The first five years are critical for a child’s development and learning. According to data compiled by the Rauch Foundation, 85-90% of brain development takes place from birth to age five. Healthy growth and development during these years will help provide a strong foundation for success in school, and in life.
Children are born learners with a natural curiosity about the world around them. While no two children learn and develop at the same pace, there are critical time periods in which they reach developmental milestones.
Developmental milestones are defined as the abilities that most children are able to perform by a certain age. Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development.
As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with your child’s development, talk with your child’s doctor and share your concerns.
Do you have questions or concerns about your child’s development? Are you familiar with the different stages of a child’s development? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a milestone checklist to help you assess your child’s development: