Standards and Competencies for Five-Year-Old Filipino Children

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March 10, 2022

Republic Act 10157, or “The Kindergarten Education Act” made Kindergarten the compulsory and mandatory entry stage to basic education. Section 2 of this Act provides that all five (5)-year old children shall be given equal opportunities for Kindergarten Education to effectively promote their physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development, including values formation, so they will be ready for school.

The Department of Education (DepEd) believes that Kindergarten is the transition period from informal to formal literacy (Grades 1–12), considering that age five (5) is within the critical years in which positive experiences must be nurtured to ascertain school readiness. Extensive research has shown that this is the period of greatest growth and development, during which the brain continuously develops most rapidly and almost at its fullest. It is also the stage when self-esteem, vision of the world, moral foundations are established, and their mind’s absorptive capacity for learning is at its sharpest. Teachers/parents/caregivers/adults should therefore be guided to facilitate explorations of our young learners in an engaging, creative, and child-centered curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and which immerses them in meaningful experiences. Provision of varied play-based activities leads them to becoming emergent literates and helps them to naturally acquire the competencies to develop holistically. They are able to understand the world by exploring their environment, as they are encouraged to create and discover, which eventually leads them to becoming willing risk takers and ready to tackle formal school work.

Section 5 of said Republic Act also state the adoption of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE). Therefore, the mother tongue of the learner shall be the primary medium of instruction for teaching and learning in kindergarten

The Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (KCF) draws from the goals of the K to 12 Philippine Basic Education Curriculum Framework and adopts the general principles of the National Early Learning Framework (NELF). Kindergarten learners need to have a smooth transition to the content-based curriculum of Grades 1 to 12.

The items in rectangles in Figure 1 show the theoretical bases for teaching-learning in the early years, which are founded on constructivism, integrative, thematic, collaborative, inquiry–based, and reflective teaching in play-based approaches with application of the Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP); these support the principles of child growth and development, and the learning program development and assessment.

The circles, on the other hand, signify the system of how Kindergarten Education is to be employed. The interlocked ellipses represent the learning domains that have to be nurtured and equally imparted to holistically develop children. It also forms a flower that portrays the gradual unfolding but steady development, as is expected of every child. The child is seen as being in the process of blossoming – like a flower bud whose development should not be forced lest it lose its chance to fully mature. The domains are enclosed by the Learning Areas children will meet in Grade One onward, for which they are being prepared. The outermost layer indicates the Curricular Themes upon which the Kindergarten Curriculum Guide (KCG) or the Teacher’s Guide is designed. It has been crafted using the thematic or integrative approach to curriculum development in a spiralling learning process. This approach employs integerative and interactive teaching-learning strategies as well as child-centered learning experiences.


The following are the general guiding principles of the National Early Learning Framework (NELF):

A. On Child Growth and Development

  1. Every child is unique. Growth and development vary from child to child, for whom the first eight years of life are most vital. He/she has an innate desire to learn, and this is best done through meaningful and real experiences.
  2. Every aspect of growth and development is interrelated and interdependent. The child needs to be nurtured in a good and caring environment that enhances healthy and dependable relationships with other children and most significant adults.
  3. The learning and development of every child involve a series of complex and dynamic processes that are best attended to in a more positive and responsive manner.
  4. The child must be encouraged to aspire beyond one’s own level of achievements and to practice newly acquired competencies.
  5. Every child is a thinking, moving, feeling, and interactive human being able to actively participate in the learning and development of self in the context of one’s family and community, including cultural and religious beliefs.

B. On Learning Program Development

  1. The learning program is child centered. It promotes the holistic way by which young children grow and develop, and recognizes the role of families and communities in supporting the child through various stages of growth and development.
  2. The learning program is appropriate for developing the domains, and must sustain interest in active learning of all young children including those with special abilities, marginalized, and/or those at risk.
  3. The learning program is implemented by way of diverse learning activities that may be enhanced with multimedia technologies such as interactive radio, audio/video clips, and computer-enhanced activities.
  4. The use of learning materials and other resources that are locally developed and/or locally available is encouraged. The mother tongue shall be used as the child’s language of learning.

