Curriculum Alignment Project (CAP)

Curriculum Alignment Project logoThe California Early Childhood Curriculum Alignment Project supports transfer and curriculum consistency in the foundational preparation of early childhood education students. Regionally accredited community colleges, CSUs, and private universities can participate in the alignment process and be recognized statewide as partners in creating streamlined pathways to degree completion.

NEW: Support for Colleges Considering Participation in Early Childhood Education Child Development Permit Pilots under the PDG-Grant

CAP Classic (CAP 8) outlines have recently been updated to align with the Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) for the Teacher Level. One of the routes to eligibility for participation in Pilot 1 is “The institution/program is using updated, TPE-aligned CAP curriculum” While this is not the only route to eligibility, the CAP team is here to help whether you are new to CAP alignment, or already aligned.

  • If your college/institution has not yet aligned with CAP 8 course outlines and you are interested in more information, please complete this quick contact form and the CAP team will reach out to help you determine what kind of support you might need.
  • If your college/institution is already aligned with the CAP 8 course outlines and you are interested in updating your courses to the revised outlines that now include the TPE content, please complete this quick contact form and the CAP team will reach out to help you determine what kind of support you might need.

If you are not sure of your college/institution's CAP alignment status, please check here: CAP Aligned Colleges

For more information about the Early Childhood Education Child Development Permit Pilots under the PDG-R Grant visit the Childhood Education Page on the CTC Website.

CAP Classic

The California Community Colleges Curriculum Alignment Project (CAP) engaged faculty from across the state to develop a 24 unit lower-division program of study supporting early care and education teacher preparation. Eight courses represent evidence-based courses that are intended to become a foundational core for all early care and education professionals. The eight courses include the following:

  1. Child Growth and Development
  2. Child, Family and Community
  3. Introduction to Curriculum
  4. Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children
  5. Observation and Assessment
  6. Health, Safety and Nutrition
  7. Teaching in a Diverse Society
  8. Practicum

CAP Expansion

Following the development of the CAP Classic courses, additional funding was provided by the Race To The Top/Early Learning Challenge Grant (RTT/ELCG) to expand the project to include seven additional courses in the three specialization areas of Infant/Toddler, Administration, and Children with Special Needs. The seven courses include the following:

  1. Infant/Toddler Development
  2. Infant/Toddler Care and Education
  3. Introduction to Young Children with Special Needs
  4. Curriculum and Strategies for Children with Special Needs
  5. Administration I - Programs in ECE
  6. Administration II - Leadership and Supervision
  7. Adult Supervision and Mentoring

CAP Transitional Kindergarten (CAP TK)

The Curriculum Alignment Project (CAP) was granted a contract by the California Department of Education to develop Transitional Kindergarten (TK) teacher preparation courses that could be adopted by California community colleges. As one option for professional learning, Transitional Kindergarten teachers and administrators in local education agencies (public schools) as well as early childhood education professionals may now enroll in unit-bearing community college courses designed to address the specific developmental needs of children in TK.

24 units of specialized coursework:

  1. Preschool and Early Primary Age Development (3 units)
  2. Transitional Kindergarten and Early Primary Teaching Principles and Practices (3 units)
  3. Assessment and Documentation Tools, Methods, and Strategies (3 units)
  4. Strategies for Working with Challenging Behaviors (3 units)
  5. Foundations and Frameworks Courses ( 1 unit each)
  • Social and Emotional
  • Language and Literacy
  • Dual Language Learners
  • Math
  • Visual Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Physical
  • Health
  • History/Social Science
  • Science
  1. Practicum Placement Seminar or Reflective Practice Seminar (2 units)

CAP Highlights

CAP Highlights (PDF)

  • 104 Community Colleges in California have agreed to participate in CAP.
  • Of these colleges, 93 are aligned.
  • CAP TK Outlines ready for adoption.

The CAP courses have been accepted as the required core for the Associate in Science for Transfer in Early Childhood Education. For information on the courses and the degree, go to


Curriculum Alignment Project logo

All CAP projects are funded by: The California Department of Education / Early Education and Support Division / Quality Improvement Office.