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National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage

          1.1         Foreword

                      It is with a great sense of pride and satisfaction that I submit this National Curriculum Frame-
                      work for the Foundational Stage (NCF), on behalf of the National Steering Committee for Nation-
                      al Curriculum Frameworks to Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Govern-
                      ment of India.

                      The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a transformative initiative to usher India to prepare
                      itself to meet the challenging demands of a 21  century knowledge society. The NCF is one of the
                      key components of NEP 2020, that enables and energizes this transformation, informed by the
                      aims, principles, and approach of NEP 2020. Its objective is to realise the highest quality educa-
                      tion for all our children, consistent with realising an equitable, inclusive, and plural society as
                      envisaged by our Constitution.

                      This is the first ever integrated Curriculum Framework for children between ages 3-8 in India. It
                      is a direct outcome of the 5+3+3+4 ‘curricular and pedagogical’ structure that NEP 2020 has
                      come out with for School Education.

                      The Foundational Stage envisions an integrated approach to Early Childhood Care and Educa-
                      tion; for children between ages 3-8. The transformative nature of this phase of education is ex-
                      pected to qualitatively improve the contents and outcomes of education, thereby, impacting the
                      lives of our children towards a better future. All studies and research related to the early period
                      of development of a child, unambiguously leads to the conclusion that high-quality care and ed-
                      ucation during this period has a lifetime of positive consequences for all individuals and thus, the

                      This NCF is based on cutting-edge research from across the world in multiple disciplines which
                      includes among other things better understanding in the fields of neurosciences, brain study,
                      and cognitive sciences. Further, the accumulated insights from the practice of Early Childhood
                      Care and Education, and the wisdom and knowledge from diverse Indian traditions are also im-
                      portant considerations.  As articulated in NEP 2020, it uses ‘play,’ at the core of the conceptual,
                      operational, and transactional approaches to curriculum organization, pedagogy, time and con-
                      tent organization, and the overall experience of the child. It also lays a clear path for the goal of
                      achieving foundational literacy and numeracy as articulated in NEP 2020, with age-appropriate

                      To ensure that this NCF is responsive to the needs and aspirations of our people, and the nation,
                      and is also informed by the very best experience and knowledge, we have conducted widespread
                      consultations across the country. This process has benefited from the engagement of over 10
                      lakh interested citizens including students and parents, and over 1.3 lakh teachers and educa-
                      tionists from across the country, over 1550 district level consultations from 32 States and Union
                      Territories, and 35 groups of institutions. These consultations are in addition to over 500 papers
                      on 25 specifically relevant themes written by groups constituted by the States and Union Terri-
                      tories which all together had over 4000 experts, and 25 papers on these themes developed by
                      expert groups with over 175 members, constituted by the National Council for Educational Re-
                      search and Training.

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