The first five years of life are truly the miracle years. This is the time of greatest human development and the time when we as adults have the most profound influence on a child’s future.
A child’s ability to learn and create, to communicate, to love, to trust and to develop positive self-esteem happens during these first five years. A child’s experiences in these critical early years help determine how that child will relate to the world around them for the rest of their life.
Although every child is unique and develops at his or her own pace, understanding the basics about child development will enable you as parents and caregivers to better anticipate and track certain skills a child typically acquires through each age and stage of development, and subsequently identify areas of concern.
Make the First Five Count is a national program led by Easter Seals Canada. Click here: http://makethefirstfivecount.ca/
Through this robust and informational website, the program illuminates the critical importance of the first five years of a child’s development and the need to be aware of the developmental milestones a child progresses through each phase of development.
There are some universal milestones that mark the journey of an infant through toddlerhood to preschooler. The timing of these is unique for each child. This site features developmental milestones you can watch for; these milestones can help you better understand how your child develops and in particular, how to support that development.
Screening tools such as the Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDDS) and the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) can help you with a more formal measurement of your observations as a parent or caregiver.
Easter Seals is providing free access to the Ages and Stages Questionnaires® published by Brookes Publishing. The questionnaires serve as a screening tool to help you monitor your child’s development from the age of 1 month through to 5 years of age.
To complete the questionnaire free of charge, click here.