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Understanding and Promoting Children’s Development

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2406 words Published: 21st Sep 2021

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All children develop at different speeds, but will usually follow an expected pattern. Gaining an understanding of the expected pattern of development can help to identify where children have significant delays in their development. It is important for practitioners working with children to have a good knowledge of child development in order to identify any development delays early. When we are looking a child development, it some areas we need to examine the areas of physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social development, moral development.When we talk about physical development in children, we usually mean two things: the development by which children grow physically, and their increasing skill at achieving a range of different motor tasks, using their large and lesser strengths. As their great weights develop, children go in stage from rolling over to riding a tricycle. As their slight muscles develop, children go since seizing a rattle to easing beads or eventually writing.

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Cognitive development is concerned with the child’s intellectual development. Children often change faster than we understand, changing and developed until they reach a fundamental milestone. One second they are throwing board books in the toy box, the next they are exploding through the pages of story books and as they grow older, they start reading for their own enjoyment and choosing their own books. Piaget was a main theorist and psychologist who developed stages to understand cognitive development. He used to observation the on the child’s thinking and suggested that children progress through a series of stage in their thoughtful, each of which agrees to wide-ranging changes in the structure or logic of their intelligence. Piaget called the main stages of development the sensory motor, concrete operations, and the preoperational and Formal operational stage and emphasised that they occur in that order. Good link to Piaget’s theory.

With communication development of the child, in the first five years of life, when brain development is most speedy, children are more open to learning and more receptive to educational experiences than they will ever be. If a child is communicating less than others of his age, he is unlikely to develop the responses essential to his progress. That child’s communication development may be delayed. Freud and Erikson believed that a child’s development can be affected by their personalities rather than their ability. Concrete learning needs may affect progress because a child having difficulties with reading and writing and they are not receiving the extra help they need will probably reduce their chances of progress. As a person and a human being a child is different from other beings as children grow older, they become increasingly more independent and will often find themselves in situations where they need to make their own decisions. A child's effective development always occurs in relation to the dynamics of education and can never be explained apart from them, but decision making can seriously stress them out and affect their health. Later incapacity to make decisions could be because of knowledge incapacity, psychological health problems, brain damage, alcohol and drug misuse, or any other of illness or disability. However, some types parental of decisions such as marriage, civil partnership, divorce, sexual relationships and adoption.

Social and emotional development is about the way in which children learn to be with others. Children will find it hard to make friends if they have not learned; for example children have their earliest strongest relationships with their parent which is called attachment and appears to be essential for children’s late development. In the 1950s research showed how important they were. John Bowlby was one of the researches who believe there was a link between later abilities to form relationships and respect society’s rules and children’s early attachments. He noted that moving from home to when children enter nursery or school, they separation anxiety which can be tough for children of the all ages. It is important to identify this and find ways of helping them.

Moral development is the way in which children learn the difference between right and wrong. This is a question that is difficult to answer. Some theories are presented by Lowrence Kohlberg and Piaget. Both believe people change as they are grew up including behaviour, social and their different abilities and may react very differently to real life situations that they find themselves when they are in a dilemma or strange environment. Piaget results was distinguished different stages in children’s and how they aware of the rules of play games and judging children or punish them which could be the child subjectivism which child cooperation but not understanding the rules and consequences as chosen to fit crime. However, Kohlberg agree with Piaget’s theory he believe dilemma can occur in real life. Kohlberg hypothesised that in societies still limited of some stages of moral development.

There are factor that influence a child’s life denied from nature or genetics, such as: problems during pregnancy and at birth, health, disability or mental health conditions. However, children’s development is a shaped by both what they are born with and the experiences that they have. Children’s development starts from conception. Genetic information packaged together from the egg and sperm. This process at conception is not always perfect as sometimes genetic information is faulty and this can affect children’s health or development. Babies’ development can also be affecte during pregnancy by such conditions as: smoking, drugs and alcohol which can harm babies. Foetal alcohol syndrome can also affects the way a baby’s brain develops and is caused by exposure to alcohol whilst in the womb. The premature birth of a child can influence later development. If the baby may not breathe straight away or may be injured during the birth this could cause learning difficulties. Child health is determined by a variety of factors such as their genetic make up for example: a child may be born with a blood disorder and sickle cell disease and poor health can affect a child’s development as children may find it harder to make friends because they miss the sessions or they cannot physical enjoin in. This means that professionals who work with children have to look at ways of making sure that children do not lose out. There are reasons why development may not follow expected patterns. Disabilities or health conditions are genetic that begin in the early years of children’s lives and influence their development. Also different types of disability will affect development in different ways, such as Down syndrome a genetic disability that affects a child’s cognitive ability and growth.

