HighScope Statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practices
HighScope is aware of recent controversy over the use of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Developmentally Appropriate Practice, 4th Edition, by educators in high-quality early childhood programs. NAEYC has established best practices that benefit all children. HighScope believes that children’s emotional well-being cannot be treated as separate from their education, especially in early childhood, and that includes addressing racial inequities as an integral part of early education. With clear evidence of inequities that continue to impact young children, NAEYC’s Developmentally Appropriate Practice, 4th Edition, recognizes the detrimental impacts of systemic racism, along with how the importance of inclusion in the classroom is an evidence-backed, developmentally appropriate practice. HighScope supports NAEYC’s Developmentally Appropriate Practice, including the passages focused on equity and anti-bias education.
For over 50 years, research and evidence-based practices have been at the heart of HighScope’s programs and its well-established Infant-Toddler and Preschool curricula. Our methods are strongly research-based and solidly grounded in the best interests of children from various backgrounds. Our practices started with our foundational Perry Preschool Project in 1962, which was an early source of evidence that high-quality early childhood programs must develop children’s socioemotional skills to lay a foundation for long-term school and life success, not only for individual children but also for their descendants, thus breaking cycles of poverty.
We cannot let political arguments or current controversies decide what children need. Especially in contentious times, children need to trust that they can bring their whole selves into the classroom safely. Talking about difficult issues with children is how they learn to live securely in the world around them. All children deserve a high-quality, research-based early education that tackles problems of racial and cultural inequity so that they can grow into successful, confident, and well-rounded adults. Both NAEYC and HighScope believe that every child, no matter their circumstances, should be given every opportunity to grow into their best selves.
We encourage all supporters of high-quality early childhood education to sign NAEYC’s statement of support for Developmentally Appropriate Practices