Developmental Education for Young Children in the Netherlands: Basic Development

Bea Pompert, M. Dobber

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter describes Starting Blocks and Basic Development.

This approach and curriculum provides possible answers for professionals working with young children. We focus on broad development of children by creating meaningful teaching opportunities in the context of play. We define play as a specific format of cultural activities that are characterised by rules that constitute the activity, high levels of involvement and the degrees of freedom that the cultural community allows to the player (B. van Oers, 2010).

In Basic Development, we start from activities infused with sociocultural contents matching with everyday situations, books, stories, etc.

The professional’s role is important. During play and other activities, the professional is alert for ‘teaching opportunities’, taking care that the quality of play is not impaired.

In activities and dialogue, both professional and children cooperate in a dynamic process. We use five didactic impulses to structure the professionals assistance (Janssen-Vos 2008) for promoting children’s meaningful learning in play. These five impulses are useful to achieve the balance between the active process of meaning making of the children and the explicit educational goals and expected results.

In this chapter we describe some examples and give insight into the ingredients of Starting Blocks and Basic Development. We finally describe the implementation strategy, focusing on the enhancement of the adults’ abilities to work with a play-based curriculum in their own everyday practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Early Childhood Education
EditorsMarilyn Fleer, Bert van Oers
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages1137
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-024-0927-7
ISBN (Print)978-94-024-0925-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Starting blocks
  • Basic development
  • Developmental Education
  • Play
  • implementation


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