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EEC1971 - Early Childhood Education Explorations - Planning

EEC1971 - Early Childhood Education Explorations: Planning

Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)


DAP (Developmentally Appropriate Practice)

What is DAP?

DAP refers to providing an environment and offering content, materials, activities, and methodologies that are coordinated with a child's level of development and for which the individual child is ready. Three dimensions of appropriateness must be considered:

  • DAP is a central concept in the world of education and means teaching in ways that the child learns best. 


Why is it such a big deal?

When our best practices are developmentally appropriate, we are maximizing the learning opportunities for children.  When our practices are NOT DAP, we may actually be 'getting in the way' of children's learning. 

Example: If an Early Childhood Educator is expecting toddlers to be able to sit still for a 20 minute group time, he/she will likely see toddlers moving around and trying to leave the circle because this expectation is NOT developmentally appropriate for children this age (see #1 above Age appropriateness).

Discussion: Joy of Learning

Weekly Written Assignment: DAP Mind Map

From the Online Library

Learning Environments

Discussion: Popular Learning Space

Weekly Written Assignment: Components of Learning Environments


From the Online Library

Daily Routines and Schedules

Discussion: Daily Routine

Weekly Written Assignment: "A Day in the Life of my Child" Parent Resource

From the Online Library

Infants and Toddlers

Discussion: Calendar Time for Infants

Weekly Written Assignment: Infant or Toddler Lesson Plan

From the Online Library

Preschoolers and Young School-Agers

Discussion: Kindergarten Readiness

Weekly Written Assignment: Preschool and Young School-age Lesson Plan

From the Online Library

Family Engagement and Partnership

Discussion: Reciprocal Relationships

Weekly Written Assignment: Curriculum Night Newsletter


From the Online Library