Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs: 12 Principles of Child Development and Learning

As set forth by The National Association of the Education of Young Children

  • All areas of development and learning are important.
  • Learning and development follow sequences.
  • Development and learning proceed at varying rates.
  • Development and learning result from an interaction of maturation and experience.
  • Early experiences have profound effects on development and learning.
  • Development proceeds toward greater complexity, self-regulation, and symbolic or representational capacities.
  • Children develop best when they have secure relationships.
  • Development and learning occur in and are influenced by multiple social and cultural contexts.
  • Children learn in a variety of ways.
  • Play is an important vehicle for developing self-regulation and promoting language, cognition, and social competence.
  • Development and learning advance when children are challenged.
  • Children’s experiences shape their motivation and approaches to learning.
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