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Facts for Life

Child Development and Early Learning

Key Messages: What every family and community has a right to know

 
  1. The early years, especially the first three years of life, are very important for building the baby's brain. Everything she or he sees, touches, tastes, smells or hears helps to shape the brain for thinking, feeling, moving and learning.

  2. Babies learn rapidly from the moment of birth. They grow and learn best when responsive and caring parents and other caregivers give them affection, attention and stimulation in addition to good nutrition, proper health care and protection.

  3. Encouraging children to play and explore helps them learn and develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. This helps children get ready for school.

  4. Children learn how to behave (socially and emotionally) by imitating the behaviour of those closest to them.

  5. Entering primary school on time is critical to ensure the continuity of a child's development. Support from parents, other caregivers, teachers and the community is very important.

  6. All children grow and develop in similar patterns, but each child develops at her or his own pace. Every child has her or his own interests, temperament, style of social interaction and approach to learning.