About


The Learning Innovation and Improvement Office (LII) provides system infrastructure and professional development supports to the child care workforce. LII supports continuous quality improvement through advocacy, professional development, and workforce incentives. The office provides statewide technical assistance to local program administrators that oversee quality infrastructure grants and contracts that are primarily funded with federal Child Care and Development Funds (CCDF).  

Early Learning Resources:

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the California Department of Education (CDE) develop early learning resources to support the child care and early education workforce to improve their knowledge and skills in serving young children. The information below provides a multitude of publications and videos, including the California Learning Foundations, Frameworks, and Program Guidelines. 

Publications

Early Education Resources

  • The Alignment of the California Preschool Learning Foundations with Key Early Education Resources, Second Edition
  • Best Practices for Planning Curriculum for Young Children
  • California Early Childhood Curriculum Review Guide
  • Early Childhood Education (ECE) Competencies
  • Guidelines for Early Learning in Child Care Home Settings
  • Inclusion Works! Second Edition

Infant/Toddler Resources

  • Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations
  • Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework
  • Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Program Guidelines
  • Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) Caregiving Guides

Parent Resources

  • Care About Quality: Your Guide to Child Care

Preschool Resources

  • Preschool Learning Foundations
  • Preschool Curriculum Frameworks
  • Preschool Program Guidelines
  • Preschool English Learners

Early Education Resources

  • The Alignment of the California Preschool Learning Foundations with Key Early Education Resources: the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations, the California Content Standards, and the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five, Second Edition.
  • This publication presents the developmental continuum of learning for children from birth through kindergarten. It shows the connections that the nine domains of the preschool learning foundations have with the content of other important resources, including areas of the California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations, California Content Standards, and the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework.
  • Best Practices for Planning Curriculum for Young Children
    • Creating Equitable Early Learning Environments for Young Boys of Color: Disrupting Disproportionate Outcomes – NEW | English
    • This groundbreaking book provides an honest and comprehensive look at the inequitable experiences our youngest Boys of Color have in early learning programs including disproportionate rates of exclusionary discipline (e.g., pushouts, suspensions, and expulsions). This book highlights the critical need to disrupt these patterns and create strength-based and equity-oriented early childhood environments that support Boys of Color to thrive.
    • Family Partnerships and Culture | English
    • This publication promotes understanding of children’s cultural or multicultural experiences at home, and helps teachers use those experiences as building blocks for teaching and learning in early education settings.
    • The Integrated Nature of Learning | English
    • This publication examines how play, learning, and curriculum work together in early education, and describes the relationship context for early learning and the role of the teacher in supporting children’s active engagement in learning.
    • Responsive Early Education for Young Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness | English
    • Essential factual information and resources about the extent of early childhood homelessness, in addition to concrete research-based strategies teachers can implement that benefit all of the children in their care, and are essential for young children and their families impacted by homelessness.
    • The Powerful Role of Play in Early Education | English
    • This publication discusses the critical role of play for children, particularly in early childhood. Play is an important context in which children learn, experiment with new ideas, and make sense of the world around them.
  • California Early Childhood Curriculum Review Guide | English
  • A tool designed to support early childhood professionals and programs in reviewing a curriculum or curriculum approach, analyzing and reflecting on the strengths and limitations of a curriculum or curriculum approach, and identifying and planning next steps based on the curriculum review.
  • California Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Competencies
    • California Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Competencies | English
    • California Early Childhood Educator Competencies Supplemental Add-on
    • The California Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Competencies describe the knowledge, skills and dispositions that early childhood educators need in order to provide high quality care and education to young children and their families. The California ECE Competencies are organized into twelve overlapping areas: (1) Child Development and Learning; (2) Culture, Diversity and Equity; (3) Relationships, Interactions, and Guidance; (4) Family and Community Engagement; (5) Dual-Language Development; (6) Observation, Screening, Assessment, and Documentation; (7) Special Needs and Inclusion; (8) Learning Environments and Curriculum; (9) Health, Safety, and Nutrition; (10) Leadership in Early Childhood Education; (11) Professionalism; and (12) Administration and Supervision. The term early childhood educator includes everyone responsible for the care and education of young children.
      The California ECE Competencies are research-based, and are aligned with the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations to guide professional development and related quality improvement activities. This revised version of the California ECE Competencies now includes a second section (Focus 2) that displays the same information found in Focus 1 in an alternate grid format. The Focus 1 section gives us a grid-format chapter for each of the 12 competency areas (12 chapters). The Focus 2 section provides an alternate grid chapter for each of the 4 competency contexts (4 chapters).
      Development of the California ECE Competencies began in June 2008 in collaboration with First 5 California, and has involved expert advisors including representatives from the California Community Colleges and California State University systems to ensure that the competencies are based on current research and practice.
      A set of ECE Competency videos can be found at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/ececomps.asp
  • Guidelines for Early Learning in Child Care Home Settings | English, Spanish
  • Recognizing the importance of home-based child care settings in today's society, this publication provides guidance to help home-based child care providers offer high-quality early care and learning experiences to the children and families they serve. The book covers topics such as the roles and relationships involved in home-based child care; how to create safe, inclusive environments that foster early learning and development; ideas for implementing appropriate curriculum; professional development for home-based providers; and things to consider when infants and toddlers receive care in mixed-age group settings.
  • Inclusion Works! Creating Child Care Programs that Promote Belonging for Children with Disabilities, Second Edition | English, Spanish
  • Updated with new information and is an essential guide for anyone providing child care for children from birth to twelve years old. It offers guidance for providers of child care programs and highlights resources and strategies that promote inclusion and belonging for all children.
  • California's Best Practices for Young Dual Language Learners - Research Overview Papers (PDF)
  • This publication includes research on dual language learners.

