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Underlying Principles

The Devereux Early Childhood Initiative Resources & Training reflect the following underlying principles:
  1. Devereux Early Childhood IntitiativeThe Devereux Early Childhood Initiative (DECI) is child-centered: The assessment, classroom strategies, family partnerships, and follow-up efforts respond to children's individual characteristics and acknowledge the role of families and communities in child development. The DECI Resources & Training reflect the relationship between young children's development and their behaviors.

  2. The DECI is strength-based: The assessments created through the DECI (DECA, DECA-I/T, and DECA-C) identify a child's strengths related to each protective factor. Results are then used to set goals for each child. Teachers and other professionals as needed will develop individualized plans for achieving the goals using strategies that build on the strengths of the child and family.

  3. The DECI encourages partnerships between teachers and families: Families and teachers each complete the DECI assessments (DECA, DECA-I/T, and DECA-C), and jointly review the results, sometimes with the help of a Mental Health Professional (particularly in the case of the DECA-C). Teachers, families, and other professionals then collaborate to develop, implement, and evaluate individualized plans to address a child's needs and support development at home and in the classroom.

  4. The DECI recommends strategies that fit within an early childhood program's current practices: The strategies suggested through the DECI Resources & Training are developmentally appropriate. Plans can be implemented in a child's classroom or home as a part of established daily routines, activities and experiences.

  5. The DECI supports effective collaboration: Families, teachers, and specialists share knowledge and work as a team to understand and address a child's needs. The team: - collects assessment data - reviews assessment findings - designs, implements and evaluates individualized plans to address a child's needs and support development - observes and documents a child's progress - reviews and evaluates the plan's effectiveness.

  6. The DECI empowers professionals to be data-driven: Throughout the year, staff use multiple sources to collect data about their program practices and about each child's skills, interests, needs and other relevant characteristics. They use information to complete a DECA, DECA-I/T (or DECA-C when appropriate) and to plan for individuals and the group.
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