Development is holistic. There are many various areas of development and each area of development is individual in its own right. Even though they are individual, all of the areas of development are interlinked and they do not operate separately. To conduct activities and to partake in everyday occurrences, more than one single area of development is needed and involved in order to participate during these everyday events. It is important that as a childcare practitioner, these areas of development are recognised and understood so the services and activities we provide can be adapted and therefore, made appropriate for the child in order for them to grow and develop the necessary skills to develop to their full potential.
It is important however, to remember that every child is an individual and therefore should be treated as one. They should not be categorised by these patterns of development that are outlined and at what age this stage of development should be reached. Every child develops at different rates and so as a childcare practitioner, it is our responsibility to help the children to develop further by recognising the individuals areas of development that may need assistance to progress too and using the age and stages of development as a guideline. By recognising areas of development and at what age this should be roughly reached, it allows any areas of development that may need to be assisted to be reached to be observed and any concerns in a child’s development to be highlighted.
Physical development 0-3 years Babies are born with a range of reflexes. As the child develops, its movements become more controlled as their body grows stronger and their muscle tome increases. Usually, by the time the child is one year old, they are able to sit up and are mobile, can reach objects and handle them well and with ease. Children usually start walking around the age 0f 12 to 15 months. As the child’s development progresses, larger gross movements are gained before smaller more fine movements, their fine motor skills.
These progressions and movements are made possible due to formation of the bones in the body and them starting to harden. This is a process that continues until the end of adolescence. Between 18 months and 3 years, children may be ready to start toilet training. This is due to the brain developing the ability to send and co-ordinate messages between different parts of the body. Toilet training and this stage of development is dictated by the brains stage of development and how well it can send the necessary signals to and from the brain. The same development is needed to gain the ability to walk without bumping into objects. Intellectual, learning and communication 0-3 years
At 1-6 months, cries are voluntary and communication becomes apparent via facial expressions such as smiling and starting to make noises and gurgling at carers. Will start acknowledge the source of the sound by moving eyes towards it and raising their head. Children of this age, learn to shout to attract attention. They become more vocal and start to babble and repeat sounds. At this age, a baby is learning through their senses and discovers and explores their environment through their mouth. This stage is known as the sensory-motor period. At 6-9 months, children start to play around and experiment with sounds.
Communication is still mainly through babbling, gurgling and laughing and the frequency of this form of communication increases. Simple words are starting to be understood and they recognise their own name. At this stage, exploration of objects and the environment is still done through the mouth and now also the fingers and touching. Children at this age may start to behave and act strangely towards strange people and also strange situations. Children begin to understand cause and effect of their simple actions and activities. Imitation of actions and sounds occur at this age and the child becomes more interested in their surroundings. At 9-18 months, the child’s awareness increases. Babbling starts to reflect speech intonation and the child will start to attempt to imitate simple words. Children within this age bracket start to gain an awareness of words that are associated with people and objects. Begins to point at people and their surroundings. Vocabulary develops but the child can understand more than what they can say. The world is seen from their point of view, ‘egocentric’.
When an object becomes out of sight, the child begins to understand they still exist although the object cannot be seen. Children become very interested in exploring their surroundings and shows great determination and curiosity and start to learn through ‘trial and error’. The child can imitate simple actions with some understanding of what these actions mean such as clapping their hands and waving goodbye as well as imitating using everyday objects such as the telephone. Exploration of their surroundings is less often done by mouth now. At this age, the children may know certain parts of the body and often refer to themselves by name, which they now fully recognise and respond to. An interest is shown with picture books and an enjoyment is apparent with sounds. 18 months–3 years, at this stage, vocabulary increases and they now often name familiar objects and people and learns to repeat new words and sentences.
By 3 years, there is a rapid increase in the child’s vocabulary and may start to use two-word phrases. Sentences become longer but telegraphic speech is used. Children at this age start to listen to stories and simple requests are starting to be understood and obeyed. At this stage, the child is still egocentric. The child’s way of thinking is still connected to concrete objects as to what is seen. Through the use of words, the child begins to make order of things and may start to predict what is going to happen. The child of this age shows an interest and start to participate in role play or make believe as they become more imaginative with their play. Starts to recognise parts of the body, colours, count without assistance to ten or more and can recognise several rhymes or songs and participate in them. Social, emotional and behavioural development 0-3 years
1-6 months:- Responds to primary carer by smiling and is most content when near familiar carers/ mother. Expresses pleasure by using whole body movements. Is friendly towards any interested adult or child and enjoys games with them. Becomes less self-centred and starts to react more to the surroundings but shows a dislike to loud noises and cries when uncomfortable or annoyed. By 6 months, children tend to sleep less than before and want more company to play with. Still usually friendly to strangers but can be shy or anxious when approached especially if the main carer is out of sight.
