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Early Childhood


The Office of Early Childhood is committed to accelerating student achievement for every child in Mississippi. We accomplish this goal by helping school districts and families improve the readiness and reading achievement of Mississippi students starting in preschool.


Guidelines and Standards

The following are guidelines and standards for the implementation of best practices in early childhood classrooms to meet the developmental needs of young students.

Early Learning Guidelines

Early Learning Standards


Teaching Supports

Teacher Requirements

Teaching Profession Standards

Effectiveness Evaluation Plan

Schools providing services to prekindergarten (Pre-K) aged children receive an annual evaluation to ensure the effectiveness of services on improving children’s learning and well-being. Evaluation occurs for the Early Learning Collaboratives (collaborative) and other Pre-K classrooms (e.g. Title I, local-funded, tuition-based) in Mississippi public schools. Evaluation consists of two parts: rate of readiness and monitoring which are addressed in the Effective Evaluation for Early Learning Collaboratives and Other Pre-K Classrooms found below.



Checklists have been developed based on the guidelines and standards to support administrators, parents, and teachers in observing best practices in early childhood classrooms and monitoring the developmental growth of students.

Administrator: What to Look For When Observing a Kindergarten and Pre-K Classroom

Parent: What Parents Can Look For When Observing a Kindergarten and Pre-K Classroom



Pre-K English Learner Resources


Transition to Kindergarten

Transitioning from Pre-K to kindergarten is a big step for many children. Schools can support the transition by passing along useful information to the kindergarten teachers and by engaging in a variety of transition activities.


Early Learning Collaboratives

In Mississippi there are currently 14 state-funded early learning collaboratives comprised of school district, Head Start agencies, child care centers, and private non-profit organizations.


Professional Development

Professional development provides early childhood professionals the opportunity to learn about and implement best practices in early childhood through training and individualized technical assistance. The Office of Early Childhood offers several trainings specific to individuals who work in Pre-K and Kindergarten each school year. Schools and Early Learning Collaboratives may request technical assistance at any time. 

Professional Development Opportunities


Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

The CLASS is an observation instrument developed to assess classroom quality in preschool through third-grade classrooms. For more information and professional development opportunities regarding CLASS, visit Teachstone. For 15-minute in-service suites, visit Head Start



Early Childhood Updates

Subscribe to the Early Childhood listserv.