C. On Learning Assessment

  1. Assessment is done to monitor learning, know where the child is at, and inform parents of the child’s progress.
  2. Assessment is crucial to identifying the child’s total developmental needs and does not determine academic achievement.
  3. Assessment is best conducted on a regular basis so that a timely response or intervention can be made to improve learning.
  4. The results of the learning assessment of a child shall be kept strictly confidential. Ratings should be more qualitative/descriptive and less numerical.
  5. The family and community must be informed of the general outcomes of learning so as to encourage further cooperation and partnerships.

DEVELOPMENTAL DOMAINS ( and what to expect in each)

Developmental domains” refers to specific aspects of growth and changes in children. These are represented by the ellipses to show interconnectedness in the holistic development of children. The contents of each developmental domain are defined by learning expectations, as follows:

  1. Socio-Emotional Development (Pagpapaunlad ng Sosyo-Emosyunal at Kakayahang Makipamuhay) – Children are expected to develop emotional skills, basic concepts pertaining to her/himself, how to relate well with other people in his/her immediate environment, demonstrate awareness of one’s social identity, and appreciate cultural diversity among the school, community, and other people.
  2. Values Development (Kagandahang Asal) – Children are expected to show positive attitudes, self-concept, respect, concern for self and others, behave appropriately in various situations and places, manifest love of God, country, and fellowmen.
  3. Physical Health & Motor Development (Kalusugang Pisikal at Pagpapaunlad sa Kakayahang Motor) – Children are expected
    to develop both their fine and gross motor skills to be efficient and effective movers when engaging in wholesome physical and health activities. They are also expected to acquire an understanding of good health habits and develop their awareness about the importance of safety and how they can prevent danger at home, in school, and in public places.
  4. Aesthetic/Creative Development (Sining) – Children are expected to develop their aesthetic sense and creative expression through drawing, painting, and manipulative activities. Aesthetic development involves the love and pursuit of beauty in art, music, and movement, and creates opportunities for the creative expression of emotions, thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
  5. Mathematics – Children are expected to understand and demonstrate knowledge, thinking skills, and insights into patterns of mathematics, concepts of numbers, length, capacity, mass, and time through the use of concrete objects or materials, and to apply these meaningfully in their daily experiences. Children are provided with varied manipulative activities to help them see relationships and interconnections in math and enable them to deal flexibly with mathematical ideas and concepts.
  6. Understanding of the Physical and Natural Environment – Children are expected to demonstrate a basic understanding of concepts pertaining to living and nonliving things, including weather, and use these in categorizing things in his/her environment. They are also expected to acquire the essential skills and sustain their natural curiosity in their immediate environment through exploration, discovery, observation, and relate their everyday experiences using their senses (touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing).
  7. Language, Literacy, and Communication – This domain provides opportunities on early literacy learning for self-expression through language using the mother tongue or the child’s first language. Children are expected to develop communicative skills in their first language. They are also expected to develop more positive attitudes toward reading, writing, and to view themselves as effective users and learners of language.


The outer circle of the KCF corresponds to the interrelatedness of the learning domains, which dictates the way to approach implementation. The daily activities prescribed in the Kindergarten Curriculum Guide (KCG) or the Teacher’s Guide is designed as learner centered, inclusive, and developmentally appropriate to employ an integrative and interactive approach in developing the competencies focusing on the themes shown in Figure 2. The child and brain development principles were the bases of the selection of content, concepts, and skills, as well as the learning activities. Developmentally appropriate practices considered the developmental tasks that five-year-olds, in general, could tackle at a specific time, and in a specific sequence. Thus, these curricular themes adhere to Bronfenbrenner’s Bio-ecological theory that defines “layers of environment, each having an effect on a child’s holistic development.”

  1. Myself – concepts and ideas that help the learners understand himself/ herself better so that he/she will develop as an individual
  2. My Family – concepts, ideas, practices that guide the child to be responsible and proud of himself and his family
  3. My School – concepts, ideas, practices, and situations that help the child understand how to be an individual and socialize with other learners, teachers, and other school personnel
  4. My Community- concepts, ideas, practices, situations, and responsibilities that the learner should acquire and understand so that he/she will a become functional and responsive member of the community
  5. More Things Around Me – all other concepts, ideas, practices, situations, and responsibilities beyond themes 1 to 4, but which may be relevant to the community, culture, and interest of the learner

Source:DepED – Standards and Competencies for Five-Year-Old Filipino Children

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