our philosophy

Red Barn Children's Center has been using Developmentally Appropriate Practice, or DAP, since  establishment in 1971.  This time tested philosophy is based on research and its proven developmental theory focuses on how children learn and grow with a mindfulness on each individual child's needs. 

More briefly, DAP can be thought of as practice that is both age appropriate and focuses on each child's individual learning needs.

This method fits with our vision of child development as it addresses children's needs in a way that prepares them for kindergarten and beyond.   We offer respect and kindness to each child and show and teach children how to respond in kind.  We believe that early childhood play is vital and valid for learning socialization, teaching problem solving, and emotional development.  These foundations of learning are integral parts of the developmental process.  We approach environments and experiences with an awareness and appreciation of where children are developmentally and how to best help them learn and progress in a healthy way as a whole child.  We meld the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards with DAP to form an effective teaching program which has served the school and the children of our community for over four decades.

For further information on DAP please review:

DAP Frequently Asked Questions.  National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC):

Developmentally Appropriate Practice.  National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments