Early Childhood Education
Division of Early Childhood Education
The Division of Early Childhood Education – PK-3
The New Jersey Department of Education's Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) has programmatic responsibility for preschool through 3rd grade (PK-3) programs. Working with PK-3 programs across the DOE, the Division of Early Childhood Education is responsible for the development, implementation, and alignment of program components with a focus on standards, curricula, and assessment.
The creation of this division:
- Acknowledges that a continuum of developmental stages constitutes what is traditionally known as early childhood, and
- Protects New Jersey's investment in high-quality preschool by providing high-quality kindergarten through third grade educational experiences for young children.
PK-3 work is organized within a framework that includes structural (administration, class size, teacher-child ratio, etc.), process (quality of classroom environments, teacher-child interactions, etc), and alignment (standards, curriculum, assessments) components that are associated with children's social and academic outcomes.
The DECE's work is:
- Research-based with a series of advisory committees consisting of nationally recognized experts representing a range of early childhood-related areas;
- Cross-departmental to align all DOE PK-3 initiatives; and
- Supportive of school improvement efforts.