An effective infant curriculum focuses on socialization experiences that help parents form appropriate, nurturing bonds with their children. For very young infants, socialization centers on safe environments where caregivers can hold and feed children.
Infants ages 9 months to 18 months need a curriculum that involves more exploration and transition of skills, such as learning to drink from a cup rather than a bottle. At this stage, parent observation and involvement remain important. For children ages 19 months to 3 years, curriculum focuses on activities that begin to transition to preschool, such as books and art activities.
At the age of 3, children begin to seek independence. An effective environment fosters their growing need to explore while continuing to focus on appropriate socialization. Home visits by educators are an important component of encouraging socialization of young children and for identifying strengths and potential areas for improvement in the home environment.
A curriculum for early childhood education should focus on creating environments that allow children to explore, learn to communicate effectively, feel that they belong to the group and build trust in those around them. The curriculum provides a framework for early child development in a social and cultural framework, stressing a partnership between parents, teachers and families.