Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)

Children’s Academy is a Child Development Center that follows a philosophy of teaching developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) called “Developmentally Appropriate Practices”  DAP.

Activities are appropriate to each child’s developmental age and individual characteristics (personality, needs, learning style, interest, etc…).  DAP assumes that the process of learning is more important than the product.  Learning takes place through play.

We feel that building self-esteem, social skills, teaching cooperation, and encouraging decision-making is just as important as teaching academic skills.  Many things that children learn through play are related to feelings and social skills.  While it is important for children to learn academically, learning to be a good friend, learning how to appropriately express one’s feelings, building self-esteem, and decision-making are just as important.

Developmentally appropriate practice assumes that cognitive learning will take place if the materials and activities are present at the right time of ach child; when their interest and abilities are both present.

Our philosophy is as follows:  Children are always given choices; subject and skills are integrated, not taught separately, learning takes place through active exploration and interaction; teachers are alert to children’s stresses and frustration and act quickly to help them reduce it; and teaching is child empowered vs. teacher directed.

Learning Centers


At Children's Academy our classrooms are made up of "Learning Centers". The children are empowered to make their own choices, moving through the centers on their own.


Art Center

Painting, using fine motor skills with scissors, drawing, and making collages.... Our art activities emphasize the "process" not the "product". All children experience success in art. We encourage creativity, as well as reinforcing fine motor control and learning concepts such as color, shape, and texture.


Dramatic Play Center

This center takes on the physical characteristics of any experience children might encounter: Fix-it shop, pizza parlor, pet shelter, shoe store, post office... Through self-directed role-playing, the child increases verbalization, social skills, and self-confidence.


Science and Discovery Center

The primary purpose of this center is to provide sensory experiences relating to science. Experiments proceed through observation and exploration... hands-on activities. Activities emphasis is on measuring, weighing, magnifying etc.

Theme Curriculum


As a theme based curriculum year round school, we are able to introduce information for learning using many different avenues and all 5 senses.  These themes are used in all activities within a child’s’ day.  For instance during September we may have a “red” theme.  To introduce the color red we may have the children touch red toys, paint with a red brush, or eat red foods such as apples, or tomato sauce.  During each year we may celebrate many holidays and incorporate the holidays into our themes.  We love to celebrate your child’s birthday, New Years Day, Presidents Day, the seasons, Christmas and many more.  Our themes may be bugs/insects, transportation, plants & seeds or rivers & water.  With the different themes we may include the classes incorporate these themes within their gross motor skill activities, fine motor skills, social and cognitive development.