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The sets a standard for preschool learning outcomes and serves as a benchmark for determining how effectively the classroom curriculum is being implemented. In other words, the curriculum is the vehicle for meeting the learning outcomes described here. The term "standards" as it applies to the field of early childhood education, is described in , the joint position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE), approved in November, 2003 and endorsed by the Council of Chief State School Officers in April, 2003. The position statement uses the term "early learning standards" to describe expectations for the learning and development of young children. (p.1) The terms are used interchangeably.

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