Early Childhood Education

One of the best ways to ensure that children succeed in school is to provide all children with access to high-quality programs for early learning.

To meet this goal, we work with public and nonpublic schools, community-based organizations, and home-based child-care providers to continuously improve the quality of early-learning programs and to expand opportunities for early learning across our state.

The early childhood work in the Office of Instruction, Assessment, and Curriculum supports four primary goals:

  1. Increasing access to high-quality early childhood education programs for all children
  2. Supporting the professional development of early childhood professionals
  3. Providing information to families about supporting their child's learning
  4. Ensuring that children with developmental delays or disabilities are identified and have access to specialized services and supports
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Learn more about Early Childhood Education

Rhode Island is a member of EXCEED, Rhode Island’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge state agency cross coordination effort. EXCEED supports the children of Rhode Island to achieve new heights in their learning and development. RIDE is partnering with The Executive Office of Health and Human Services, The RI Department of Health, The Department of Human Services and The Department of Children Youth and Families.

Check out Exceed’s website, search for an early learning program, and sign up to receive updates on Facebook

BrightStars Informational Session for Public and Non-Public Approved Schools

BrightStars is the state’s Tiered Quality Improvement System for all early programs.  By June 2025, all public and non-public schools approved by RIDE that serve children between the ages of 3 and 5 will participate in BrightStars.  Participation supports preschools in delivering high-quality early education.  We invite you to listen to this informational session to learn more about the requirement, available supports and what this means for preschool programs in your district. 

Together with RIDE, BrightStars will be hosting an Information Session to Introduce you to the standards for programs, as well as the supports that are available to LEAs to assist them with this process. Register using the link below:

If you are unable to make the session, you may also view the Information Session webinar, pre-recorded in the video below:

2023-2024 LearnERS Grants for LEAs

The Rhode Island Department of Education values the impact of high quality early childhood education that is proven to improve school readiness and long term success for Rhode Island’s students. RIDE partners with the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children (RIAEYC) to define, assess, and improve high-quality practices for early childhood classrooms. The internationally recognized, research-based assessment tool used by RIAEYC to conduct this work in the Environment Rating Scales (ERS).

RIDE, in partnership with RIAEYC, is excited to offer LearnERS Grants to Local Education Agencies for the 2023-24 school year. Through this competitive grant opportunity, grantees' preschool/pre-k classrooms will receive personalized professional development offered through online self-paced modules, coaching, and peer learning to inspire teachers to implement meaningful changes in their classroom environment and practices that can improve the quality of the care and education that children receive, with alignment to the items and sub-scales of the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS-3).

For any questions regarding this opportunity, please email LearnERS@riaeyc.org


  • October 18, 2023: 2023-2024 LearnERS Grant Application Released
  • November 14th, 2023: Completed applications are due by 4:00 PM. Applications may be submitted one of three ways:
    • Email: LearnERS@riaeyc.org
    • Fax: (401) 739-6101
    • Mail or hand-delivery to: Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, 535 Centerville Road, Suite 301, Warwick RI 02886