Synaptic connections undergo a dynamic process of stabilization or elimination during development, and this process is thought to be critical in memory and learning and in establishing the specificity of synaptic connections. The type II calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII) has been proposed to be pivotal in regulating synaptic strength and in maturation of synapses during development. Here we describe how CaMKII regulates the formation of central glutamatergic synapses in Caenorhabditis elegans. During larval development, the density of ventral nerve cord synapses containing the GLR-1 glutamate receptor is held constant despite marked changes in neurite length. The coupling of synapse number to neurite length requires both CaMKII and voltage-gated calcium channels. CaMKII regulates GLR-1 by at least two distinct mechanisms: regulating transport of GLR-1 from cell bodies to neurites; and regulating the addition or maintenance of GLR-1 to postsynaptic elements.