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Research-Based Curricula

Last Updated July 8, 2024

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) Division of Early Learning (DEL) reviews curricula to determine whether they are aligned with the District of Columbia Early Learning Standards (DC ELS). Early care and education facilities are encouraged, but not required, to use curricula aligned with the DC ELS to provide a comprehensive educational program and use age-appropriate instructional practices in the implementation of that program. Licensed facilities that enter into and maintain a provider agreement for subsidized child care services with OSSE and/or participate in the Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Funding Program (PKEEP) (5-A DCMR § 3501) are required to use, as the basis of their education programs, one of the following curricula aligned with the DC ELS and approved by OSSE:

  • Balanced Learning, Venture Program (Primrose Schools) – Preschool Curriculum;
  • Balanced Learning, Wonder Program (Primrose Schools) – Infant and Toddler Curriculum;
  • Buttercups (FunShine Express) – Infant and Toddler Curriculum;
  • Connect4Learning: The Pre-K Curriculum;
  • Core Knowledge® (Core Knowledge Foundation);
  • Every Child Ready – Second Edition (AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation);
  • Experience Early Learning – Baby;
  • Experience Early Learning – Toddler;
  • Experience Early Learning – Preschool;
  • Fireflies (FunShine Express) – Preschool Curriculum;
  • FD Education (Funnydaffer Early Learning Curriculum);
  • Frog Street Pre-K;
  • FunShine Digital for 0-5; 
  • Get Set for School - Pre-K® (No Tears Learning, Inc. dba Learning Without Tears);
  • HighScope® (HighScope Educational Research Foundation);
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pre-K®;
  • Learn Every Day: The Preschool Curriculum® (Kaplan Early Learning Company);
  • Learn Every Day: The Program for Infants, Toddlers and Twos® (Kaplan Early Learning Company);
  • Learning Beyond Paper - Infants to Pre-K; 
  • Life Essentials, Ready, Set, Go® (Kiddie Academy Domestic Franchising);
  • Montessori®;
  • Opening the World of Learning© (Pearson Early Learning);
  • The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool;
  • The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos;
  • The Creative Curriculum® for Family Child Care; 
  • Tools of the Mind®;
  • Wonder of Learning (Goddard Systems, LLC) – Birth-to-5 Curriculum; or
  • World at their Fingertips (Bright Horizons) - Birth-to-5 Curriculum

Note: Curriculum developers that are seeking approval of their curricula may go through the Curriculum Approval Process. If approved, the curricula will be added to the above list. Some federal and local grants may have specific curriculum requirements and therefore may not allow certain programs to use OSSE’s newly approved curricula. Individual programs should refer back to their programmatic list of approved curricula.


Related Content: Professional Development Resources for Early Learning Educators