Learning Domains of the ECIPs

The learning domains in the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs) are research-identified areas of learning in the birth to age 5 years. The ECIPs represent a shared set of expectations for what children can know and do prior to kindergarten. This set of expectations was developed and shared in a way that shows learning as a continuum of children’s growth and development, that knowledge supports more knowledge, and skills beget more skills. It’s important to note that young children do not necessarily acquire knowledge and skills in a linear way because the developing brains of young children require time to create strong connections and consolidate knowledge and skills. Sometimes, skills will appear and disappear only to reappear later, fully integrated into a child’s capacity. Because of this, the indicators of learning within the ECIPs should not be used as a high-stakes assessment; instead, they inform patterns of growth and areas needing support for the child. The use of the ECIPs in the selection of curriculum, instructional approaches and assessments give teachers the tools needed to support all children’s learning through high-quality play and teacher-directed learning. The ECIPs ensure equitable access to high-quality learning throughout the early childhood system.

The learning domains include: 1. Social and Emotional Development; 2. Approaches to Learning; 3. Language, Literacy and Communications; 4. The Arts; 5. Social Systems (Cognitive); 6. Physical and Movement Development; 7. Mathematics (Cognitive); and, 8. Scientific Thinking (Cognitive). The domain numbers identify the location of an indicator within the domain, component and subcomponent.

The organization of the domains is designed to be easy-to-understand and aid in planning by teachers for individual children, small groups, and classroom-wide. The ECIPs are displayed as an age continuum (birth to age 5) within each domain and include the following elements:
  • Domains are major areas of development and learning.
  • Components are specific areas of learning within each domain.
  • Subcomponents are consistent strands within a component across the full age-range continuum.
  • Indicators are expectations for observable outcomes for the child at specific ages. For quick reference, indicators are now numbered within the domain and subcomponent.