External factors from the environment can affect a child’s development such as poverty, diet, family background, family circumstances, personal decision, education and housing. Poverty is one of the most devastating yet stoppable conditions working against the health development of children. In the UK increasing numbers of children are experiencing poverty. This can influence a child’s physical health, emotional and psychological health. Absolute poverty is a lack of basic human needs including food, shelter, warmth, sanitation, health care and education. Children’s growth, behaviour and development can be affected by their diet. A stable diet will help children to continue healthy, as well as grow. Families experiencing poverty may buy cheaper food, which are often or highly processed, containing amounts of saturated fat, salt and sugar and minimal nutritional value. These types of food can lead to obesity and malnutrition in children making them lethargic, unsettled and hyperactive in certain health conditions. Families experiencing poverty or those on lower incomes may live in housing that is of poor conditions can lead more susceptible to illness. Children who live in crowded housing or who have limited access to large areas may not get the opportunities to exercise and develop their physical skills. This can lead to obesity and delay in physical development.

Different cultures may hold different values and beliefs about how children are brought up, for example: girls in many cultures are not given the same opportunities as boys, which will limit their development because they are not able to go to school. Another example: in traveller families traditionally they see the female as the homemaker and girls from around the age 10, are removed from school in order to take care of the families. This can affect their development as they are not receiving the statutory education as recommended in the UK.

Unexpected delays and disabilities can develop as the child grows up. If a practitioner is about concerned the child and is truly doubtful something's wrong, they should speak up, although parents are often the first to notice developmental delays because they know their children best. Most developmental testing is done by health visitors but, if theysuspecta child hasnot been successful to reach a milestone at a given time, it is important to identify their support needs early in order to get the appropriate intervention in place to support overall learning and development, and to reduce the impact that the delay may have on the child. When the child has development delay this can lead to frustration, changes in behaviour and less opportunity.

Early Intervention is a national programme that created in the 1975 Education of All Handicapped Children Act the early intervention programme was designed to provide cognitive stimulation and an aim is to prevent the lower intellectual functioning of the children at risk and to achieve the best thinkable outcome for the child.. For example, this would suits low income, pregnant women with low educational achievement, also providing facilities to children and toddlers with disabilities and their families or carers and helping children growing up to learn the basic skills that emphasise the development of cognitive, language, social and motor skills for the first three years of their life. This programme will help to meet the child’s individual’s needs and may include the different services to provide for them, for example, medical services, nursing, health status, physical therapy, psychological services etc. Services may also be provided to address the needs and priorities of the child’s family. Family-centred services are supposed to help family members understand the special needs of their child and how to enhance their development. Early intervention practitioners are allocated by the Educational Individual Plan (EIP) agency according to the knowledge, assistances and expertise needed.

Different developmental outcomes may be covered by early intervention practitioners. Firstly, a specialist doctors needs to diagnose the child’s development status to establish the need for early intervention. Next, the child must be assessed to identify its strengths and development needs. Thirty, support should be provide for the family to help them understand the child’s special needs and enhance its development. Health services will enable the child as benefit from other early intervention such as special needs therapy and an audiologist should identify any auditory problem. Learning activities should be planned to help the child learn new skills. The key worker should identify technical equipment to assist any child with development delays or disabilities.

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Early intervention is essential to achieve the best possible outcome for the child. However multi-agencies working is important too especially when all the professionals are involved with a child as they share information and co-operate with each other lives can be improved and even protected. Multi-agency working will be established following on from early intervention of a delay in a child’s development. Baby P is an example of multi-agencies not working together properly, early intervention did not occur and they did not work together to help prevent the unnecessary death. Early years practitioners can provide information for local services which may be helpful to disadvantaged or helpless families, we can work together with social workers, health authorities and even DHSS by helping to complete forms for additional benefits the family may be entitled to. The best interest of the child is always the importance, policies and guidance must also be followed when a referral is being made to a separate agency, working together for the advantage of the child.


Department for children, schools and families (2010) Early Intervention Securing good outcomes for all children and young people http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DCSF-00349-2010.pdf

In 1975 Education of All Handicapped Children Act in UK http://www.educationengland.org.uk/history/chapter07.html

Freud and Erikson (1930) child’s development can be affected by their personalities rather than their ability http://psych.ku.edu/dennisk/CP333/Emotional_Mid_Child.pdf

Jean Piaget's (1973) Stages of Cognitive Development

http://www.icels-educators-for learning.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46&Itemid=61

Kohlberg, L. & Turiel, E. (1971). Moral development and moral education. In Lawrence Kohlberg,Collected Papers on Moral Development and Moral Education (1973),pp. 410-465.


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