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What You Should Know About Ohio’s New Early Learning and Development Standards


The Ohio Early Learning Development Standards (ELDS) have undergone a significant update as of June 2022, bringing exciting changes for early childhood professionals across the state. The updated Ohio Early Learning Development Standards offer a more comprehensive and flexible framework to support early childhood professionals in their crucial work. If you’re wondering how these changes will impact your work, here are three key insights to help you understand the NEW Early Learning Development Standards.

1. Domains have expanded to include 9 areas of development

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In the past, the Ohio ELDS comprised five domains: Social-Emotional Development, Approaches Toward Learning, Cognitive Development and General Knowledge (including Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies), Language and Literacy Development, and Physical Well-Being and Motor Development. The new ELDS introduces a more comprehensive structure by dividing the standards into nine domains, providing a broader framework for early childhood development:

  • Approaches to Learning
  • Cognitive Development
  • Creative Development
  • Language and Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Development and Wellness
  • Science
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Social Studies

Each of these domains is further divided into strands, representing various developmental or conceptual components. These strands are then broken down into standard statements, which describe specific skills and concepts that should be developed from infancy through the end of preschool. You can explore each of these domains in detail on the Ohio Department of Education’s website, where you can access the complete Ohio Early Learning Development Standards.

2. Age bands have transitioned to a developmental continuum

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The previous ELDS used age bands to indicate when children should exhibit certain skills. These age bands included Infants (Birth to 8 months), Young Toddlers (6 to 18 months), Older Toddlers (16 to 36 months), and Pre-Kindergarten (3 to 5 years). The updated ELDS takes a more flexible approach by replacing age bands with a “Developmental Continuum.” This continuum outlines how skills develop from infancy to Kindergarten entry, recognizing that children do not all develop at the same pace. Instead of rigid age-based expectations, the developmental continuum illustrates the trajectories of skill development, starting with the simplest and progressing to the most complex skills that children are expected to master before entering Kindergarten.

3. Action for Children is your trusted training resource!

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With the adoption of the new Early Learning Development Standards, all early childhood professionals are expected to implement them in their learning environments. To support this transition, training is essential, and Action for Children is here to assist you on this journey.

First and foremost, all early childhood professionals need to complete a 2-hour overview of the new ELDS. You can register for this essential training by visiting OCCRRA and logging in with your OPIN and password. Once logged in, click “Find Training” and search for “Early Learning and Development Standards Overview.”

After completing the overview training, you can select the ELDS training that best suits your specific needs and setting. Action for Children offers a range of training options, including:

  • Standards in the Context of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Infant/Toddler
  • Standards in the Context of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Preschool
  • Standards in the Context of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Family Child Care and Mixed Age Group
  • Selecting Curriculum and Assessment (in-person only)

Action for Children offers on-site training to help get all of your staff trained at the same time! Our Professional Development team can come to your location and guide your staff through the new Early Learning Development Standards. For more information on on-site training, email us at

With the help of Action for Children’s training resources, you can confidently embrace these new standards and provide the best possible learning environments for Ohio’s young children. Should you have any questions about training for the NEW Early Learning Development Standards or any other professional development opportunities available through Action for Children, feel free to reach out to us at Get started on your ELDS journey today!

Author: Kate Galvin, Professional Development Specialist at Action for Children

Action for Children is the local child care resource and referral agency for central Ohio, and is committed to assuring quality early learning experiences for all children. Our services focus on transforming the lives of children by supporting the everyday heroes who most influence our children’s early growth; caregivers, educators, parents, and guardians. Learn More.

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