Early childhood

The Issue

UNICEF in Action

Resources on Early Childhood Development



ECE curriculum is the foundation on which pedagogy is developed, and accomplishes multiple functions.

Curricula are key determinants of the quality of ECE services. This quality framework:

  1. clarifies the development/education objectives;
  2. provides organized and commonly agreed answers to children needs;
  3. supports the work of educators; and
  4. secures a minimum level of quality for various ECE services.

Curricula is often measured as part of the teaching and learning process, however, should be considered as a distinct element that has an important impact of the quality and structure of teaching content.

Defining Quality Curriculum

The curriculum in ECE services should outline clear goals across a range of developmental areas to which educators and children can aspire. For instance the five goals proposed by the US National Educational Goal Panel (NEGP) in 1997 that were meant to be treated and pursued equally are:

  1. health and physical development;
  2. emotional well-being and social competence;
  3. positive approaches to learning;
  4. communication skills; and 
  5. cognition and general knowledge.

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