• Ongoing, nurturing relationships are cultivated between children and respon-
• Environments are physically safe.
• Children are assigned a primary caregiver.
• Children’s individual needs are respected.
• Activities promote children’s learning.
• Schedules and routines meet the individual needs of children, including those
with special needs.
• Caregivers form successful partnerships with parents.
• Experiences are structured so children can build and practice skills across the
• Children are offered age-appropriate choices.
• Children’s learning opportunities are built upon existing knowledge.
• Children learn in a play-based environment.
Leading ECE organizations help caregivers identify best practices. The National
Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has adopted position
statements on quality ECE. These organizations support high-quality early care and
education by promoting program standards, developmentally appropriate practices,
partnerships with families, and highly qualified, knowledgeable teachers. NAEYC
provides parents and early childhood educators with resources and information. You
can learn more about its services and read its current position statements at www