Early Learning

PreK - 3rd Grade Learning at Home

An adult and child writing together

Schools and daycares have closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Office of Early Learning has provided activities and resources for families and educators to use while children are at home. Some activities are online computer resources, while others make use of non-technological resources. Educators are developing ways to use technology in continuity of learning plans.

 

Welcome!

The Office of Early Learning provides oversight and technical support to school districts in the development, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies related to educating students in prekindergarten to third grade that are aligned with the NYS Board of Regents Early Childhood Policy. The Office works closely with parents, early care and education agencies, school districts, state agencies and other community advocates to coordinate programs and resources, with the goal of making New York's early learning system as comprehensive and seamless as possible.

About the Office of Early Learning

The New York State Education Department’s firm commitment to a P-12 educational system has been reaffirmed with the establishment of the Office of Early Learning (OEL).

Initiatives:

  • Establishing world class internationally benchmarked early learning standards to improve school readiness and facilitate greater success with the transition between preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary education
  • Developing a comprehensive assessment protocol and data system for Preschool – Grade 3, including the addition of an early childhood component to the NYSED public report cards for districts and schools
  • Developing practices, strategies and programs that improve educational outcomes for Preschool – Grade 3, particularly in high-needs environments
  • Developing a tool for parents’ use in identifying high quality settings in preschool
  • Developing a Statewide and National Early Learning Network

Districts and Agencies may refer to our Guidance and Memos page for further information.

 

Opening a New School: For questions and assistance with opening/starting up a new school, please visit the Office of Nonpublic Schools website.

Starting a UPK program (.pdf) This document provides information on how to become a UPK provider.

 

2019-2020 New York State Prekindergarten Program Directory (xlsx) This list contains updated contact information for New York's prekindergarten programs.

UPK (0409) Contact Information Update Form (.docx)

SUFDPK (0545) Contact Informtion Update Form (.docx)

Nursery Schools & Kindergartens: For a directory for all nursery schools and kindergartens voluntarily registered with NYSED, please visit our directory web page.

 

 

Learning Standards

New York State Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade Learning Standards: A Resource for School Success

Prek, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade learning standards cover pages

Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core Implementation Tool Kit

The Office of Early Learning, in partnership with the Northeast Comprehensive Center, developed a set of tools to support the implementation of the Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core in New York State’s early childhood education programs.  These tools are intended to support teachers, coaches, specialists, and school leaders in reflecting on current practices for each early learning domain.

Creating Rich Language and Literacy Environments for Young Learners (pdf. 838KB)

Approaches to learning Teacher Resources for Self-Reflection and Planning (Word Doc. 88KB)

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Observation and Reflection Tool for Administrators (Word Doc. 109KB)

Cognition and Knowledge Learning Centers  (pdf. 787KB)

 

Play-Based Learning

Play is an important part of a child’s development. Play helps build children’s brains and bodies, and they learn about everyday life. Participating in your child’s play helps build strong bonds between you and your child. It’s fun to play together!

Resources:

Play - Understanding the Value of Play from Birth Through Third Grade (pdf)

As states across the country develop research-based guidelines and standards for development and learning, educators and
parents feel increasing responsibility to ensure children are
prepared to meet high academic expectations. As a result, time for play and playful learning is often cut from the daily classroom schedule in favor of more educator-directed and narrowly scripted instructional approaches. The purpose of this brief is to help educators, administrators, and practitioners:
1) understand the value of play in children’s healthy development and learning; and
2) develop the use of play as one of many appropriate teaching tools to help children work toward learning goals and meet
developmental expectations.

Getting Ready for School: Play (pdf) provides families with strategies for using play in the home.  Districts can download this resource, customize it with the district name and date, and distribute it to families. 

Tip Sheets for Practice and Play: Setting Up Learning Centers (pdf) provides educators with guidance for designing and supplying centers for block and building, creative arts, dramatic play, literacy, math and manipulatives, science and discovery, sensory and writing.

 

NYSED Office of Early Learning Video Series:
A Guide for Educators Serving Children in Prekindergarten through 2nd Grade

teacher with students at a classroom table

The New York State Education Department values play as an instructional strategy in the early childhood classroom. This video series includes examples of purposeful, play-based instructional strategies that assist children in developing critical foundational skills.  To learn more, click on the above link or image.

Early Learning Video Training Guides now available for prekindergarten and kindergarten!

Prekindergarten Training Materials

Kindergarten Training Materials

 

P-3 Summer Institute

The Office of Early Learning is planning to host the next P-3 Summer Institute in the summer of 2020, with details and registration to be announced.

2019 P-3 Summer Institute

NYSED Resource List

 

 

Planning for High-Quality Prekindergarten Programs  (.pdf)

Planning for High-Quality Prekindergarten Programs reflects the commitment of the New York State Education Department to continue to work toward increasing the availability of high-quality prekindergarten programs. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to those responsible for planning and implementing prekindergarten programs for three- and four-year old children. It provides a framework for teachers and others who work with young children to create environments and develop curricula, instruction, and assessment strategies that support children as learners. It is based on the recognition that teachers need many and varied opportunities to nurture and refine their craft in order to respond effectively to the diverse needs of the children with whom they will interact during their teaching careers.

 


Tip Sheets and Tool Kits

The Office of Early Learning has created Tip Sheets to distribute to parents and educators. Parent Tip Sheets can be found on the Parent Resources page. See below for addtional Tip Sheets ad Tool Kits.


Tip Sheet for Collaborations Between SED, Head Start and Other PreK Providers

Open Ended Art Supplies for the Quality Prekindergarten Classroom

Art experiences allow children to express their ideas, feelings, and knowledge in visual form. Offering a daily art center that is equipped with open ended supplies encourages this. Students explore the processes of art using materials, tools, and techniques and create products such as drawings, paintings, sculpture, collage and three dimensional art. The Open Ended Art Supply List   provided here includes the types of materials found in a quality preschool classroom and offered in the art center on a rotating basis.

P-3 Tool

The P-3 Tool (fillable pdf) is a planning and reflection tool for use by states, districts, schools, early childhood programs, and classrooms working to align more coherent policies and practices to support improved outcomes for students in prekindergarten through third grade.

NYSED Pre-K to Kindergarten Transition Tool

Building relationships, partnering and collaboration are extremely important to facilitate the transition of prekindergarten students to kindergarten.  This is a time of great change for children, parents, families and schools in which new relationships, new expectations and new competencies are being developed. School Districts and Community Based Programs that serve students who are four years of age should have a comprehensive plan for supporting students and their families as they transition into a K-12 system.

The Planning Tool to Support Effective Transitions from Prekindergarten to Kindergarten below will help to determine how complete the school district’s or program’s prekindergarten to kindergarten transition plan is. It may signal areas for improvement for the district or program and areas to work on to ensure a positive start for young children transitioning into the school community.

Transition Tools (Updated March 2019)

 

Last Updated: April 2, 2020