University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Toddler Curriculum

During the first three years, more growth and learning takes place than during any other time of life.

Using the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards and The Creative Curriculum as the framework, the curriculum emphasizes primary relationships and meaningful interactions between caregivers, children, and their families.These relationships are built upon mutual respect, empathy and trust. Curriculum for infants and young toddlers involves everything we do; caring for children in a compassionate, respectful manner enables children to become compassionate and respectful themselves.

Children learn about their world through familiarity, predictability, and repetition.For these reasons, the curriculum is very concrete, exploratory, and repeated often. By providing a safe, nurturing, and rich environment, the children can freely explore a range of toys and materials at their own pace.When planning activities, we follow the child’s lead, and keep in mind children’s individual growth and interests.

As children grow into toddlerhood, our daily planning builds on the child’s earlier learning experiences.We offer continuous opportunities for children to expand their language, social, and problem-solving skills, as well as explore and develop as unique and creative individuals.

Caregivers are facilitators in children’s play as they provide a nurturing environment for toddlers to experience first friendships, cooperation, and being part of a community.Caregivers offer encouragement as toddlers investigate their environment, hypothesize, test, and repeat activities until they are ready to move on to new, more challenging experiences.