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Developmentally appropriate practice, often shortened to DAP, is an approach to teaching grounded both in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education. Its framework is desgined to promote young children's optimal learning and development.

DAP involves teachers meeting young children where they are (by stage of development), both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achieveable learning goals.

Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Birth to 18 months
18 to 36 months
3 to 5 years