Developmentally appropriate practice, often shortened to DAP, is an approach to teaching grounded both in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education. Its framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development.
DAP involves teachers meeting young children where they are (by stage of development), both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals.
Developmentally appropriate practice is the foundation for all of NAEYC's work including—publications, training programs, conferences, accreditation of child care programs, and more.
|3 Core Considerations of DAP|
• Knowing about child development and learning.
• Knowing what is individually appropriate.
• Knowing what is culturally important.
|3 Core Considerations|
|12 Principles of Child Development and Learning|
|5 Guidelines for Effective Teaching|
|10 Suggested Teaching Strategies|
|For more information about DAP, the 3 Core Considerations, the 12 Principles of Child Development and Learning, and the 5 Guidelines for Effective Teaching, read the NAEYC position statement "Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8" (PDF), adopted in 2009.|
|What is DAP?|
|DAP Books and Resources|
|DAP Basics Kit for Preschool Educators|
|Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: An Introduction for Teachers of Infants & Toddlers|
|NAEYC Conferences feature many sessions on Developmentally Appropriate Practice.|
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