News You Can Use


Linda is new to working with young children. She sits at a training, hoping to learn more about babies. The presenter frequently says, “developmentally appropriate practice” to explain why one might do certain things in group care or on a home visit. Although she is not sure what that means, Linda does not want to raise her hand to ask for an explanation.

Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) is a term that you often hear when talking about young children. In the field of early childhood education, it is something that educators, presenters, and administrators use. It’s an important term to understand, but what does it mean? How would you explain developmentally appropriate practice to the parents in your program?

Source: Early Head Start National Resource Center

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Harvard EdCast: Protecting Your Child’s Brain

Professor Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, explains some of the science behind early childhood development and how education can help.

Source: Harvard Graduate School of Education

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Family Engagement and Ongoing Child Assessment

The partnership between parents and Head Start staff is fundamental to children’s current and future success and their readiness for school. This relationship ensures success when staff understand the value of information and how to share such information effectively, and when they have the attitudes and skills that support genuine partnerships. This set of documents outlines how information that programs collect about children’s learning and development can be used with families. These documents identify specific strategies that support the development of staff-parent relationships, and provide specific guidance to staff on sharing information with families.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center/National Center on Parent, Family, and Community engagement

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ZERO TO THREE: Early Childhood Mental Health

Babies and young children thrive when they are cared for by adults that are “crazy about them!” (Bronfenbrenner, 1976 1). Responsive relationships with consistent primary caregivers help build positive attachments that support healthy social-emotional development. These relationships form the foundation of mental health for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.


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