A child’s early years are critical in establishing a strong foundation for education. The Hawai‘i P-3 Initiative establishes partnerships with early learning providers to promote a cohesive continuum of experiences from birth to age eight. Through the lessons learned by these partnerships, the P-3 Initiative is able to improve the alignment and integration of programs, strengthening the Hawai‘i P-20 educational pipeline.


Hawai‘i P-3 focuses on increasing 3rd grade English Language Arts and math proficiency with work in four key areas:

  • Early literacy and language development
  • Strengthening transitions from early childhood to kindergarten
  • Participating in the building of the early childhood data infrastructure
  • Developing a comprehensive statewide Early Childhood Report

Mission & Vision:

Hawai‘i P-3 is dedicated to supporting the development and implementation of statewide initiatives for children from birth through age 8 with the goal of reading at grade level by 3rd grade.

Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) Grant


The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) has been awarded a five-year, $49.8 million federal Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grant, of which $7.34 million has been reserved for the birth through kindergarten entry (B-KE) Early Literacy Project. The CLSD discretionary grant provides funds to create a comprehensive literacy program to advance literacy skills through the use of evidence-based practices, activities and interventions, including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing for children from birth through grade 12, with an emphasis on disadvantaged children, including children living in poverty, English learners, and children with disabilities. LEARN MORE


What are the HELDS?

The Hawai‘i Early Learning and Development Standards (HELDS) are a set of research-based standards that identify expectations of knowledge and behavior for children through a chronological continuum.

How are the HELDS intended to be used?

The standards are a source document to guide practitioners to intentionally integrate developmental knowledge with the concepts and skills children need to make progress in all domains of learning and development. The HELDS are designed to be supportive, rather than prescriptive or instructive. Guidance is being developed by various stakeholders to set age-specific and possibly setting specific implementation strategies and guides that identify resources and curriculum ideas and activities.

How are the HELDS organized?

The HELDS are divided into five domains:

  • Physical Well-Being, Health and Motor Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Approaches to Learning
  • Cognition and General Knowledge
    • Mathematics and Numeracy
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Creative Arts
    • English Language Arts and Literacy

The HELDS span five age groups*:

  • Infants (children from birth to 12 months old)
  • Younger Toddlers (children 12-24 months old)
  • Older Toddlers (children 24-36 months)
  • 3-year-olds (children 36-48 months old)
  • 4-year-olds (children 48 months to Kindergarten Entry)

*Please note that the standards listed for each age range indicate what the child should be able to do by the end of the age range.

Stay Informed

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest on education news and resources.