AMAZE Programs and Alignment to Standards

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The AMAZE Families All Matter Book and Persona Doll Project help programs to meet the following NAEYC accreditation standards.

The following chart presents the accreditation criteria for this topic area. Each criterion provides specific details to guide program plans, policies and practices. The criteria are numbered (01, 02, 03, etc.) within their topic area. Each criterion within each program standard is identified by its relevant age group (or groups). Many criteria are identified as “universal” (U), meaning that all classrooms and programs pursuing NAEYC Accreditation must address these criteria. These aspects of quality should be seen in any programs or classrooms serving birth through kindergarten, though they may look somewhat different in practice depending on the children’s age.

Age Groups: U = universal; I = infant; T = toddlers/twos; P = preschool; K = kindergarten


1.A. Building Positive Relationships among Teachers and Families

1.A.02 | U   I   T   P   K
Teachers gain information about the ways families define their own race, religion, home language, culture and family structure

2.A. Curriculum: Essential Characteristics

2.A.01 | U   I   T   P   K
The program has a written statement of philosophy and uses one or more written curricula or curriculum frameworks consistent with its philosophy that address central aspects of child development.

2.A.02 | U   I   T   P   K
A clearly stated curriculum or curriculum framework provides a coherent focus for planning children’s experiences. It allows for adaptations and modifications to ensure access to the curriculum for all children.

2.A.03 | U   I   T   P   K
The curriculum guides teachers’ development and intentional implementation of learning opportunities consistent with the program’s goals and objectives.

2.A.04 | U   I   T   P   K
The curriculum can be implemented in a manner that reflects responsiveness to family home values, beliefs, experiences, and language.

2.A.08 | U   I   T   P   K
Materials and equipment used to implement the curriculum

  • reflect the lives of the children and families.
  • reflect the diversity found in society, including gender, age, language and abilities.
  • encourage exploration, experimentation, and discovery.
  • promote action and interaction.
  • are rotated to reflect changing curriculum and accommodate new interests and skill levels.
  • are rich in variety.

2.B. Areas of Development: Social-Emotional Development

2.B.02 | U   I   T   P   K
Children have varied opportunities to recognize and name their own and others’ feelings.

2.B.03 | U   I   T   P   K
Children have varied opportunities to learn the skills needed to regulate their emotions, behavior, and attention.

2.B.04 | U   I   T   P   K
Children have varied opportunities to develop a sense of competence and positive attitudes toward learning, such as persistence, engagement, curiosity, and mastery.

2.B.05 | T   P   K
Children have varied opportunities to develop skills for entering into social groups, developing friendships, learning to help, and other pro-social behavior.

2.B.06 | T   P   K
Children have varied opportunities to interact positively, respectfully, and cooperatively with others; learn from and with one another; and resolve conflicts in constructive ways.

2.B.07 | T   P   K
Children have varied opportunities to learn to understand, empathize with, and take into account other people’s perspectives.

2.D. Areas of Development: Language Development

2.D.01 | U   I   T   P   K
Children are provided with opportunities for language acquisition that align with the program philosophy, consider family perspectives, and consider community perspectives.

2.D.03 | U   I   T   P   K
Children have varied opportunities to develop competence in verbal and nonverbal communication by responding to questions; communicating needs, thoughts, and experiences; and describing things and events.

2.D.04 | U   I   T   P   K
Children have varied opportunities to develop vocabulary through conversations, experiences, field trips, and books.

2.D.06 | P   K
Children have varied opportunities and materials that encourage them to have discussions to solve problems that are interpersonal and those that are related to the physical world.

2.D.07 | P   K
Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that encourage them to engage in discussions with one another.

2.E. Curriculum Content Area for Cognitive Development: Early Literacy

2.E.04 | P   K
Children have varied opportunities to:

  • be read books in an engaging manner in group or individualized settings at least twice a day in full-day programs and at least once daily in half-day programs.
  • be read to regularly in individualized ways including one-to-one or in small groups of two to six children.
  • have access to various types of books, including storybooks, factual books, books with rhymes, alphabet books, and wordless books.
  • be read the same book on repeated occasions.
  • retell and reenact events in storybooks.
  • engage in conversations that help them understand the content of the book.
  • be assisted in linking books to other aspects of the curriculum

2.J. Curriculum Area for Cognitive Development: Creative Expression and Appreciation for the Arts

2.J.01 | U   I   T   P   K
Children are provided varied opportunities to gain an appreciation of art, music, drama, and dance in ways that reflect cultural diversity.

2.J.04 | T   P   K
Children are provided varied opportunities to learn new concepts and vocabulary related to art, music, drama, and dance.

