Principles of Good Early Years Practice

Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives; it is not just a preparation for the next stage – it is vitally important in itself. It sets the tone for who and how they are, it is their foundation.

Children develop emotionally, intellectually, morally, physically, spiritually and socially, and at different rates. All aspects of development are equally important and are interwoven. Some will race ahead in some areas and take time in others. Others will develop differently. All are valid and O.K.

Young children do not separate their learning into subjects, they learn from everything that happens to them.

Children learn most effectively by doing rather than being told, shown, or ‘taught’.

Children learn most effectively when they are motivated, actively involved and interested.

Children need to ‘be’ in their own time and space to produce work of quality and depth.

What children can do rather than what they cannot do are the starting points for their learning.

Playing and talking alone, with peers and with adults, are the main ways through which young children learn about themselves and the world around them.

Children who feel confident in themselves and their own ability have a head start to learning.

Children who feel confident in themselves are more likely to act independently.

All children have abilities which should be identified and promoted.

The relationships which children establish with adults and other children are of central importance in their development.