This part of the report examines the implications of the science of child development and early learning for the care and education of children from birth through age 8. The discussion is divided into three chapters.
Chapter 5 draws on the science of child development and early learning reported in Part II, as well as the realities of the landscape described in Chapter 2, to establish the critical need for continuity in care and education across the birth through age 8 continuum. It examines both vertical continuity over time as children move from one care and education setting to another, and horizontal continuity across the services and agencies that affect these young children at any given point in time. In addition, the chapter outlines the elements of professional practice, policies, and systems that need to be aligned to support that continuity: professional learning and workforce development; early learning standards; instructional strategies; learning environments; child assessments; accountability systems and data-driven improvement; family engagement; pathways for vertical continuity for children; and coordination and communication across professional roles, settings, and policies.
Chapter 6 then explores in greater depth the educational practices that, when applied with consistency and high quality over time for children as they age, can continuously support the development and early learning of children from birth through age 8. It examines cross-cutting principles for instructional practices and curricula, and their application to specific subject areas. This chapter also considers several other important topics related
to educational practices, such as child assessment, working with special populations, engaging with families, and using technology effectively.
Finally, Chapter 7 considers the shared knowledge and competencies needed to provide consistent, high-quality care and education for children from birth through age 8, based on the science of child development and early learning, the knowledge base about educational practices, and the landscape of care and education and related sectors. In keeping with the scope of this report, the primary focus in Chapter 7 is on those professionals with direct, daily or near-daily responsibilities for the care and education of these young children in childcare settings and in preschools and elementary schools, as well as those in leadership roles in those settings. The chapter also discusses competencies that are important for different professional roles to work in synergy, both across settings within the care and education sector and between the care and education sector and other closely related sectors, especially health and social services.