The Defense Logistics Agency operated child care programs use the Early Learning Matters (ELM) Curriculum. ELM is a comprehensive, research-informed program to support the optimal learning and development of children from birth to five years of age. The curriculum promotes skills linked to school readiness and life success with the best practices available. The practices include developmentally appropriate teaching strategies and the proven benefits of a coordinated mix of staff-guided and child initiated learning experiences. ELM offers practical, easy-to-use resources designed to support a range of staff backgrounds and to support children’s learning in families.
ELM is based on results of rigorous research on early childhood programs that enable young children to get off to a good start in school and in life. The curriculum is also based on the developmentally appropriate practice position statement and program accreditation standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The development of ELM included extensive pilot testing in military child development centers and in-depth reviews of curriculum plans by prominent early childhood content experts and program leaders.