Epigenetic mechanisms are fundamental key features of developing cells connecting developmental regulatory factors to chromatin modification. Changes in the environment during renal development can have long-lasting effects on the permanent tissue structure and the level of expression of important functional genes. These changes are believed to contribute to kidney disease occurrence and progression. Although the mechanisms of early patterning and cell fate have been well described for renal development, little is known about associated epigenetic modifications and their impact on how genes interact to specify the renal epithelial cells of nephrons and how this specification is relevant to maintaining normal renal function. A better understanding of the renal cell-specific epigenetic modifications and the interaction of different cell types to form this highly complex organ will not only help to better understand developmental defects and early loss of kidney function in children, but also help to understand and improve chronic disease progression, cell regeneration and renal aging.