Principles of Child Development and Learning that Inform Practice Developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and published in its book, Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs, Third Edition, 2009
Developmentally appropriate practice is informed by what we know from theory and literature about how children develop and learn. While the list below is comprehensive, it is not all-inclusive. Each principle describes an individually contributing factor, but just as all domains of development and learning are interrelated, so too do the principles interconnect. For example, the influence of cultural differences and individual differences, each highlighted in a separate principle below, cuts across all the other principles.
Collectively the principles below form a solid basis for decision-making. They help teachers, programs, and families make decisions at all levels about how best to meet the needs of young children in general. They also help consider strengths and needs of individual children, with all their variations in prior experiences, abilities and talents, home language and English proficiency, personalities and temperaments, and community and cultural backgrounds.
Guiding Principles of Developmentally Appropriate Practice