Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Action: Using Knowledge of Child Development and Learning in Context
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Based on the principles outlined above, the following guidelines address decisions that early childhood professionals make in six key and interrelated areas of practice: (1) creating a caring community of learners; (2) engaging in reciprocal partnerships with families and fostering community connections; (3) observing, documenting and assessing children’s development and learning; (4) teaching to enhance each child’s development and learning; (5) planning and implementing an engaging curriculum to achieve meaningful goals; and (6) demonstrating professionalism as an early childhood educator. Generally consistent with previous editions of this statement, the six areas have been reworded and reordered to reflect consistency with the Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators. These guidelines work hand in hand with the standards and competencies; they are also based on the assumption that, as part of the sixth professional standard regarding professionalism, educators are also advocating for policies and financing that support the equitable implementation of developmentally appropriate practice across all states and settings serving children birth through age 8. Finally, some of the guidelines are similarly reflected in the recommendations for early childhood educators embedded in the Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education position statement.