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1 Child Development

Child Development (NAEYC 12 Principles of Child Development)-Understanding child development serves as the fundamental building block for ensuring effective and appropriate programs, practices, and policies are in place to support young children’s development and learning. When children lack a strong foundation, teaching and learning become more difficult and costly with full potential often unrealized.

Brain Development – The human brain undergoes its most rapid development during the first five years and establishes the neurological foundation for subsequent development and learning. Advances in neuroscience have direct implications for understanding how children develop and impact of adverse influences.

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Whole Child – Children’s development is a complex, dynamic, multidimensional phenomenon involving five main dimensions of growth, all of which are intertwined and interdependent: Physical Development and Well-being; Social and Emotional; Cognitive; Approaches to Learning; and Communication, Language and Literacy. Over-emphasizing a single domain may be counterproductive to maximizing children’s potential.

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Ages and Stages – A 3-year-old is quite different from a third grader. Promoting the optimal development and learning of children of different ages appropriately requires an understanding of the predictable developmental stages across all domains which children typically progress through as they grow older.

  • Infant (birth – 18 months)
  • Toddler (18 months – 3 years)
  • Preschool (3 and 4 years)
  • School-age (5 years +)

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  • What are these children learning?
  • The Dog That Tried to Fly

Individual Differences – Every child is an individual, bringing forth a unique combination of interests, abilities, and behaviors. This uniqueness must be thoughtfully supported to help a child reach her fullest potential. Still, when concerns arise as a child lags behind expected milestones, it is important to act accordingly. In such instances, prevention gives way to early intervention and remediation.

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