Why They Matter

We now know just how critically important early childhood experiences are in shaping the lives of children.

Early childhood advocates and experts from across Colorado came together to create the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines, which reflect broad consensus based on a wealth of research.

The Guidelines provide expectations for what children should know and be able to do so that everyone who cares for young children can align their efforts to help children succeed.

The Guidelines:

  • Enhance families and professionals’ knowledge of child development;
  • Help families and professionals working with children to plan and provide developmentally appropriate activities that stimulate learning;
  • Inform appropriate child support, instruction, assessment, and intervention; and
  • Weave together best practices that are embedded in existing programs and services (e.g. early care and education, home visitation, medical homes, early intervention) across the comprehensive early childhood service delivery system.

The Guidelines do not replace broadly accepted models and strategies currently in use across Colorado. In fact, they are aligned with successful existing programs, creating continuity and making connections among them.


Note: It is important to arrange for regular health and developmental exams with a health care provider. These are usually part of a well-child visit and can include vision, hearing and oral health screenings.

Questions? Concerns?

The Guidelines describe how a typical child develops but it is important to understand that each child learns and develops at his or her own individual pace. Since each child is different, caregivers should talk with a health care provider or other trusted professional about any questions or concerns. For more information about questions or concerns you may have, please contact us.