Why Early Childhood Education?


Early childhood education emphasizes the development of the whole child. According to the National Association of Independent Schools, an early childhood education provides for each child’s needs:

  • Social

  • Emotional

  • Physical

  • Intellectual

Early childhood programs are developmentally appropriate in that they are based on an understanding of general patterns of growth in the early years as well as children’s individual development. The NAIS has adopted nine Principles of Good Practice. 


Principles of Good Practice


Early childhood educators and all personnel who interact with young children have appropriate training, understanding, and knowledge regarding the developmental characteristics of this age group.



Early childhood educators prepare the environment so that children learn through active exploration and discovery.



Early childhood educators engage parents as partners in understanding the unique characteristics and needs of young children.


Early childhood educators recognize that play is the work of young children.



Early childhood educators recognize the importance of outdoor play and provide appropriate time and equipment.



Early childhood educators, in observing and interpreting children’s behavior, use bias-free assessment tools based on developmental norms.


Early childhood educators build on children’s natural curiosity to promote a love of learning.




Early childhood educators design programs that develop the large and small motor skills of young children.




Early childhood educators promote equity and justice by creating a community that fosters respect, understanding, and an appreciation of differences.

Visit the National Association of Independent Schools online, www.nais.org, to learn more about the benefits of early childhood education.