Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Early Childhood Education (ECE) 8: Developmental and Educational Activities

A variety of activities and lessons promote social, emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development.
2020 Edition




Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Curriculum for each age group
  • Assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
  • Policy for the use of technology in the classroom
  • Procedures for the use of technology in the classroom
  • Sample daily activity plans for each age group from the previous six months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe interactions:
    1. Teacher/child
    2. Peer/peer
    3. Group

ECE 8.01

The program implements a curriculum that:
  1. guides the provision of daily activities and the selection of classroom materials; and
  2. acts as the foundation for ongoing, purposeful assessment of children’s progress.

ECE 8.02

The curriculum:
  1. is developmentally appropriate and reflects what is known about child development and learning;
  2. is adaptable to the strengths, interests, family situation, interpersonal characteristics, and needs of each individual child within the group setting; 
  3. is culturally appropriate and reflective of the social and cultural backgrounds of each child in the group;
  4. promotes social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development; and
  5. fosters and supports the attitudes and skills needed for learning.
Examples: Attitudes and skills that support learning can include:
  1. the ability to make decisions;
  2. a willingness to try new things;
  3. taking the time to finish what one starts;
  4. curiosity and a willingness to ask questions;
  5. creativity; and
  6. the capacity to become fully engaged in an activity.

ECE 8.03

Ongoing assessments are culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate and take into account:
  1. individualized developmental and educational goals;
  2. variations in learning and development; and
  3. input from parents, regarding their child’s behavior and development at home.

ECE 8.04

Results of assessments:
  1. are communicated to parents; and
  2. inform the selection of daily activities and classroom materials.

ECE 8.05

A wide variety of developmentally-appropriate activities are provided including:
  1. both large- and small-group activities as appropriate to the age range of children in the group;
  2. independent activity;
  3. daily opportunities for active and quiet play, nap time, and conversation;
  4. daily opportunities for both teacher- and child-directed activities;
  5. opportunities to meet developmental milestones through play;
  6. daily indoor and outdoor activities, when safety permits; and
  7. access, either in the classroom or in the community, to resources such as libraries, museums, and recreational, educational, and cultural sites or events.

ECE 8.06

Activities and lessons reflect a multi-cultural society to promote cultural awareness, sensitivity, and understanding.

ECE 8.07

To support cognitive development, classroom activities:
  1. offer choice;
  2. provide opportunities to question, experiment, and explore;
  3. are appropriate to the developmental level of children in the classroom;
  4. provide new challenges and reinforce already acquired skills;
  5. reflect a variety of educational techniques including play;
  6. encourage the child’s sense of mastery of new skills and experiences; and
  7. incorporate curriculum content areas including literacy, math, science, social studies, health and nutrition, and the arts.
Examples: Teaching staff can promote the development of literacy skills in infants and toddlers through:
  1. interactive reading, such as asking questions, reading with expression, and naming objects or people on the pages;
  2. making board books available in the classroom;
  3. rhyming;
  4. providing opportunities for children to use writing utensils; and
  5. singing.
In pre-school classrooms, the recognition of print can be emphasized by:
  1. labeling items in the classroom;
  2. using dictation, where the teacher writes down what the child is saying;
  3. using print to describe daily routines or rules the child is familiar with;
  4. making developmentally-appropriate books available in the classroom; and
  5. providing ample opportunities to recognize and write letters.
Examples: Math content for infants and toddlers can include:
  1. exposure to different shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns through objects in their environment; and 
  2. mathematical concepts that can be expressed non-verbally such as “more or less” or “big and small.”
Math content in pre-school classrooms can include:
  1. opportunities to gain familiarity with numbers, shapes, and patterns;
  2. opportunities for children to categorize items by size, color, shape, and pattern;
  3. recognition of numbers and their meaning; and
  4. use of mathematical terms in their daily life.
Examples: Science content for infants and toddlers can include:
  1. opportunities to explore their senses;
  2. exploration of cause and effect; and
  3. opportunities to explore their capacity to affect or change their environment.
Science content in pre-school classrooms can include opportunities to:
  1. explore the differences between living and non-living things;
  2. observe the life cycle;
  3. learn about the earth;
  4. observe and learn from the weather and their environment;
  5. explore cause and effect;
  6. use simple tools, such as a magnifying glass, to observe objects; and
  7. practice different methods of documentation such as drawing pictures.
Examples: Social studies content can include discussion, materials, and activities that explore concepts such as:
  1. diversity;
  2. varying definitions of family;
  3. the environment and environmental responsibility;
  4. fairness;
  5. friendship; and
  6. the local community.
Examples: Teaching staff can facilitate exploration of the visual and performing arts by:
  1. offering a variety of developmentally-appropriate art supplies;
  2. teaching new skills or ways to use art supplies;
  3. playing music in the classroom;
  4. displaying children’s art in the classroom;
  5. exposing children to professional artists;
  6. displaying art at children’s eye-level;
  7. singing songs;
  8. playing instruments; and
  9. engaging in imaginative play.

ECE 8.08

Language development is promoted by:
  1. regularly engaging children in dialogue and encouraging children to engage in conversations with others;
  2. rephrasing children's ideas in complete sentences;
  3. minimizing “baby talk;”
  4. introducing new words and concepts;
  5. asking open-ended questions;
  6. talking to children about familiar items or activities;
  7. offering alternative communication options for children who are non-verbal; and
  8. responding to vocalizations and attempts at language.

ECE 8.09

Activities and materials that promote physical development:
  1. include the development of both fine and gross muscle control; and
  2. foster a variety of skills including balance, strength, and coordination.
Examples: Activities for infants can include:
  1. changing position;
  2. discovering hands and feet;
  3. spending time on their stomach; and
  4. pushing, grabbing, kicking, and mouthing.
Activities for older infants and young toddlers can include:
  1. crawling;
  2. walking with assistance; or
  3. holding and using writing utensils, paint brushes, or other materials that assist in the development of fine motor skills.
In pre-school children, fine motor skills are developed through activities such as:
  1. writing;
  2. drawing;
  3. puzzles;
  4. painting;
  5. working with clay; and
  6. working with manipulatives.
In pre-school children, gross motor skills are developed through activities such as:
  1. throwing;
  2. climbing;
  3. kicking;
  4. running; and
  5. skipping.

ECE 8.10

Teaching staff recognize opportunities for children to learn and practice emotional self-regulation including:
  1. encouraging exploration of the senses;
  2. mentoring and practicing skills; and
  3. helping children to identify and appropriately express their emotions.

ECE 8.11

Use of passive and interactive technology is limited, targeted, and purposeful, and:
  1. supportive of the child’s educational and developmental goals;
  2. tailored to the child’s age and developmental stage;
  3. monitored by staff at all times; and
  4. never used for children under the age of two.


Passive technology includes television and videos and their use should be even more limited than interactive technology such as video games and computers. 
NA The program does not use television, video, and computer equipment.