Watches movements of other people, shows an interest in wanting to start feeding themselves with their fingers. 9 months:- Turns in the direction of the mothers voice and gets upset when separated from the primary carer, holds arms up to be lifted. Is happy and sociable with familiars but may show shyness towards strangers by hiding their face clinging to their carer and taking cue from the main carers’ reaction to the new situation. Children at this age start to show an interest in everything. They attract attention from others by shouting or crawling over and pulling adults clothes. They also start to depend on their family for reassurance. Increasingly seeking independence and will throw themselves back or stiffen up in annoyance.
They can start to shows signs of anxiety when they are left alone. 1 year:- Partakes mainly in solitary play although enjoying other children’s company, but they do not play with them. They enjoy songs, rhymes and books. Fear of strangers increases. Emotionally, the children have been dependent on familiar adults, but do like to be independent at times and sometimes this can cause conflict. At this age, children may start to become defiant, frustrated and may have the occasional temper tantrum. They love having cuddles, fun games, tickling, hiding and chasing. 2 years:- At this age, the child consistently demands attention and starts to imitate carers. The child likes to gain a response from an adult when they have done something.
Children partake in “parallel play” alongside other children but not with them. At this age they have not developed the idea of sharing and they cling on to their own possessions. They need a lot of attention, reassurance and love. They become very dependent on adults and jealous of attention when it is given to others. They start to be able to say how they feel but are frustrated when they cannot express themselves more, their mood can change very quickly. 3 years:- General behaviour becomes more co-operative and likes to help or be included in activities. They start to join in with games with other children and to share but they still need to be in small groups. They start to enjoy sharing experiences, imitate and copies adults with a purpose and they begin to help adults. They are interested in making and having friends. Emotionally they are much steadier. This emotional maturity shows in friendliness, sociability and desire to please. Become more affectionate towards carers, siblings and pets. They are able to share and play more with others due to feeling more secure. This secure feeling may revert due to various circumstances. Sometimes children start to develop fears due to children now being more able to use their imagination. Moral development
At 3 years of age, the child is beginning the start of moral reasoning by developing the concept of being helpful. At this age, the children believe that there are fixed rules that are unchangeable
Physical Development 3-7 years
Their brain has developed further therefore being able to process information more quickly. As a result of this their movements become more coordinated and smoother. Children can dress themselves more quickly, have fewer accidents. As a result of increased coordination, children gain in confidence by becoming more agile and they can climb well, balancing on one leg, ride a bike and use a bat and ball. Fine motor skills are increased and preference to one hand is shown. Fine pincers grasp is mastered and therefore pencil control is good and they are able to thread objects on to string. Can turn pages of a book easily and can start to use scissors carefully and properly. Writing becomes more like an adults writing and their hand eye coordination is becoming more developed. Intellectual, learning and communication 3-7years
At 3-5 years, children can learn new words more easily and quickly and longer sentences are starting to be formed, similar to adult speech. Children begin to use pronouns correctly and use language to repeat past experiences and also start to tell long stories and ask many questions. Learning songs becomes a quicker process and children may begin to recognise a few written words as well as begin to write them.
The thoughts of children of this age range tend to be ‘black and white’ and reasoning is often illogical. Children can now classify objects, shapes and have a concept of number as well as now having an understanding of time- past, present and future. Imaginative play or ‘make-believe’ can be sustained for longer periods of time by children of this age bracket and they are able to distinguish between truth and falsehood. When drawing, children are now able to draw things that are more recognisable. Demonstrates an enjoyment when playing games that have ‘rules’. At 6 years, children become easily distracted due to physical energy and therefore they learn better through exploratory methods. Becomes more interested in learning and also enjoy stories.
Children are able to move from one activity to another easily. Due to increased maturity, children of this age are able to think more before making any decisions they may have to make and therefore, decisions are not made as quickly as before. Drawings done by children of this age are more realistic. A greater understanding of number and the concept of time, measure, volume and distance is developed at this age. The language of the children of this age widens to include the child being able to talk confidently and fluently, pronouncing most of the sounds of their own language. Language also widens to reading and writing. It is at this age that the child may be an incessant chatterer. It is at 7 years of age that children are in the concrete ‘operational’ stage. This is the stage that allows the child to store, retrieve and reorganise experiences to fit them to new challenges that they may come across.
