The Child and the Learning Environment
It is important that the environment respect and value the diversity that children and families bring, building upon their unique strengths. The focus of the learning environment is on activities and settings that are interesting and important to the child and family. Each child is a unique person with an individual pattern and timing of growth. Each child develops and learns at different rates and in different ways. Developmentally appropriate programs plan for individual differences among children, including:
- individual personality, temperament and learning style
- experiences and family background, including language, culture, ethnicity, etc.
- special health considerations
- food allergies
- physical or cognitive disabilities
- preferences based on child and family interests
The learning environment helps develop individual children’s potential. Some children may have a developmental delay or disability that requires adults to make changes in materials, experiences and the physical setting so that all children will be successful. Early childhood teachers, caregivers and families are important resources in helping identify a child’s special learning or developmental needs. Accommodations are made to allow children with diverse abilities and backgrounds to participate equally.
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