Early childhood development builds confidence develops numeracy and literacy as well as allows children to learn social skills.
The key stages of early child development consist of infants through preschoolers focusing on the ages of 6 months up till 6 years.
6 – 9 months: Infants can sit without support, communicate through sounds and is alert when their name is used.
9 – 12 months: During this stage, infants can pick up objects, crawl and stand without support.
1 – 3 years: The next stage is being a toddler. Toddlers typically can start walking, climbing stairs and even jumping on the spot. They can also hold things like crayons, draw squiggles and circles, stack blocks, communicate through short sentences and follow simple instructions.
3 – 5 years: This is the preschool age where children begin to refine their motor skills. They can throw a ball overhand, skip and hop, stand on one foot for approximately 10 seconds, pick out their clothes and dress as well as draw features onto stick figures.
6 years: This is the age of school-going children where they have acquired qualities like capability, confidence, responsibility and gained some semblance of independence. They begin to build and form lasting friendships.
Importance Of Early Childhood Development and How It Can Impact a Child
Early childhood development nurtures the curiosity of children through exploration and discovery while active learning by experimentation and experiences help develop competence in reasoning and thinking skills.
Children begin developing secure attachments and confidence through the nurturing of their young parents. They become emotionally connected and demonstrate increasing autonomy as they learn to interact in a respectful, responsive and reciprocal manner.
Young parents must offer optimal support for their children to grow, learn and develop in a safe and healthy environment. These objectives can be met when routine care is exercised and a disposition for learning is fostered. They need to ensure that their children are offered holistic worthwhile experiences and access to a variety of spaces with natural and man-made materials. This allows them to be culturally aware of their curriculum at school.
Young parents should commit to certain standards and ethics when dealing with their children as well as engaging in reflective practices. They should communicate as a family, obtaining regular feedback to ensure the proper care, education and development are provided which will lead to building a strong partnership and relationship within the family and continue to do so. Young parents should also participate in their child’s life in various ways through the community, school and at home.
Young parents should have access to updated information and a network of resources via community engagement as it serves as a platform to enrich children’s lives and provide additional support for families.
Different Ways Parents Can Help Their Kids Early Childhood Development
Playing a vital role in children’s lives influence and support their journey to early childhood development because they are their child’s first educators. Being involved demonstrates how committed parents are in their children’s lives.
Doing simple things like reading, helping with their homework, attending school activities and meetings or volunteering in school will make a whole lot of difference toward contributing to their early childhood development.
This can also extend learning for a child beyond their classroom as parents understand their child’s curriculum more in-depth which gives them an advantage when helping with homework. A child does not stop learning when school is over as it is a continuous process however parents have a better sense of what is taught during school that enables them to connect with their child further such as asking specific questions relating to their day instead of the general, “How was your day?”
Children tend to develop a positive approach toward education and learning when there is a positive partnership between parent and child. This instils self-discipline and allows them to perform better and consistently overall.
Socially, kids become more comfortable around their peers and other individuals when parents take an active role in networking and including their children in social activities. This enhances their team building and communication skills.
Some key things to help kids in their early childhood development is to communicate, attend school activities, plan educational trips, home-based learning, regularly read with your child and ask questions.
Parents can facilitate early childhood development when they undertake the following:
To Make the Child Feel Secure and Emotionally Connected
- Understand that every child is unique and respond accordingly.
- Support their growth of secure connection relationships through warm, consistent and cultivating caregiving.
- Create a conventional and reliable environment for infants and young children.
- Create daily occasions for personal, one-to-one exchanges during personal care routines.
- Respond immediately when infants cry and when children in trouble need care and comfort.
- Maintain regular routines and programmes that are accommodating to a child’s moods and interests.
- Respond delicately to a child’s cues and attempts to instigate communication.
- Understand and accept that children experience strong emotions as part of their regular and wholesome development.
- Support children in articulating and solving a range of feelings through different approaches.
- Provide enough time for a smooth transition for children from one activity to the next.
- Observe culturally suitable habits that are sensitive to other homes, languages and beliefs.
To Build Confidence and Autonomy
- Remark and show happiness when infants establish new skills like reaching, shaking a rattle and holding their milk bottle.
- Introduce new material and activities progressively within the comfort of usual practices and individuals.
- Ensure proper books, toys and supplies are easily available.
- Tolerantly assist, help and show pleasure at children’s attempts and results.
- Provide chances and encourage children to enthusiastically discover the world.
- Offer opportunities for children to make choices.
- Give chances for children to participate in personal and combined group activities.