Purpose and intended use(s) of the ELG document


The purpose of the ELG document shapes plans for its content and format. Though the content of the actual ELGs would not vary with purpose, the content and format of supplemental materials within the document may vary according to the intended uses for the document. Examples of purposes that a state may have for the ELG document include one or more of the following:

  • To guide teachers/caregivers in planning learning activities for children.
  • To improve teachers’/caregivers’ knowledge of child development.
  • To assist teachers/caregivers in providing parents with information about child development.
  • To inform or guide instructional assessments.
  • To set goals for individual children in documents such as ISFPs and IEPs


States should think carefully about how they intend the document to be used and make plans for the entire ELG document (including supplemental materials) as they are developing the ELGs.


General considerations: It is important for committee members to agree on the purpose of the document early in the process so everyone is working from a common point of reference. Lack of clarity on the purpose of the document can lead to a lack of consistency across various portions of the document as it is written.

Age-specific considerations: States often have many purposes for their ELGs that are common to both ELGs for infants and toddlers and ELGs for preschool-age children: improving the quality of programs, providing guidance to teachers/caregivers on expectations for children’s growth and development, promoting a more intentional approach to early childhood education, guiding instructional assessments, informing parents, etc. While these purposes are shared across ELGs for different age ranges, we recognize that states intend for ELGs written for preschoolers to be an integral part of an accountability system, but this may not be the case for ELGs written for infants and toddlers. If ELGs are intended to be the basis for an accountability system, it will be particularly important for the ELGs to have indicators that are clear, observable, and measurable.

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