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Our Approach

We draw on leading research in early childhood learning and teaching, utilize data for impact, and apply our values to create joyful learning experiences, where children feel they are fully valued and belong.

Research-based and Outcomes-focused 

We draw on seminal research in early childhood learning and teaching to design our content-rich curriculum and focused assessments, which are key drivers of children’s outcomes. As part of our process, we test and pilot our innovations and then fully launch them following empirical evidence of impact. We also focus on coaching and professional development and fully support our teaching and family services staff. As such, we have an established outcomes-based program that has produced some of the largest child outcome gains ever recorded at an individual Head Start program.


In Head Start classrooms, we offer our robust Ready to Shine curriculum, which supports and builds on young children’s natural curiosity and playfulness for preschoolers. To fully support our learners, teachers utilize a comprehensive set of lesson plans and activity guides.

In Early Head Start classrooms, Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers and Twos serves as the curriculum foundation. Teachers leverage the Creative Curriculum®’s Intentional Teaching Cards, Mighty Minutes, book reading guides, and assessment linked HELP at Home activities as resources in this process. This highly individualized, routines-based approach to lesson planning ensures intentional learning opportunities are embedded within each child’s routine activities throughout the day. Teachers collaborate to develop Shared Play Plans using assessment data, daily observations, as well as the ILPs of each child. Children are grouped together for shared play activities each week based on related needs, goals, and/or interests to further support their social emotional and socialization needs while offering additional opportunities to practice and refine skill development across domains. 

Outside of the classroom, we utilize Shine on Families, our research-based home learning curriculum, designed to strengthen the partnership between Acelero Learning staff and families, extending classroom learning into the home.  Shine on Families’ PEER home learning activity cards are designed to enhance parent-child interactions shown in the research to promote executive function and school readiness.  Its strategies are fully integrated into our Centers’ full range of family engagement efforts, including: 

  • Monthly Family Engagement Network meetings 
  • Monthly Family Learning Parties
  • Individualized home learning recommendations for children and families. 

Shine on Families was developed in collaboration with Phil Zelazo, one of the nation’s leading researchers on the development of executive function in young children, and it aligns with classroom school readiness standards.  

Professional Development

We understand that coaching is an essential strategy to support teacher effectiveness, which has proven to be a key lever to achieve child outcomes. We have begun to reimagine our Coaching Cycle as a four-step process to provide targeted, regular, skill-based feedback to support teacher practices and accelerate child outcomes.  We also have developed tools and resources to support the coaching of Family Advocates and other family service team members. We use a detailed rubric to evaluate performance and support their growth. 

Guided by Core Values and Beliefs

Our core organizational values guide the work that we do in our classrooms and across each Acelero Learning center. As an organization, we also hold the following beliefs: 

  • A belief in the innate human value of parents, guardians and caregivers: an assumption that all are equals. 
  • A belief in everyone’s potential for growth and learning.
  • An attitude of complete acceptance, support, and nonjudgmental understanding towards others, regardless of their behavior or actions.

Our values, beliefs, and research-based programming allow us to create joyful learning experiences, where children feel they are fully valued and belong.