Several general guidelines can help teachers begin the process of creating a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Teachers must also understand the roles of child development, observation, curriculum goals, and planning in creating a developmentally appropriate program for young children. Integrated curriculum is a natural way of learning that makes the curriculum more relevant for children and allows for more in-depth study. The work of the Reggio Emilia programs in Italy has heightened interest in group project work for children. Projects are topics of interest that are studied in-depth. By carefully planning a schedule that meets the needs of young children, more effective learning can take place in the classroom. Student observations, documenting childhood learning, and the development of portfolios for individual students are important assessment alternatives to the traditional standardized tests in most early childhood classrooms. Whenever possible, teachers should inform and involve parents in curriculum and assessment issues.