We began writing the first edition of this book in 1985 when we decided that a comprehensive, play-based, developmental curriculum for children was not available for teachers who wanted to match educational philosophy with program focus, to link individual developmental assessment and curriculum planning, and to integrate all aspects of the program for young children, including those with disabilities. Our primary purpose in writing this book is to help teachers provide the highest-quality programs possible for children, parents, and teachers. Our focus is on creative-play curriculum as a means of optimizing children's development in the areas of personal awareness, emotional wellbeing, socialization, communication, cognition, and perceptual motor skills. Creativity is not simply an additional developmental domain; the potential for creative development is inherent in all domains and is an integral part of a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Creative processes and the ability to co-construct knowledge from experience and interactions are essential for children to fully realize skills in problem solving and generating innovative ideas. Play is the method through which creative potential is fostered and developed. We have drawn from several sources to develop the creative-play curriculum model. Our educational backgrounds in child development, early childhood education, and teacher education have enabled us to use the theoretical and empirical knowledge from these fields to draw conclusions and suggest implications for curriculum development and implementation. From our teaching and administrative experiences in public and private kindergarten, preschool programs, Head Start, child-care cooperatives, and university laboratories, we have learned what is effective classroom practice when research and theory have failed to provide the answers. This has allowed us to combine research, theory, and best practices in developing, using, and evaluating curricula. CONTENT This text covers basic principles and current research in early childhood curricula; however, it also is a comprehensive guide to planning programs with a play-based, developmental curriculum for children from birth to age 5. This creative-play model presents an integrated, individualized curricular approach that helps teachers be sensitive to and plan for young children with a variety of developmental and cultural backgrounds. Several special features contribute to the usefulness and comprehensiveness of the book: Emphasis on creative play to support children's learning and development.In addition to presenting an overview of other curriculum models, this text describes using creative play to implement the various components of this curriculum model. The reader is guided to understand the specific steps in implementing a play-based, constructivist philosophy of young children's learning in a program setting. Demonstration of the complex and interrelated components of the visible and invisible curriculum.This benefits students and practitioners by outlining all the components necessary to plan and implement an effective, comprehensive early childhood curriculum and clarifying the relationship of each component to the overall program. Integration of developmental assessment and curriculum planning.A developmental checklist is included that is designed to correlate with curriculum objectives. Assessment information is presented to support the belief that curriculum planning and child assessment are integrated and complementary processes rather than separate or parallel functions. Students and practitioners can understand the importance of using information about children's development in both activity planning and child assessment. Integration throughout all curricular components of information for programming for young children with disabilities.Adaptations for use of tCatron, Carol Elaine is the author of 'Early Childhood Curriculum A Creative-Play Model', published 2002 under ISBN 9780130968548 and ISBN 0130968544.