The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child. - Thomas Edison

This website is dedicated to kids. From the moment they're born, they're learning - through experiences, exploration, interactions and attention. How do we help them Step Ahead before they start kindergarten? By first educating ourselves. Throughout this site you'll find developmentally appropriate goals for children’s development and learning at each age level (infant, toddler and preschooler).You'll also find ideas for helping them reach their full potential at each stage. Research shows that children who experience quality care and education are better prepared for school and throughout their lives.

Milestones for Every Age

Parents and professionals efforts support early learners. These informative goals describe areas of how children make progress from birth through kindergarten. Developmental indicators are specific statements of expectations for children’s learning at their age level.

image for Infants (Birth - 12 Months)
Infants (Birth - 12 Months)
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Young Toddler (8-21 months)
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image for Older Toddler (18-36 months)
Older Toddler (18-36 months)
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image for Younger Preschooler (33-48 Months)
Younger Preschooler (33-48 Months)
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image for Older Preschoolers (45-60+ months)
Older Preschoolers (45-60+ months)
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About the South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines

The South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines serve as a shared vision for all adults supporting young children's experiences prior to entering kindergarten. Positive interactions with trusted adults, engaging with peers, and consistent environments that are safe, healthy, and enhance learning are vital elements to support young children.

Goals and Developmental Indicators describe expectations for what children learn starting with infancy and covering all ages through kindergarten entry. These goals apply to all children regardless of what language they speak, what strengths/disabilities they may have, or specific unique family circumstances. Strategies to enrich the environment, support development and learning, and adaptations provide a variety of ideas to consider.

At the “heart” of the document are tables or developmental continuums that describe children’s learning and development from birth up to kindergarten. You can find these tables under the Learning Domain tab in our main navigation. These Goals and Developmental Indicators are divided into five domains:

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