What is Developmentally Appropriate Practices?


Developmentally Appropriate Practice is a perspective within early childhood education whereby a teacher or child caregiver nurtures a child’s social/emotional, physical, and cognitive development by basing all practices and decisions on (1) theories of child development, (2) individually identified strengths …

Integrating DAP with ongoing assessment offers teachers evidence of children’s increasing skills in all developmental domains.

The process also alerts teachers to weaknesses and areas that might require additional support or intervention.

Frequently, early childhood educators integrate the practice of scaffolding 

Scaffolding: Providing support that enables children to reach the next skill level.

Early care and education professionals rely on their knowledge of how children’s individual differences in both biology ( Nature) and experiences ( Nurture) impact each developmental task and its timing.

As early childhood educators, we know that foundational knowledge (Knowing what to expect, and when) is essential for a child’s optimum growth.

Current research points to the importance of creating a caring and educational environment that reflects developmentally appropriate practice.

This is activities, interactions, materials, and equipment that reflect both the developmental skills of the group and the skills, needs, and interests of EVERY child in the group.

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