Principals of child development


Principals of Child Development


  • All aspects of child development are integrated
  • There are several theories about how children learn and develop
  • Every child is individual
  • There are many factors that can influence children's development

Why do we observe and assess children?
  • To check children's overall development
  • To see if a child is progressing
  • To help planning
  • To evaluate activities routines or strategies used with children
  • To learn more about children's particular needs
  • To resolve a particular problem
  • To report accurately to parents
  • To report to other professionals
To check a child 's overall development 
  • Doctors regularly check children to see if there are any developmental difficulties
  • Important for detecting and diagnosing any problems early on
  • A child may be assessed on entry to a setting so that the staff will know if the child has any particular needs also to keep track of the child's progress
  • To see if a child is progressing
  • Regular assessment are carried out to ensure that the child is progressing
  • Overall development and in specific areas
To help planning 
  • From assessment and observations early years practitioners can plan and develop activities for children
To evaluate activities, routines or strategies used with children
  • After observations have been carried out, an early years practitioners can evaluate whether activities or strategies being used with the children are effective - perhaps a different approach needs to be taken.
  • Change the routine - perhaps if the children are noisy after play?
To learn more about children particular needs
  • If a child has an additional need, observations and assessment can be carried out to gain more information.
  • This information can than be used to plan activities and strategies for the children
  • For example as a result of your carrying out observations you find that a child's language skills are not developing well, what would you do?
    • read to them
    • talk to them
    • speech therapist
    • picture game
    • Phonetics of the alphabet
    • Songs / nursery Rhymes
To resolve a particular problem 
  • Observations can be carried out on a children to find out more about a particular problem
    • e.g.The child has no friends - observations could be carried out on the child's social interaction with other children.
To report accurately to parents
  • Parents need to be kept informed of a child's progress
  • Show the parents that their children is being seen as an individual


To report accurately to other professionals
  • Record based on observation are often in reporting to other professionals
  • E.g. When a children moves to school

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