MDE News

MDE Seeks Public Comment on Early Learning Standards for Infants, Toddlers and Pre-School Children

by May 21, 2018

Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX:  601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519


For Immediate Release: May 21, 2018

JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is seeking public comment on the newly released Mississippi Early Learning Standards for Classrooms Serving Infants through Four-Year-Old Children, which outlines goals for children from birth through age 4.

The MDE developed the document in collaboration with a committee of early childhood education teachers and leaders from a variety of settings including school districts, Head Start and private childcare providers. The committee also included state and national early childhood experts from health, advocacy and higher education institutions.

“The publication of the guide marks the completion of Mississippi’s work to create a seamless set of standards that are aligned from birth through the 12th grade,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Mississippi’s early learning community will soon be able to implement a common set of developmentally appropriate milestones for infant and toddlers, as well as learning standards for 3- and 4-year-old children.”

The standards for infants and toddlers describe experiences in the first three years of life that have a strong impact on brain development and learning.  They are the foundation for healthy development and positive learning outcomes in the preschool years and beyond. 

“We’re pleased with the guide and excited about its release for public comment,” said Holly Spivey, Head Start collaboration director in the Office of Governor Phil Bryant. “It is the result of intensive, valuable collaboration between all the parties involved who wanted to ensure Mississippi’s children receive the best developmental and educational foundation from the earliest age.”

The 3- and 4-year-old standards are aligned to the kindergarten Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. The document also includes additional pre-K standards for Social Studies, Science, Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Creative Expression.

Jennifer Calvert, who directs Calvert’s ABC Pre-School & Nursery in Aberdeen and is a pre-K teacher, served on the committee that helped create the Mississippi Early Learning Standards guide.

“The guide is a good tool to help you meet quality standards,” Calvert said. “It tells you what to do and gives you examples how to do it.”

Calvert said the collaboration among the MDE and other early learning providers and experts produced a high-quality guide that will be useful to all early child care and education providers.

“It was good to hear from each angle. We had Head Start, child care centers and home-based providers,” she said. “Having a variety of people come together and share their ideas made this work.”

After the Mississippi State Board of Education formally approves the guide, the MDE will work with early childhood partners to disseminate the guide statewide. The MDE will also hold early childhood training in a variety of settings this summer and fall.

View the guide online: Mississippi Early Learning Standards for Classrooms Serving Infants through Four-Year-Old Children



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