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Infant/Toddler Resources

  • California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations | English, Spanish
  • The California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations are at the center of California's infant/toddler learning and development system. The foundations describe how children develop and what they learn, and are designed to illuminate the competencies that infants and toddlers need for later success.
  • California Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework | English, Spanish
  • The California Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework supports early childhood educators working in programs serving children birth to three years of age in implementing high-quality curriculum practices that lead to acquisition of the knowledge and skills described in the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations.
  • Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Program Guidelines, Second Edition | English, Spanish
  • This publication presents information about how to provide high-quality early and care, including recommendations for program policies and day-to-day practices that will improve program services to all infants and toddlers.
  • Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) Caregiving Guides
  • Infant/Toddler Caregiving Guides offer in-depth articles, essays, and practical exercises related to caring for infants and toddlers.
    • Infant/Toddler Caregiving: A Guide to Cognitive Development and Learning (Second Edition) | English
    • Guidance on supporting cognitive development and learning in early care and education programs for infants and toddlers, including practical ideas on how to create relationships with children that encourage exploration and discovery and help them to become confident learners. The guide includes an appendix that presents California’s early learning and development foundations for the domain of cognitive development.
    • Infant/Toddler Caregiving: A Guide to Creating Partnerships with Families (Second Edition) | English
    • Information on working with families of infant and toddlers from diverse backgrounds and cultures, as well as strategies to ease family concerns about using out-of-home care and to address their feelings about leaving their young children with others.
    • Infant/Toddler Caregiving: A Guide to Social-Emotional Growth and Socialization (Third Edition) | English
    • Approaches to nurturing the social and emotional growth of infants and toddlers. Current research about brain development and its relationship to children's emotional growth and socialization is also discussed. An appendix of the social-emotional development foundations is included.
    • Infant/Toddler Caregiving: A Guide to Culturally Sensitive Care (Second Edition) | English
    • Information and perspectives on the influence of culture and language on children's development, including practical ideas on how to create collaborative relationships with families from diverse cultural backgrounds and connections between the home and early care setting.
    • A Guide to Language Development and Communication (Second Edition)
    • Latest research findings about the role of a family's culture in the child's development of communication, including a discussion of how parents and teachers can build a foundation for literacy in infants and toddlers.
    • A Guide to Routines (Second Edition)
    • Presents caregiving routines as opportunities for caregivers to build a close personal relationship with each child while attending to the child's physical, emotional, and other developmental needs.
    • A Guide to Setting Up Environments (Second Edition)
    • Tested ideas for setting up a child care environment that fosters early learning and is safe and healthful, including updated resources, sample layouts of exemplary child care settings, and ways to accommodate children with disabilities or special needs.

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Parent Resources

  • Care About Quality: Your Guide to Child Care
  • This resource guide was published by the California Department of Education in 2000 to provide parents and family seeking child care with key indicators of quality child care settings, information on the types of child care available, and tips for interviewing potential child care providers.

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Preschool Resources

  • California Preschool Learning Foundations
  • The California Preschool Learning Foundations describes competencies, knowledge and skills that most children can be expected to exhibit in a high-quality program as they complete their first or second year of preschool.
    • California Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 1 | English, Spanish
    • California Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 2 | English, Spanish
    • California Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 3 |English, Spanish
  • California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks
  • Created as companion volumes to the California Preschool Learning Foundations, the California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks present strategies for early childhood educators that enrich learning and development opportunities for all of California’s preschool children.
    • California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Volume 1 | English, Spanish
    • California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Volume 2 | English
    • California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Volume 3 |English
  • California Preschool Program Guidelines | English, Spanish
  • The California Preschool Program Guidelines provides the detailed guidance needed by administrators and teachers to offer high-quality preschool programs that prepare children to arrive in kindergarten with the foundational skills necessary for school success.
  • Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning: A Resource Guide (2nd Edition) | English, Spanish
  • This resource guide offers a user-friendly review of current research on how to support the language development of English learners during the preschool years (ages three to five).

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Companion Videos

Companion videos for many of these publications are available to stream for free online and can be found on California Early Learning Video Streaming.

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Contact Us

Child Care and Development Division

744 P Street M.S. 9-8-360

Sacramento, CA 95814

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