The cerebellum has a simple cytoarchitecture consisting of a folded cortex with three cell layers that surrounds a nuclear structure housing the output neurons. The excitatory neurons are generated from a unique progenitor zone, the rhombic lip, whereas the inhibitory neurons and astrocytes are generated from the ventricular zone. The growth phase of the cerebellum is driven by lineage-restricted progenitor populations derived from each zone. Research during the past decade has uncovered the importance of cell-to-cell communication between the lineages through largely unknown signaling mechanisms for regulating the scaling of cell numbers and cell plasticity during mouse development and following injury in the neonatal (P0-P14) cerebellum. This Review focuses on how the interplay between cell types is key to morphogenesis, production of robust neural circuits and replenishment of cells after injury, and ends with a discussion of the implications of the greater complexity of the human cerebellar progenitor zones for development and disease.