Types of Preschool Curriculum - post

Types of Preschool Curriculum

image in article Types of Preschool CurriculumPreschool is a foundational stage in a child's educational journey, laying the groundwork for lifelong learning. Choosing the right #preschool curriculum is a crucial decision for #parents and #educators alike. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into various types of preschool curriculum, each designed to nurture young minds in unique ways.

The Importance of Preschool Curriculum

Curriculum is a comprehensive guide detailing the learning goals for children. Curriculum includes instructional units, #lesson-plans, the resources and materials that will be used, teaching strategies, activities, and assessments.

Educators use a curriculum to guide their planning in order to meet #early-learning standards for the children in their care. 

Early Learning Standards

Early learning standards define the key aspects of #development and learning that are the foundation for a child’s school and life-long success. While the progress of children toward the standards will vary depending on a number of factors, the standards act as a guide for educational and programmatic decisions by child care providers.

While each state develops its own Early Learning Standards, commercial curriculums emphasize #developmentally appropriate content and outcomes.

Developmentally Appropriate

A developmentally appropriate curriculum allows for flexibility in achieving standards. Educators must use their knowledge of early learning standards and individual children's needs to tailor lesson plans to meet the needs of all children. Educators should be able to adjust the sequence of lessons and provide modifications and accommodations for those children who require them. In addition, consideration for learning styles and cultural differences will inform how the educator uses the curriculum. 

Curriculum should be seen as a framework and a guide but should never take precedence over the individual needs of children. Educators should use information gained from observations to guide their lessons.  A quality curriculum allows for flexibility informed by child progress.

Types of Curriculum

Preschool curriculum serves as the roadmap for a child's early learning experiences. A thoughtfully crafted curriculum not only introduces children to academic concepts but also focuses on holistic development, encompassing social, emotional, and physical aspects. Let's unravel the diverse types of preschool curriculum that cater to the multifaceted needs of young learners.

Play-Based Curriculum:

Play-based curriculum revolves around the philosophy that children learn best through play. This approach emphasizes hands-on, interactive activities to foster cognitive, social, and emotional development. Play is seen as a natural and enjoyable way for children to explore and make sense of the world around them.


  • Child-Centered Learning: The curriculum is driven by children's interests and choices.
  • Structured Play: Activities are purposefully designed to promote learning in areas such as problem-solving, creativity, and #language-development.
  • Immersive Play Environments: Classrooms are arranged with diverse materials and centers to encourage exploration.


  • Joyful Learning: Play-based learning creates a joyful and engaging environment.
  • Social Skills: Children develop vital social skills, including cooperation and communication.
  • Creativity: Encourages imaginative thinking and creativity.

Montessori Curriculum:

Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, the Montessori curriculum is centered on the belief that children learn best when they are #free to explore at their own pace in a carefully prepared environment. It focuses on fostering independence, self-discipline, and a love for learning.


  • Mixed-Age Classrooms: Children of different ages learn together.
  • Self-Directed Learning: Children choose activities based on their interests and pace.
  • Hands-On Materials: The curriculum employs specialized materials to promote #sensory and experiential learning.


  • Independence: Encourages self-reliance and independent thinking.
  • Intrinsic Motivation: Fosters a love for learning driven by the child's natural curiosity.
  • Holistic Development: Focuses on intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth.

Reggio Emilia Approach:

Originating in the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy, this approach views children as competent, capable learners and places a strong emphasis on collaboration between children, #teachers, and parents. The curriculum is emergent, evolving based on the interests and experiences of the children.


  • Project-Based Learning: Curriculum emerges from the interests of the children and often involves long-term, in-depth projects.
  • Documentation: Teachers document children's learning through photographs, written observations, and displays.
  • Collaboration: Encourages collaboration and communication among children and adults.


  • Expressive Arts: Emphasizes the use of various expressive arts in learning.
  • Community Involvement: Involves parents and the community in the learning process.
  • Critical Thinking: Encourages critical thinking and problem-solving.

HighScope Curriculum:

The HighScope curriculum is designed to promote active learning through a carefully structured daily routine. It incorporates key components such as a plan-do-review process, small-group activities, and adult-child interactions to #support-learning and development.


  • Plan-Do-Review Cycle: Children plan what they want to do, engage in the activity, and then review what they have done.
  • Active Learning Environment: Emphasizes hands-on, interactive experiences.
  • Small Group Activities: Encourages socialization and cooperation through small-group interactions.


  • Language Development: Focuses on language-rich environments to support communication skills.
  • Problem-Solving: Encourages problem-solving skills through the plan-do-review process.
  • Positive Adult-Child Interactions: Emphasizes positive, supportive interactions between adults and children.

Bank Street Curriculum:

The Bank Street curriculum, also known as the Developmental-Interaction Approach, is based on the belief that learning is an active, social process. It takes into account the individual needs and developmental stages of each child, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.


  • Child-Centered Learning: Curriculum is adapted to the needs and interests of each child.
  • Project Work: In-depth projects are used to explore topics of interest.
  • Focus on Social and Emotional Development: Emphasizes the importance of social and emotional skills.


  • Individualized Learning: Recognizes and supports each child's unique learning style.
  • Community Building: Creates a sense of community within the #classroom.
  • Holistic Development: Addresses cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.


Choosing a preschool curriculum is a significant decision that shapes a child's #early-educational experiences. Each type of curriculum discussed here offers a distinctive approach, catering to diverse learning styles and philosophies. Ultimately, the effectiveness of a curriculum lies in its alignment with the values and goals of parents, educators, and the unique needs of the children it serves. By understanding the characteristics and benefits of different preschool curricula, parents and educators can make informed decisions that set the stage for a child's lifelong love of learning. 

Interested in learning more about curriculum and planning in the preschool classroom? ChildCareEd offers many training options to cover all aspects of curriculum implementation. Consider the following courses:

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