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The Division of Early Childhood Education – PK3
The Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) of the New Jersey Department of Education has programmatic responsibility for preschool through 3rd grade (PK3) programs. Working with PK3 programs across the DOE, the Division of Early Childhood Education is responsible for the development, implementation, and alignment of program components with a focus on standards, curricula, and assessment.
The creation of this division:
- Acknowledges that a continuum of developmental stages constitute what is traditionally known as early childhood,
- Protects New Jersey’s investment in high quality preschool by providing high quality kindergarten through third grade educational experiences for young children.
PK3 work is organized within a framework that includes structural (administration, class size, teacher-child ratio, etc.), process (quality of classroom environments, teacher-child interactions, etc), and alignment (standards, curriculum, assessments) components that are associated with children’s social and academic outcomes.
The DECE’s work is:
- Research-based, with a series of advisory committees consisting of nationally recognize experts representing a range of early childhood-related areas,
- Cross-departmental to align all DOE PK3 initiatives,
- Supportive of the efforts of the Division of School Improvement.