Area 1: Child Growth and Development

Solid knowledge of how children grow and develop is the cornerstone of quality early childhood practice. It lays the foundation for designing environments and curriculum, for observing and assessing, and for integrating diverse learners. Professionals working with young children must understand what to expect regarding children's range of abilities so as to be able to plan appropriate sequences of action, adjust teaching strategies, and pose manageable tasks and challenges to extend learning for all children.

In addition to being knowledgeable about the theories that spell general sequences of human development, early care and education professionals must understand the roles played by the uniqueness of each individual as well as the impact of culture and the expectations of families. It is the complexity of these components and how they interact that makes the work of early childhood professionals such a complex and worthy endeavor.


Core Competencies:

Select a competency below to view the competency profile, including the associated behaviors and skills.

The professional working with young children:

  • 1.1

    Applies the cycle of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation to support children's healthy development

  • 1.2

    Encourages children's social and emotional development.

  • 1.3

    Helps children achieve self-regulation and acquire coping skills

  • 1.4

    Supports children's gross, fine, and graphomotor development

  • 1.5

    Supports children's cognitive development

  • 1.6

    Supports children's language

  • 1.7

    Encourages and supports English Language Learners

  • 1.8

    Facilitates children's play to encourage motor, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development

  • 1.9

    Supports children with special needs and their families