2.J.05 | T   P   K
Children are provided varied opportunities to develop and widen their repertoire of skills that support artistic expression (e.g., cutting, gluing, and caring for tools).

2.J.06 | P   K
Children are provided many and varied open-ended opportunities and materials to express themselves creatively through music, drama, dance and two- and three-dimensional art.

2.J.07 | P   K
Children have opportunities to respond to the art of other children and adults.

2.L. Curriculum Content Area for Cognitive Development: Social Studies

2.L.01 | U   I   T   P   K
Children are provided varied learning opportunities that foster positive identity and an emerging sense of self and others.

2.L.02 | T   P   K
Children are offered opportunities to become a part of the classroom community so that each child feels accepted and gains a sense of belonging

2.L.03 | T   P   K
Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to build their understanding of diversity in culture, family structure, ability, language, age, and gender in non-stereotypical ways.

2.L.04 | T   P   K
Children are provided opportunities and materials to explore social roles in the family and workplace through play.

2.L.05 | T   P   K
Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to learn about the community in which they live.

2.L.06 | P   K
Children have varied opportunities to engage in discussions about fairness, friendship, responsibility, authority, and differences.

2.L.09 | P   K
Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that allow them to contribute to the well-being of their classroom and the community, including care for the social and physical environments in which they live.

3.B. Creating Caring Communities for Learning

3.B.04 | U   I   T   P   K
Teaching staff are active in identifying and countering any teaching practices, curriculum approaches, or materials that are degrading with respect to gender, sexual orientation, age, language, ability, race, religion, family structure, background, or culture.

3.F. Making Learning Meaningful for All Children

3.F.07 | T   P   K
Teaching staff use varied vocabulary and engage in sustained conversations with children about their experiences

3.G. Using Instruction to Deepen Children’s Understanding and Build Their Skills and Knowledge.

3.G.07 | T   P   K
Teachers use their knowledge of content to pose problems and ask questions that stimulate children’s thinking. Teachers help children express their ideas and build on the meaning of their experiences.

3.G.08 | U   I   T   P   K
Teachers help children identify and use prior knowledge. They provide experiences that extend and challenge children’s current understandings.

3.G.09 | U   I   T   P   K
Teachers engage in collaborative inquiry with individual children and small groups of children.

3.G.10 | U   I   T   P   K
Teaching staff join children in learning centers to extend and deepen children’s learning. They observe children, engage children in conversations, and position themselves at eye level with the children.

7.A. Knowing and Understanding the Program’s Families

7.A.01 | U   I   T   P   K
As a part of orientation and ongoing staff development, new and existing program staff develop skills and knowledge to work effectively with diverse families.

7.A.02 | U   I   T   P   K
Program staff use a variety of formal and informal strategies (including conversations) to become acquainted with and learn from families about their family structure; their preferred child-rearing practices; and information families wish to share about their socioeconomic, linguistic, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds


Head Start

Key Head Start Performance Standards

Provide an environment of acceptance that supports and respects  gender, culture, language, ethnicity and family composition

  • Encouraging development which enhances each child’s strengths by:
  • Supporting and respecting the home language, culture, and family composition of each child in ways that support the child’s health and well-being…
  • Equipment, toys, materials, and furniture owned or operated by the grantee or delegate agency must be: Supportive of the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the children…

Encouraging development which enhances each child’s strengths by:

  • Grantee and delegate agencies must ensure that all staff, consultants, and volunteers abide by the program’s standards of conduct. These standards must specify that: They will respect and promote the unique identity of each child and family and refrain from stereotyping on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, or disability…

Standard: Provide an environment of acceptance that supports and respects gender, culture, language, ethnicity and family composition.

AMAZE provides straightforward, easy to use tools that allow teachers to have the open and explicit conversations about gender, culture, language, ethnic and family composition that research shows are necessary for children’s deep and comfortable acceptance of themselves and others.

Standard: Provide a balanced daily program of child-initiated and adult-directed activities, including individual and small group activities.

AMAZE provides activities that can be child initiated (left out for children’s free exploration during choice time) as well as adult initiated activities. Provides large group, small group and individual activities.

Standard: Encouraging respect for the feelings and rights of others.

AMAZE helps children learn to understand their own feelings and the feelings of others.  Helps children learn to understand other’s perspectives, make friends and stand up for self and others when teasing, bullying, bias and stereotypes occur.

Standard: Supporting and respecting the home language, culture, and family composition of each child in ways that support the child's health and well-being.

Research makes it clear that children need explicit discussions of race, language, culture and family composition in order to effectively reduce bias. Everyone Matters provides concrete tools for having these discussions across domains and in ways that will appeal to multiple intelligences.

