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Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)

The term developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) was introduced into a wide usage in the United States with the 1987 publication of the book Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization concerned with the welfare and schooling of children birth to age 8 years. Since its introduction, the term has been incorporated into wide use in both the United States and in many countries across the globe, and in many early childhood contexts, DAP has become synonymous with quality early childhood programming.

The stated goals of the NAEYC handbook were to provide guidance for the accreditation of early childhood centers in the United States and to respond to pushes for more academic preschool experiences. ...

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