The first three years of life have long been viewed as a distinct period that provides the foundation for later development. ELM actively supports the development of 14 foundation skills across five broad areas for children birth to 36 months of age. The five areas and 14 skills are summarized here: Birth-36 Months Areas and Skills Promoted

A list of ELM Curriculum resources for classrooms serving infants and toddlers can be found here: Birth-36 Months Ready-to-Go Resources

Activity Plans

ELM’s activity plans for children birth to 36 months of age are organized by blocks. One block offers two weeks of activity plans. There are 25 blocks for each of three age groups: birth–12 months, 12–24 months, and 24–36 months (total of 75 blocks). Within each block are five sets of activity plans, one for each of the five areas promoted by ELM for infants and toddlers. There are 2–3 options in each activity plan. The activity options are sequenced by level of challenge and, together, provide flexibility to caregivers in responding to children’s interests and needs. Each plan offers suggestions for tailoring children’s experiences, described below, plus an interest area activity and an adaptation for family child care.

Birth-12 Months Sample Block of Activity Plans

12-24 Months Sample Block of Activity Plans

24-36 Months Sample Block of Activity Plans

Tailoring Children’s Learning Experiences

Each activity plan for infants and toddlers offers guidance for caregivers in how to tailor learning experiences to the needs of individual children. In addition to the 2-3 activity options described above, two sections provide suggestions on ways to individualize learning experiences for children. The What to Look For section describes different ways a child may participate in an activity and provides recommendations for how to adapt to possible differences in participation. The More Scaffolding Tips section provides additional enrichment recommendations that offer ideas for adding challenge to an activity.

ELM Guides for Observing and Individualizing offer guidance for conducting focused observations of a child’s progress in acquiring foundation skills. The guides also provide suggestions for individualized follow-up activities and examples of observation summaries for a child’s portfolio. There are eight guides for infants (birth–12 months) and nine guides for toddlers (12–36 months).

Birth-12 Months Sample Guide

12-36 Months Sample Guide

Family Resources

ELM offers family engagement resources to help infant-toddler caregivers develop and maintain reciprocal relationships with families.

ELM provides a set of brief parenting tips in a resource known as Readiness Starts Early. The tips directly extend activities in the corresponding block of activities for classrooms. There is a set of tips for each block of activity plans. Click here to see a sample of Readiness Starts Early.

There are examples of portfolio entries for sharing specific information about a child’s progress in each of the Guides for Observing and Individualizing.