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Supporting growth and development

Every child has its own rate and pattern of development. Although research has identified what can be referred to as norms of development, young children need to be allowed the time and the support necessary for their own personal development. Early on, growth and development must involve opportunities to play, to interact, to explore, to create, to learn and to problem solve. Additionally, it must be supported by:

  • Environments and adults that are flexible and responsive, and that can adapt to children’s immediate interests and needs
  • Good relationships that encourage children to participate actively
  • Opportunities for children to communicate their feelings and their thoughts
  • Adults who are interested and attentive carers

We know that growth and development is complex and involves not only physical development but mental and emotional growth and wellbeing. To respond to children’s needs, adults must learn to be closely observant and to be flexible in the ways in which they respond.