Position Statement

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DAP: Recommendations for Research

Much remains to be learned about how to maximize each child’s development and learning. Important areas for further research include the following topics.
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DAP: Recommendations for Policymakers

Policymakers must ensure that those working directly with children in early childhood settings have equitable, affordable access to high-quality professional preparation required to meet DAP standards.
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DAP: Defining Developmentally Appropriate Practice

NAEYC defines “developmentally appropriate practice” as methods that promote each child’s optimal development and learning through a strengths-based, play-based approach to joyful, engaged learning.
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DAP: Statement of the Position

Each and every child, birth through age 8, has the right to equitable learning opportunities—in centers, family child care homes, or schools—that fully support their optimal development and learning across all domains and content areas.
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DAP: Purpose

This position statement, one of five foundational documents developed by NAEYC in collaboration with the early childhood profession to advance high-quality early learning for all young children, defines DAP.
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DAP: Conclusion

While many of the recommendations have changed considerably over the years, the primary focus of DAP remains the same: NAEYC emphasizes the importance of the relationships between children and well-prepared early childhood educators.
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Endnotes

The endnotes are available as a PDF for readers to print and use as they read the statement.
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Appendix C: Acknowledgements

NAEYC appreciates the work of the Developmentally Appropriate Practice/Diversity and Equity Workgroup and the Early Learning Systems Committee, who participated in the development of this statement. See a full list here.
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Appendix B: Glossary

Learn about the terms used in the Developmentally Appropriate Practice position statement.
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