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Child Care Glossary

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The process in which a child gains skills in areas such as: social/emotional; intellectual; speech/language; and physical growth. This process includes both fine and gross motor skills.

Developmental Appropriate Practice

The implementation of curriculum and activities suitable for a child’s stage of development that supports the child’s learning process.

Developmental Delay

A delay in the acquiring of abilities and skills typically reached by children of similar ages.

Developmental Disabilities

Any condition or disorder that interferes with a child’s development and are typically evident before a person reaches age 22. Such conditions are likely to continue indefinitely.

Developmental Domains

A term used by professionals to describe different areas of a child’s development. Examples are gross motor development and fine motor development.

Developmental Milestones

Term describing memorable accomplishments in child’s growth. Examples include: rolling over, crawling, walking, talking, etc.

Developmental Stages

An expected, sequential order of obtaining skills that children typically go through. Examples: crawling before walking, using fingers to feed themselves before using utensils.

Distance Learning

Using technology – radio, television, computer, or video – to allow student or professionals in one location to participate in activities/classes/meetings in another location.

Dramatic Play

Engaging in pretend play or acting out a scenario. Role play.

Drop Off Child Care Centers

These facilities provide care for children for short periods of time while parents run errands or go to appointments.

Drop- in Care

A child care program that parents may use as back up or unscheduled child care.

Dual Language Immersion

Child care settings in which a child experiences a primary language that is different from the home/native language.


An impairment in the brain’s processing of information that results in difficulty reading, spelling, writing, and related language skills. For more information, click here .