When given new materials, children of this age enjoy manipulating and experimenting with these new materials. Have a great understanding of number and are able to conserve number and also do simple mental arithmetic as well as tell the time accurately. Children of this age bracket have the ability to draw logical conclusions and understand cause and effect. Children at this age still shout if they believe something to be unfair but use language more now in order to reason. Children become more interested in words and are able to read to themselves more and also begin to write their own stories. Talk at this age is more confident and children of this age are able to listen to what others have to say. At this age, children use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds as well as beginning to assist them in writing independently with enthusiasm. Social, emotional and behavioural development 3-7 years
3-5 years, children of this age have their own sense of identity and play with one or two children rather than in larger groups (although they may start to join in games with larger groups) and are able to take turns and share. Children prefer to participate in rivalry games to team games. If a child is hurt or crying, at this age, a concern for those upset or hurt is shown and they are able to show sensitivity towards others. They are cooperative towards friends and are protective towards younger siblings and pets and often have one ‘special’ friend. The general behaviour of children of this age range, becomes more independent and self-willed and are generally more sensible and controlled as they become more stable and emotionally secure.
Praise and encouragement is still needed in order to progress so support and assistance from an adult is still required at this age range. 6 years, friendships seem to form and dissolve rapidly and children of this age tend t play better with one friend rather than with two. Boys are more likely to fight where girls are more likely to use verbal taunts. Children of this age are more aware of acceptable behaviour and start to like social events. At this age, children are generally more confident and independent but can be hesitant, indecisive and frightened due to their increased mental ability children have to see there is more than one side. Children are very dependent on adults for direction and guidance and are eager for praise and recognition.
Moods of children of this age can change easily and are capable of demonstrating strong verbal as well as physical temper. At 7 years, children are more self-aware and no longer like to get changed in the presence of other children. Become independent in all washing, dressing and toileting skills. They become more aware of others needs and feelings and likes to help. Close friendships are formed and these are usually with people of the same gender. At this age, children start to move away from the dependence on family to provide reassurance. Are now able to control their own emotions and can often hide their true feelings. May appear quieter as children now absorb more than they give out and may sulk if upset rather than have an outburst. Children of this age have a growing sense of right and wrong and may have a fear of new situations as they now have the ability to imagine what can occur. Moral Development 3-7 years
At four years old, the child begins to learn the process of sharing and taking turns as they are beginning to understand the needs of others. Children of this age begin to figure out right and wrong in behaviour. At 5 years, the social rules of their culture are understood and they instinctively assist children when they are in distress. At 6 years old, further concepts such as the concept of fairness and forgiveness are being understood. At 7 years, the children have a clear sense of what is right and what is wrong. Feelings are beginning to be expressed such as awe and wonder, usually over nature.
Physical development 7-12 years
Physical development continues to develop and depends on their interests. Fine motor skills are also good at this age and children have become able to
make more precise movements. At this stage, hormone levels are very low and this changes when the body develops and produces more hormones. In terms of strength, there is very little difference between boys and girls. From around 10 years of age, girls will start to see the process of adolescence and most finish around the age of 15 years. Boys usually start this process of adolescence later at around 12 or 13 years and finishes at around 16 years of age. Adolescence begins with a growth spurt and different parts of the body grow at different rates. Bones harden and muscle strength and grip increases. Children have good dexterity and can undertake detailed work and handwriting becomes well formed. Intellectual, language and communication 7-12 years
Verbal and mental abilities of young people of this age are becoming more sophisticated and children are becoming more of an independent thinker and interests start to develop. Children have moved from thinking in a self-centred way to being able to see situations from another person’s point of view and begin to gain an understanding to the reasons behind other people’s actions. Start to think logically about objects and events (Piaget’s concrete operational stage) children at this age have a better understanding of mathematical relationships and gains a more accurate and realistic understanding of the world. Children become more capable of reasoned arguments and are able to remember well, are attentive and able to express their ideas. At this age they begin to discover the power of words and often do not realise how hurtful words can be. Their vocabulary had extended resulting in being effective in written and verbal communications therefore enabling them to use language appropriately according to the social situation. Complex sentences are now used. By 11 years of age, their written work is often more long and complex and most children in this age bracket are reading fluently and handwriting is now well formed. Social, emotional and behavioural development 7-12 years
Child begins to question parental judgement and can resent adult authority and restrictions on freedom. Turns to friends for acceptance but can easily be upset when approval is not given. Achievement becomes important to children of this age and failure will upset the child and they can easily
lose confidence. At this age bracket, children become aware of any weaknesses they may have and view these weaknesses as making them different to their friends. This can result in the children becoming self-conscious especially when it is regarding body image and physical development and get easily upset if criticized. Dramatic emotional changes associated with puberty may occur especially with girls.
