C. elegans cki-1 encodes a member of the CIP/KIP family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, and functions to link postembryonic developmental programs to cell cycle progression. The expression pattern of cki-1::GFP suggests that cki-1 is developmentally regulated in blast cells coincident with G1, and in differentiating cells. Ectopic expression of CKI-1 can prematurely arrest cells in G1, while reducing cki-1 activity by RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) causes extra larval cell divisions, suggesting a role for cki-1 in the developmental control of G1/S. cki-1 activity is required for the suspension of cell cycling that occurs in dauer larvae and starved L1 larvae in response to environmental signals. In vulva precursor cells (VPCs), a pathway of heterochronic genes acts via cki-1 to maintain VPCs in G1 during the L2 stage.