Early Learning Outcomes Framework

Approaches to Learning

Approaches to learning focuses on how children learn. It refers to the skills and behaviors that children use to engage in learning. Supporting children's skills in the area helps children acquire knowledge, learn new skills, and set and achieve goals.

Social & Emotional Development

Positive social and emotional development in the early years provides a critical foundation for lifelong development and learning. A sense of identity and belonging contributes to school readiness and learning by helping children gain self-confidence.

Language & Literacy

Communication is fundamental to the human experience, and language and literacy are essential to children's learning. Preschoolers with strong language skills are prepared to be successful learners in school.


Cognitive development includes reasoning, memory, problem-solving, and thinking skills that help young children understand and organize their world. For preschoolers, this evolves into complex mathematical thinking and scientific reasoning.

Perceptual, Motor & Physical Development

Perceptual, motor, and physical development is foundational to children’s learning in all areas because it permits children to fully explore and function in their environment. Children can practice and refine both their fine and gross motor skills during a variety of learning experiences and while performing self-help routines, such as eating with a fork or putting on clothes.

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