Friends are still usually of the same gender although an interest in the opposite sex is beginning to show. Some friendships may become a clique and if a child is excluded, this can be very upsetting. The potential for social maturity is rising and is enhanced by the quest for independence people of this age group have, as well as the autonomy linked to the greater reliance on friends. A sense of belonging in vital at this age and personal affirmation and confirmation is increased. By 11 years of age, friendship groups are usually established and a loyalty is shown to the group and their ‘best friend’. Moral Development 7-12 years
At 8-9 years, they see that rules are made by adults who must be respected and obeyed and therefore, believe that rules are fixed and cannot be changed. The difference between reality and fantasy is understood and their own personal standard of what is right and what is wrong is also developed. At 10-11 years, an understanding of changing rules by mutual negotiation and that the external authority do not always impose the rules. Rules that the children didn’t help make are often nit excepted. Conflict between their parent’s values and those values of their peers is now experienced.
Physical development 12-19 years
By the age of 14 and 15, girls have completed most of the process of puberty. Periods may have started and are on the way to becoming regular. For most boys, puberty has only just begun most will end it at 16 years of age. Boys are often stronger than girls as the ratio of fat to muscle is higher in girls than it is in boys. The brain continues to grow and develop in teenage years and improved reaction times, increased speed and coordination are the results of this brain development. Both girls and boys near their peak if diet and exercise levels are good. Intellectual, language and communication 12-19 years
At this age, interests begin to emerge and hobbies develop and this stage is a key period of learning and development. May develop to be good at artistic subjects. Are able to think independently and make own decisions. Can think about possibilities and are not directly observable and can plan well and organise their own thoughts. In this age range, people are able to think and discuss issues that adults can be preoccupied with such as religion, spirituality, morality and politics. Can use their imagination and can problem solve and start questioning things that had previously been taken for granted. Young people learn to speak and listen confidently in a wide variety of contexts. The ability to adapt language to what to say and how to say it depending on the situations and people is developed. Language becomes more fluent and they become more articulate. Different types of text can be read and can be articulated and confidence is gained with writing for a range of purposes. Their own distinctive style is developed and the importance of writing with commitment and vitality is recognised. Social, emotional and behavioural development 12-19 years
Within this age group, friends are most important and more time is spent with friends of both sexes. Family seems to become less important as they begin to make lasting and more intimate friendships. At this age, their own sexuality is accepted and sexual relationships may be formed and feelings that haven’t been experienced before. May start to experiment with self-image and what they feel comfortable with. Become more sociable, less shy as self-consciousness recedes. At this age, they may invest a considerable amount of emotional energy into a relationship and may lose interest in other areas of life. Develop a greater ability to compromise making them more tolerant and more composed in themselves and less self-absorbed. Develop the ability to compromise and therefore makes them more tolerant and are more composed. Moral Development 12-19 years
At 12-19 years, the ability to understand the perspective of other people and to think beyond themselves is developed as well as the development of their own ideas and values. These ideas and values often challenge those of their parents and they often deliberately contravene rules only if there is not a risk of being caught.
1.2) The sequence of development is a process where a series of events are followed one after another, leading to a mature state when the series of developmental changes are achieved successfully and normally. In child development this means that children must finish one area of development before moving on to another milestone. It is believed that development moves from the head downwards and that children will first need to gain control of the head and upper body, then their arms and finally their legs. For example, a baby will first start rolling sideways, then try sitting down and then soon after attempt crawling. Then at the age of 10-12 months will begin to stand and learn to walk.
The rate of development is the pace a child develops and grows at. It is important to remember that growth is a continuous process which differs for all individuals. For example, one baby may begin to walk at 10 months, whereas another baby may learn the same skill at 15 months or 18 months. This is perfectly normal. It is important to record the rate of development as you will be able to see if a child is clearly showing signs of delay in any aspect of their growth and development and they can be helped by them being given a special recommendation to aid them in everyday life.
1.3) There are many reasons why children and young people’s development may not follow the expected pattern. Disability may be a factor as the correct resources, equipment and facilities may not be available. There may be restrictions to the disability, for example, the child or young person may not be able to use parts of their body or may not be able to communicate effectively. There may be emotional reasons. The child or young person may not have a high level of confidence, this could restrict and obstruct emotional attachments and bonding with others.
The child or young person may be uncomfortable with expressing emotion. Children and young people who do struggle with emotional development tend to prefer their own company. If a child is witness to any physical or mental abuse when growing up, this could effect how they value or control their emotional feelings. Physical development could be a factor. This might be effected by genetics and can mean physical growth difficulties or the child may be a slow learner. Their environment may be a reason. What kind of education the child or youngperson have been receiving, where the child is living and their families financial state. There may be cultural factors, for example, in some countries a girl is deemed second class to a boy.
Other cultures have restrictions on children’s freedom, this can effect the child’s development. Social development is important as negative effects on this may result in poor development in this area. If the family give less time to activities which aid a child’s development this will cause a negative effect. Communication, like hearing problems or a child who is tounge tied, these children may find it hard to express themselves and have difficulties in learning to read or write. It is important that any developmental needs children may have are seen from an early age to ensure they get the correct help needed to assist them in everday life.
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