Discover the early learning curriculum that’s comprehensive, evidence-informed, & user-friendly.

The Early Learning Matters (ELM) Curriculum is a highly accessible and adaptive program that supports optimal learning and development of children from birth to five years of age.

At the heart of this program is 50 weeks of activity plans that build on children’s pathways to development in five areas for infants and toddlers, and in eight areas for preschool-age children.

More than 1,300 activity plans and related resources – for child observation and assessment, staff training, and connections with families – are available for free to any early care and education program.

Promoting Quality

The ELM Curriculum:
  • can be efficiently used by staff with different levels of professional preparation and experience.
  • reflects high-quality research on child skills that matter and program practices that work.
  • promotes responsiveness to children’s actions, understandings, and interests.

Preparing Children

The ELM Curriculum:
  • is full of developmentally appropriate experiences that support a broad range of skills linked to school readiness and life success.
  • offers easy-to-use activity plans that emphasize active learning, including guided play.
  • includes tools and strategies to help staff adapt and individualize learning experiences.

Empowering Staff

The ELM Curriculum:
  • includes numerous implementation suggestions in a set of developmentally sequenced learning plans.
  • supports staff as experts in adapting planned activities to meet the needs of children.
  • eliminates the challenges of developing or finding research-informed learning activities and coordinating different curriculum resources.

Access Curriculum Details and Resources

The Early Learning Matters Curriculum was developed by Purdue University for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Military Community and Family Policy, Office of Child and Youth Programs.