Three Design Guidelines serve as the foundation to the five Principles.     A good example would be that an organization could not foster the Principle of Play if they could not provide a Safe environment.

  • Welcoming of Diversity and Uniqueness: Research indicates the cultural sensitivity of staff and providing culturally appropriate activities are characteristics of quality programs.
  • Safe: Higher-quality programs are likely to have better policies and practices related to children’s physical and emotional health and safety. Quality programs also allow for adequate space for a variety of safe activities.
  • Developmentally Appropriate: Research cited age-stage/developmentally appropriate programming as the second-most prevalent characteristic of quality programs for children, following the presence of a caring adult.

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