NJDOE News
For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    609-292-1126

For Release: July 7, 2004


State Board of Education Adopts Preschool Standards

The State Board of Education today adopted uniform standards for preschools across the state. The revised expectations enable the DOE to continue providing the highest quality education for the state’s youngest students.

"With its vote today, the State Board enables the Department of Education to continue the good work we are doing in our preschools," Commissioner of Education William L. Librera said. "It is no secret that the quality of preschools in this state is excellent, and only getting better.

"By September, our state-funded preschool programs will be serving 43,000 children," Commissioner of Education William L. Librera said. "We have been recognized as a national leader in quality standards in the Abbott district preschool programs, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) report.

"We continue to maintain that children gain important social, emotional and learning skills in preschool that help them become better students and more responsible citizens as they grow older," Commissioner Librera said. "Preschool creates the strong foundation on which to build later successes in their lives. The expectations adopted today continue on that path."

In April 2000, the Department of Education developed and published the "Early Childhood Program Expectations: Standards of Quality." The revised document is now called "Preschool Teaching and Learning Expectations: Standards of Quality" and is used as a guide for adults working with young children.

The standards outline the following:

  • The importance of maintaining good relationships between and among families, local communities and schools;
  • Developmentally appropriate teaching practices;
  • Expected learning practices for young children;
  • The definition of supportive learning environments;
  • The importance of covering the Core Curriculum Content Standards;
  • Assessment guidelines; and
  • Specific examples of sound preschool teaching practices.

"These expectations allow the Department to continue working with local preschool providers to make sure each student is given the best opportunity to achieve," said Ellen Frede, assistant to the Commissioner charged with oversight of early education programs. "We already see indications of former preschoolers who, now in third- and fourth-grades, are achieving at higher levels now than before. We believe these expectations will continue this positive trend."

The expectations and guidelines address the following subjects: Social/Emotional Development; Creative Arts; Health, Safety and Physical Education; Language Arts and Literacy; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies, Family and Life Skills; and World Languages.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.