Child Development Areas

Here are important definitions and elaboration in the professional field of early childhood development compiled especially to help support your journey in parenthood. We have referenced applicable development areas in our product description to further assist you to consider and choose which items may best support and enhance your child's needs.

A better understanding of early child development

Professional Development Areas: 

  • Well-being and Belonging
  • Exploration and Creativity
  • Languages and Literacies
  • Social Responsibility and Diversity

Well-Being and Belonging

A sense of well-being and belonging is vital to children as they learn about and explore the world around them. In the first years of life, children develop increasing mastery over their bodies and daily routines, supporting health and well-being over their lifespan and providing them with a sense of place – a feeling of being grounded in their immediate environment, their communities, their culture, and the wider world. This confidence is essential to children as they begin to explore their creative capacities as family members, friends, thinkers, citizens, and stewards of the natural environment.

Learning Goals

To promote a sense of well-being and belonging, adults provide an environment where young children can

    • feel safe and respected
    • learn ways to keep themselves healthy,
    • including nourishment, sleep, and physical activity
    • feel confidence in and control of their bodies
    • enjoy being and choose to be physically active
    • understand and follow routines
    • feel a sense of security, self-respect, and self-regulation
    • express a sense of personal well-being
    • recognize, accept, and express a wide range of emotions, thoughts, and views
    • adapt to and enjoy experiences of change, surprise, and uncertainty
    • feel valued and explore their own strategies for learning
    • build healthy relationships with both adults and children


Exploration and Creativity

The capacity to explore and create is vital to nurturing the zest for life that is the basis of all learning. Through play, children express their natural curiosity about the world and explore multiple early learning goals simultaneously.

Supporting children’s explorative play is perhaps the most important—and the most natural and accessible—means to promote meaningful learning in the early years.

Learning Goals

To promote exploration and creativity, adults provide an environment where young children can:

    • explore the world using their bodies and all their senses
    • build, create, and design using different materials and techniques actively explore, think and reason
    • identify and try possible solutions to problems in meaningful contexts and situations
    • be creative and expressive in a variety of ways
    • develop a sense of wonder for natural environments
    • express a zest for living and learning

Languages and Literacies

The development of languages and literacies among young children provides them with a strong basis for successful learning throughout their lifetimes. “Literacies” is a broad term used to describe the development of the physical, emotional, social, creative, linguistic and intellectual means of communication among young children. In cultivating language and literacies, it is essential to nurture the emotional, social, creative, and intellectual capacities that support the fluent use of a range of expressive mediums, rather than limiting learning activities to only “pre-reading” skills, such as learning the alphabet or counting to 10. By nurturing these capacities, and by encouraging children’s natural tendencies to engage in creative play, adults can help young children learn to respect, explore, and enjoy the languages and symbols of their own and other cultures.

Learning Goals

To promote the development of languages and literacies, adults provide an environment where young children can:

    • communicate thoughts and experiences
    • creatively using many different forms of expression
    • develop diverse language abilities and the capacity to communicate with others in
    • many ways
    • be curious about vocabulary, concepts, and written language
    • engage in sound and wordplay
    • use numbers, measurement, and form in meaningful contexts
    • experience the stories and symbols of their own and other cultures
    • express their own points of view and reflect
    • on others’ views

Social Responsibility and Diversity

Children’s learning experiences in the early years have long-term implications for their whole lives, and also for the future of their local, provincial, national and international communities, and the planet as a whole. Children benefit from opportunities to build relationships, to learn about their own heritage and culture and that of others, and to recognize the connection between their own actions and the wider world. These activities help build the ethical foundation for social and environmental health and well-being, now and in the future.

Learning Goals

To promote social responsibility and respect for diversity, adults provide an environment where young children can:

    • explore and learn about family, community and the wider world
    • express a positive regard for others and respect for self, others, and property
    • participate in the making, following, and re-working of rules, rituals, and procedures
    • in their everyday world
    • understand fairness both for themselves and for others
    • begin to recognize discrimination and inequity and to respond appropriately
    • learn to appreciate and celebrate diversity
    • understand that all persons have value; accept and welcome individual differences
    • understand how their own actions may affect nature and the planet
    • show responsibility for themselves and begin to show responsibility for others