Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs
Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) is an approach to teaching grounded 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, 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.