Child Development

The main stages and sequences of child and young person development 0-19

From birth through to adulthood children continually grow, develop, and learn. A child’s development can be measured through social, emotional, intellectual, physical and language developmental milestones. All children and young people follow a similar pattern of development so the order in which each child advances from one milestone to the next will be roughly the same. However, each child will develop at different rates and their development may not progress evenly across all areas. It is important to understand how children develop physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually to know that all areas of development are equally as important as each other, and that all impact on one another.

It is important to know the difference between the sequence and the rate of development, as it helps to identify the child’s abilities and needs during the milestone stages.

Sequence of Development

The Sequence of development refers to the fact that development usually follows the same basic pattern that it usually happens in the same order.   The sequence of development is a definite order of milestones that children and young people meet and accomplish.   This means that children usually finish one area of development before moving to another.   If a child has difficulty meeting a milestone, it can mean some delay in progressing to the next development area too. These developments can vary in each child.   An example of this could be that a baby will learn to hold their head up before learning to sit unaided.   Or a child will learn to walk before they can run.

Rate of Development

The Rate of development refers to the speed at which the child’s development takes place.   This also varies in each child although they tend to follow the same pattern. For example where one baby may achieve walking unaided at 11 months another may accomplish it at 15 months.

The main difference...