Domains of children's development -- physical, social, emotional, and cognitive -- are closely related. Development in one domain influences and is influenced by development in other domains.
Development occurs in a relatively orderly sequence, with later abilities, skills, and knowledge building on those already acquired.
Development proceeds at varying rates from child to child as well as unevenly within different areas of each child's functioning
Early experiences have both cumulative and delayed effects on individual children's development. Optimum periods exist for certain types of development and learning.
Development proceeds in predictable directions toward greater complexity, organization, and internalization.
Development and learning occur in and are influenced by multiple social and cultural contexts.
Children are active learners, drawing on direct physical and social experiences as well as culturally transmitted knowledge to construct their own understandings of the world around them.
Development and learning result from interaction of biological maturation and the environment, which includes both the physical and social worlds that children live in.
Play is an important vehicle for children's social, emotional, and cognitive development, as well as a reflection of their development.
Development advances when children have opportunities to practice newly acquired skills as well as when they experiences a challenge just beyond the level of their present ability.
Children demonstrate different modes of knowing and learning and different ways of representing what they know.
Children develop and learn best in the context of a community where they are safe and valued, their physical needs are met, and they feel psychologically secure.