Social and Emotional Development

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Social and emotional development is just as important to children's learning as their academic development. NAEYC's resources offer information about the latest research, ideas for classroom practice, and strategies to share with families.

Making Peace in Kindergarten

Read about one teacher's research and observations as she explores how to create a more peaceful and inclusive classroom.

Children working together as they care for a plant.

Spotlight on Young Children: Social and Emotional Development

Explore how teachers can use the opportunities embedded in their classroom practices, routines, and lessons to nurture healthy behaviors in children from birth through third grade. 

Young girls playing together with water.

Most Recent

Preschool boy playing with blocks and a toy car on the floor

I'm Not Ready to Tidy Up

So what is a parent to do when they have a room full of playthings and a child who is not interested in picking any of it up? Here are five tips I’ve gathered from my career as an early childhood educator and my experience as a mom
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Diverse group of preschoolers with their hands on a globe
Article
Teaching Young Children
December 1, 2019

Valuing Diversity: Developing a Deeper Understanding of All Young Children's Behavior

Culture shapes not only our values and beliefs, but also our gender roles, family structures, languages, dress, food, etiquette, approaches to disabilities, child-rearing practices, and even our expectations for children’s behavior. In this way, culture c

Authored by

Authored by: Barbara Kaiser, Judy Sklar Rasminsky
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young boy playing with a kitchen playset in classroom
Article
Young Children
November 1, 2019

How Do I See Myself? How Do Others See Me?: Exploring Identity Kindergarten

NAEYC promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.

Authored by

Authored by: Doriet Berkowitz
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Teacher and young child on the playground
Article
Young Children
November 1, 2019

What’s Love Got to Do with It? Relationships and Reflection in Early Childhood Programs

Ellen Edge’s courage in reflecting openly and honestly provides a model for all of us. She shares both the gut reactions she is not proud of and the tough questions she asks herself as she works to change how she sees children, families, and her role as a

Authored by

Authored by: Ellen Ellsberg Edge
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Cover of This Is Play: Environments and Interactions that Engage Infants and Toddlers
Book

This Is Play: Environments and Interactions that Engage Infants and Toddlers

With its spot-on ideas and suggestions, delightful anecdotes, and engaging photos, you’ll gain a new appreciation for infants’ and toddlers’ competence and curiosity and how important your role is in the birth-to-3 adventure.

Authored by

Authored by: Julia Luckenbill, Aarti Subramaniam, Janet Thompson
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Three children with recycling bin
Article
Teaching Young Children
April 1, 2019

Mensaje en la mochila: Ayude a su hijo a aprender a ser responsable

Para ser responsables, los niños deben darse cuenta de que es necesario hacer, pensar en opciones útiles y sentirse orgullosos de sus contribuciones. Aquí, le mostramos cómo fomentar la responsabilidad.

Authored by

Authored by: Marie L. Masterson
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Adult and child hands together
Blog
June 26, 2019

NAEYC's Statement on #FamiliesBelongTogether

On June 7, we joined 540 national and state organizations, including many NAEYC affiliates, in writing a letter to the Department of Homeland Security clearly stating our opposition to the zero-tolerance practice of separating children from their parents
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Teacher sitting with preschooler
Article
Young Children
May 1, 2019

Helping Young Children Grieve and Understand Death

Teachers should also prepare themselves for basic questions (like whether or not a dead animal feels cold) and for supporting children and their families after a loved one dies.

Authored by

Authored by: David J. Schonfeld
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Three children with recycling bin
Article
Teaching Young Children
April 1, 2019

Message in a Backpack™ Helping Your Child Learn Responsibility

To be responsible, children must notice what needs to be done, think of useful options, and take pride in their contributions. Here’s how to encourage responsibility.

Authored by

Authored by: Marie L. Masterson
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