Developmentally appropriate practice means you use knowledge about child development to create a program that is suitable for the age and stage of development of your group of children. At the same time, your program considers the needs of the individual child.
- Age appropriate. You use information about typical development within a specific age span to plan a learning environment and experiences.
- Individual appropriateness. You understand each child is unique with his or her own pattern and timing of development. You plan your curriculum to respond to individual differences.
- Child-guided and teacher-guided experiences. You allow time for children to select activities from the many experiences you have prepared. You plan interactive small-group and large-group activities.
- Culturally and socially responsive. You respect the social and cultural context in which children live.
- Play. You support children's play as a way for them to learn.