Domains of Early Learning Guidelines Toolkit


This toolkit provides resources to early childhood educators and enables them to choose effective strategies to promote young children's overall development within the context of an early learning classroom while using their state's early learning guidelines. It categorizes the resources according to the domains outlined in the Head Start Child Developmental and Early Learning Framework (2010) — a comprehensive framework that identifies 11 areas of child development and learning. Early childhood educators can use the resources from the domains in this list that most closely relate to the areas of learning and development identified in their state's early learning guidelines.

Resources are divided into four categories:

  • Not Researched — Practices that have not been validated by research. They include resources where other early childhood professionals have posted practices they use in their own classrooms as well as practices without any evident research basis.
  • Research-Based — Programs/practices developed using "empirical findings derived from systematic analysis of information, guided by purposeful research questions and methods."
  • Evidence-Based — These are programs/practices "with demonstrated impact in randomized controlled trials."
  • Directories/Clearinghouses — These are interactive databases or stable documents where programs or strategies relating to the early childhood domains have been researched, evaluated, and categorized based on level of effectiveness.
1 From p. 10 of Tseng, V. (2012). The uses of research in policy and practice. Social Policy Report, 26(2), 1-16. Retrieved from
2 Tseng, 2012, p. 11