Understanding Early Childhood Development: Why It’s Important for You and Your Child

RRP 9772

Early childhood development is complex, but knowing about key developmental milestones and expectations can bring positive outcomes to families as they help nurture their child’s growth. Families will be better able to:

  1. Appreciate that all children are UNIQUE with their own strengths, interests, needs, and culture.
  2. TEACH children about themselves, others, and the world around them.
  3. Develop healthy RELATIONSHIPS that help children feel safe and secure, support their learning, and give them a sense of competence and confidence as learners.
  4. Make purposeful and intentional DECISIONS that will best support a young child’s ongoing development.

Knowing about development will support you by providing a point of reference for what a child should and should not be doing at each developmental phase. You’ll be more observant and mindful to see and appreciate your child as an individual and plan around their strengths, needs and interests. You’ll be able to create a safe and engaging environment as well as set realistic expectations that guide children’s behavior in positive ways so that they are safe and free to explore and meaningfully interact with people and activities to support healthy growth. You’ll also have a tool to reference if there are any concerns about a child’s development that may signal a potential delay, disorder, or effect from a traumatic event.

Click here to access a developmental checklist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that will help you to monitor your child’s development.

Early Childhood Advisory Council; New York State Council on Children and Families; New York State Early Learning Guidelines; Rensselaer, 2012.