Standard: Supporting each child's learning, using various strategies including experimentation, inquiry, observation, play and exploration; promoting interaction and language use among children and between children and adults.

Each section of Everyone Matters offers multiple strategies for delivering the content including class discussion, activities and parent take home activities. Activities include art, pre-math, sensory, literacy, large and small motor and persona dolls. Materials are designed to promote interaction and discussion between children and to strengthen critical thinking skills.

Standard: Supporting emerging literacy and numeracy development through materials and activities according to the developmental level of each child.

Everyone Matters not only support children’s growing ability to value their own identities and appreciate the identities of others, but also support children’s growing skills in literacy and numeracy, these include reading and discussing books, writing or dictating stories and charting differences.

Standard: Be developmentally and linguistically appropriate, recognizing that children have individual rates of development as well as individual interests, temperaments, languages, cultural backgrounds, and learning styles

Books for each topic area are available at three levels; easy, moderate and advanced, in order to meet the developmental level of a particular group.  Activities are offered across domains, including large motor and sensory, to ensure that each child is able to participate in discussions in a way that supports their own learning style.  And culture, language and ability and disability are recognized and openly discussed, in order to foster connections and relationships across differences.

Standard: Parents must be invited to become integrally involved in the development of the program's curriculum and approach to child development and education

A system of parent letters and take home parent/child activities helps parents understand the reasoning behind each section of the curriculum and engages them in the crucial conversations their child needs to have – at home and at school.


Head Start Performance Standards, Everyone Matters and Incredible Years

How They Fit Together

Head Start Performance Standard Incredible Years Everyone Matters
Provide an environment of acceptance that supports and respects gender, culture, language, ethnicity and family composition Documented to work at teaching social skills to diverse groups of children but does not directly address these parts of a child’s identity Provides straightforward, easy to use tools that allow teachers to have the open and explicit conversations about gender, culture, language, ethnic and family composition that research shows are necessary for children’s deep and comfortable acceptance of themselves and others.
Provide a balanced daily program of child-initiated and adult-directed activities, including individual and small group activities. Mostly adult initiated Provides activities that can be child initiated (left out for children’s free exploration during choice time) as well as adult initiated activities. Provides large group, small group and individual activities
Encouraging respect for the feelings and rights of others. Trains children in emotional literacy, empathy, perspective taking, friendship skills, anger management, problem solving, school rules and how to be successful at school. Helps children learn to understand their own feelings and the feelings of others. Helps children learn to understand other’s perspectives, make friends and stand up for self and others when teasing, bullying, bias and stereotypes occur.
Supporting and respecting the home language, culture, and family composition of each child in ways that support the child's health and well-being. Tested to work well with diverse communities, provides diverse images and strongly promotes respect and inclusion but does not directly discuss language, culture or family composition. Research makes it clear that children need explicit discussions of race, language, culture and family composition in order to effectively reduce bias. Everyone Matters provides concrete tools for having these discussions across domains and in ways that will appeal to multiple intelligences.
Supporting each child's learning, using various strategies including experimentation, inquiry, observation, play and exploration; Promoting interaction and language use among children and between children and adults.   Most of curriculum adult led in group time. Promotes large group discussions on social skills related topics. Each section offers multiple strategies for delivering the content including class discussion, activities and parent take home activities. Activities include art, pre-math, sensory, literacy, large and small motor and persona dolls. Materials are designed to promote interaction and discussion between children and to strengthen critical thinking skills.   
Supporting emerging literacy and numeracy development through materials and activities according to the developmental level of each child.   Supports school readiness through building social emotional skills. Many activities not only support children’s growing ability to value their own identities and appreciate the identities of others, but also support children’s growing skills in literacy and numeracy, these include reading and discussing books, writing or dictating stories and charting differences.
Be developmentally and linguistically appropriate, recognizing that children have individual rates of development as well as individual interests, temperaments, languages, cultural backgrounds, and learning styles. Materials designed for ages 3-6. Books for each topic area are available at three levels; easy, moderate and advanced, in order to meet the developmental level of a particular group. Activities are offered across domains, including large motor and sensory, to ensure that each child is able to participate in discussions in a way that supports their own learning style.  And culture, language and ability and disability are recognized and openly discussed, in order to foster connections and relationships across differences.  
Parents must be:
Invited to become integrally involved in the development of the program's curriculum and approach to child development and education
Has a full parent program for parents of children at a variety of age groups. A system of parent letters and take home parent/child activities helps parents understand the reasoning behind each section of the curriculum and engages them in the crucial conversations their child needs to have – at home and at school

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