Child development refers to the changes that occur as a child grows and develops in relation to being physically alert, emotionally sound, socially competent and ready to learn.
The first five (5) years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. They are the foundation that shapes children’s future, health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family, community and in life in general.
The first five (5) years are particularly important for the development of the child’s brain, and the first three years are the most critical in shaping the child’s brain architecture. Early experiences provide the base for the brain’s organizational development and functioning throughout life. They have direct impact on how children develop learning skill as well as social and emotional abilities. Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life. They need love and nurturing to develop a sense of trust and security that turns into confidence as they grow.
Young children grow, learn and develop rapidly when they receive love and affection, attention, encouragement and mental stimulation as well as nutritious meals and good health care.
Parents should know what to do, expect and how to support the child as he/she grows and develops. All children have the right to be raised in a family and to have access to quality health care, good nutrition, education, play, protection from harm, abuse and discrimination. Children have the right to grow up in an environment in which they are enabled to reach their full potential in life.
It is the duty of parents, care givers and family members, community, civil society and government to ensure that these rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.
To be continued in the next edition. Don’t miss out!