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There are three major threads influencing standards for curriculum and standards-based assessment in early childhood. The threads come from legislation, policies, and practices in K–12 education; legislation, practices, and regulations particular to preschool and child care, including those involving Head Start, quality rating and improvement systems, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant; and finally, the legislation and practices for children with disabilities. Each thread must be considered in the context of both an early childhood framework and the framework of K–12 education, since the age range for early childhood is conventionally defined as birth to age 8, covering both preschool and elementary venues. Thus, the landscape for curriculum and assessment in early childhood is complex due to the various settings where young children ...

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