Early Learning and Development Benchmarks

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Looking at the Early Learning and Development Benchmarks is a daunting task because of how long it is. Once you really dive into reading and looking at it, you begin to see how truly valuable these are to those who care for and teach young children. These Benchmarks recognize the importance of the first five years of life in a child and how children at this age rely heavily on adults for their development and learning. These Benchmarks do not follow any one theory, but blend together all of the different theoretical perspectives with scientific research.
The purpose of these Benchmarks is to assist early childhood programs know what the children should know and things they should be able to do when they enter Kindergarten. One of the purposes of the Benchmarks is for teachers and professionals to share the tool with their student’s parents so that they know what developmental expectations they should expect from their children. The Benchmarks are split into four critical stages: 18 months, 36 months, 60 months, and entering into kindergarten.
The Benchmarks is not meant to be used as a guide to child development and should not be used as a checklist for teachers or families. This is also not supposed to be used as a basis for a curriculum in the classroom for teachers. The Benchmarks are not meant to be used as an assessment instrument to determine any eligibility for any services or programs and it is not to be used to gauge children’s functioning or skills for an Individual Education Plan or an Individual Family Service Plan or to collect statewide information on the status of the children.
These Benchmarks should recognize all children as capable of learning, achieving, and making developmental progress regardless of any b...

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...ly intertwined. Language Development has three aspects, content (vocabulary and meaning), form (grammatical structure or syntax), and use (function). Communication requires much previous knowledge and skills and children communicate before they master an actual symbolic language. Literacy Development is defined as encompassing reading, writing, other creative or analytic skills, and comprehension of the environment.
The Washington State Early Learning and Development Benchmarks can be used for children birth to entry into Kindergarten. The Benchmarks can be applied to basics in a classroom and given to parents so that they know the basic guidelines in their child’s learning and development. Parents want information on if their child is developing “normally” or typically, and guidelines like these in a condensed form can give those parents some of that information.

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