Standards: Organization of the VELS

Standards: Organization of the VELS

The Vermont Early Learning Standards begin with an introduction, explanations for how to use the VELS, and background information about what is unique to Vermonters' sensibilities and systems that underpin the early childhood years. The introduction is followed by the Standards themselves, which are presented in nine domains. The domains are the broad areas of development and learning that are the focus of all that happens in the years from birth through third grade. The domains are presented across three sections:

I. Developing Self

Approaches to Learning, Social-Emotional Development, Growing Moving, and Being Healthy

More about Developing Self

II. Communication and Expression

Language Development, Literacy Development, Creative Arts and Expression

More about Communication and Expression

III. Learning about the World

Mathematics, Science, Social Studies

More about Learning about the World

Within each domain there are elements, goals, and indicators/expectations that describe the essence of what children should know and be able to do during the early childhood years from birth to age 8.
The domains and Standards are presented in nine age categories; some of which overlap intentially in an effort to demonstrate the variation that is typical of early childhood development. The age breakdowns include chronological age as wella s convential terminology.

  • Childhood Stage Age
  • Infants Birth to 12 months
  • Younger Toddlers 9-18 months
  • Older Toddlers 18-36 months
  • Younger Preschoolers 36-48 months
  • Older Preschoolers 48-60 months
  • Kindergartners 5-6 year olds
  • 1st Graders 6-7 year olds
  • 2nd Graders 7-8 year olds

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

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