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Guiding Principles

By: Unity Lewis

Development and learning across the full

continuum from birth to five years is important.
Learning and development begin before birth and
continue throughout life.
Good prenatal care and high-quality early care and
education experiences throughout the early childhood
period are essential.
Teachers and care givers can use Foundations as a guide
to provide positive learning experiences for young
children of all ages.

Each Child is Unique.

Childrens development results from a combination of
many factors.
Foundations should be used as a guide to understand
how development generally unfolds.
Children will differ in how and when they demonstrate
progress in the areas described within the
Developmental Indicators.

Development occurs in predictable patterns but an

individual childs developmental progress is often
uneven across different stages and across
developmental domains.
Even though each child is unique, there are some
predictable steps or stages of development.
One ability or skill usually develops before another.
Children vary a great deal, however, in when and how
they reach each stage, they may make more progress in
one are of development than another.

Young childrens learning is integrated across different

areas of development so Foundations-and learning
experiences provided for children-must address all

As young children learn and grow, each area of their

development is interrelated and makes a contribution to
how well they learn and master new skills.
Foundations and the learning opportunities that
children experience must address all areas of their
development in an integrated manner.

Many factors influence a childs development, including

relationships with family members and others and
experiences within the home, early learning setting, and
How a child develops is based on a combination of
factors, the culture they live in, and their experiences
within their family and in other settings.
Each of these factors is important in a childs growth
and development.

Each Child Develops Within A Culture

North Carolina is home to families and children from
diverse cultural backgrounds.
This diversity is a benefit because families from
different backgrounds bring a wealth of strength,
knowledge, and and values to our state.
It is important to respect each childs culture.