The programme at the early childhood stage helps to ensure opportunities for holistic
learning and growth. The ECCE programme needs to be determined by children’s
developmental and contextual needs, providing for more need based inputs and an
Given this need for an individualised approach, it was believed that a common
‘curriculum’ would not be appropriate for all. However, over the years it has been
observed that the practical realities are different and most of the ECCE programmes
on offer currently do not have developmentally appropriate programmes for the young child.
The vacuum created by a lack of curriculum framework has resulted in its being filled with either a minimalist programme or the downward extension of the primary stage curriculum leading to overburdening the child which can have a negative impact on the child’s learning potential. To ensure optimal development for all children, there is a need to create
a planned curriculum framework, encompassing developmentally appropriate knowledge and skills, with flexibility for contextualization and diverse needs of young children. A curriculum framework is also required to ensure that important learning areas are
covered, taking care of all the developmental needs of the young child. It also facilitates adoption of a common pedagogical approach to ensure a certain level of quality and
address the widespread diversity in the ECCE programmes available for the young children in India.
The purpose of this framework is to promote quality and excellence in early childhood
education by providing guidelines for practices that would promote optimum learning
and development of all young children and set out the broad arrangement of approaches
and experiences rather than detailed defining of the content.
A cautious approach is being adopted to not provide a detailed curriculum/syllabus which would be prescriptive and ‘delivered’ to the young children in a ‘straight jacketed manner’.
The Curriculum Framework calls attention to the common principles and developmental tasks, at the same time, respecting the diversity in the child rearing practices and contextual ECCE needs. Each programme is expected to develop its own curriculum to meet the needs of its children, their families, the specific setting, the linguistic culture and the local community. However, the programmes should be based on the curriculum principles and guidelines laid down in this framework.
This Framework is a dynamic document and would be continually reviewed and evolved
in the light of emerging needs. Also, with the adoption of the framework, case studies of
emerging best practices will follow and learning from them would further strengthen the
This Framework is firmly focussed on the needs of the child and should lead to improved
child care and developmentally appropriate environment for children, leading to a
positive impact on quality of learning and increased attainment of learning outcomes for children participating in ECCE programmes. Furthermore, this framework focuses on providing guidelines for child care and early educational practices. The other components for the holistic ECCE programme such as nutrition, health and hygiene, protection and care
are to be ensured by cross reference from related policies and instruments as mentioned in the National ECCE policy.
The National ECCE Curriculum Framework comprises of broadly three sections.
• Section I consists of introduction, vision for an Indian child, rationale and theoretical
foundation for ECCE. The objectives of early childhood education; pedagogical bases
and principles of early learning are laid out.
• Section II comprises of details of the goals for different domains of development, i.e.
physical, language, cognitive, socio-emotional and creative and aesthetic
appreciation, to be fostered to ensure holistic development of children under six
years. It comprises of suggested developmentally appropriate practices for different
• Section III focuses on implementation details such as principles of programme
planning, stages of programme planning, role of parents and caregivers/ECCE
teachers, essential play materials and assessment procedure etc.
Thanks to Mr Santosh Mentah for recording and directing the Video in this hard times we are facing but he believes in our cause as so many people.