Measuring Quality: Curricula

A research-based, integrated, and comprehensive curriculum is essential for promoting children's learning.

A young boy holding materials for an activity

Promoting High-Quality Learning Through the Use of Vetted Curricula

When a research-based, integrated, and comprehensive curriculum is implemented effectively, it is an essential tool for promoting child learning and development. A high-quality curriculum makes it easier and more efficient for teachers to engage in sensitive, responsive, and cognitively stimulating instructional interactions.

Effective July 1, 2021, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will implement a new, expert-led comprehensive curriculum review process for all birth to five programs currently operating in Virginia that do not yet have an approved curriculum in use. 


Timeline for Use of Vetted Curriculum

For Practice Year 1 of VQB5 (2021-2022), curriculum is one of two focus quality measures for Virginia’s new Unified Measurement and Improvement System. As a first step to support curriculum use in all programs, the new system will recognize programs that are using an approved curriculum in at least one classroom by May 31, 2022 for Practice Year 1. To support program leaders and administrators with VQB5 Practice Year 1 activities, a new Implementation Guide has been developed and is now available on the Building a Unified Early Childhood System webpage, along with other information and frequently asked questions about VQB5.


Reviewing Your Program’s Curriculum

The curriculum review process is managed by the VDOE. You can find information on the Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction webpage

Vetted Curricula

To find the most up-to-date list of approved curricula, please visit the Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction webpage.

During the 2021-2022 school year, VDOE will provide support in accessing free or low cost approved curricula options to publicly-funded birth-to-five programs who do not have an approved curriculum in use. VDOE will also prioritize review of eligible infant, toddler, and mixed-age curriculum reviews requested by programs participating in VQB5 Practice Year 1 or those who are a part of a PDG Community Network.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is extending a grace period to replace an already vetted, yet retired curriculum to impacted programs/school divisions through at least Fall 2025 (proposed date).

Important to note: Access to curriculum materials, resources and professional development is critical to effective curriculum implementation. Programs/divisions should consider whether they have the internal capacity to train and provide support in implementing a retired curriculum in their planning and decision making process for investing in a new, VDOE approved curriculum choice.

Additional Questions?

Contact Cassandra Caffee Morelock, VDOE Early Childhood Specialist at