Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards


The Tennessee Early Childhood Education Early Learning Developmental Standards (TN-ELDS) were developed to help parents and childcare providers better understand typical development milestones for children from birth through age 5. These guidelines are based on current research, which covers stages of growth and development, appropriate program and policy planning, and the long-term consequences of early learning and development.

Developed in partnership with several Tennessee state agencies, these standards provide:

  • An important resource for shaping the design, selection and application of a quality curriculum;
  • A guide for planning appropriate learning activities and experiences which will help children to meet the standards;
  • A guide for selecting assessment tools that apply to children with different abilities and challenges;
  • A framework of developmental milestones that apply to all children regardless of language, background, or needs;
  • A framework of learning expectations designed to ensure that all children are ready for school, and that schools are ready for children;
  • A guide for productive discussions regarding early childhood education among educators, policy makers, families and community members; and
  • A model for planning professional development opportunities.

The standards cover a wide range of developmental areas, including:

  • Speech and Language Development
  • Early Literacy
  • Math and Science
  • Social Studies
  • Creative Arts
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Approaches to Learning

Learn more about Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards.