended Use

Early learning is the foundation of Rhode Island’s entire educational system.

The Standards will serve several purposes in the state’s early childhood part of that system. First and foremost, these revised standards will guide early care and education practices, such as curriculum and assessment choices, to ensure children receive every opportunity to make progress in the designated learning domains. These standards also can support the understanding among caregivers and family members** of key early learning milestones. Additionally, the standards inform primary grade teachers of the educational trajectory of the state’s youngest learners so that these teachers are even better prepared to serve all children.

The following guidance clarifies the intended use of The Standards:

how-to-use How to Use These Standards

  • To guide early educators in the development of curriculum
  • To inform families about learning milestones
  • To provide a framework for implementing high-quality early childhood programs
  • To promote optimal early learning trajectories into kindergarten

how-not-to-use How NOT to Use These Standards

  • As specific teaching practices or materials
  • As a checklist of competencies
  • As a stand-alone curriculum or program

This core, or master, set of standards articulates comprehensive educational expectations for children from birth to five years of age; they have been derived from the latest research and public input. The Rhode Island Department of Education will offer ongoing technical assistance and resources to help administrators, teachers, and families understand and implement them.


**    A child’s primary caregiver may be a parent but also may be a relative or someone outside the biological family. For purposes of simplicity, this document uses the word “family” to mean that person (or persons) who has assumed the primary responsibility of caring for and raising a child.