As children cycle through various developmental phases of their lives, they’ll accomplish several milestones along the way. At all Bethesda child care centers, our trained professionals use that knowledge to personalize the care and attention provided to each child, as they grow and develop through each stage of their lives. It’s important for parents, guardians, and others responsible for providing child care, to also understand those milestones, so that they too can support each child individually, as they move through each stage of their development.
Skills Developed over Time
Starting as new born infants, and then growing into babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and beyond, children acquire several skills along their developmental path. And as they cross each milestone, they continue to build an inventory of skills in different areas of their mental, physical, and emotional development. Bethesda day care professionals work with each child, either individually, or in group settings, to develop some of the following skills:
- Gross Motor Skills: Young children develop the large body muscles, which they hone through actions like sitting, standing, walking, maintaining balance, running, and changing positions
- Fine Motor Skills: These are skills developed in the small muscles of their fingers and hands. Children use these muscles to perform activities such as eating, picking-up objects, dressing-up, writing, and drawing
- Language Skills: This entails the use of hand and facial gestures, body language, and even speaking – albeit initially in ways that aren’t immediately legible to parents. Trained Bethesda child care center staff are, however, able to understand and work with children through this developmental phase
- Social Skills: Parents must watch how their children “connect” with others, and cooperate, communicate, and form relationships. All child care staff facilitate the development of these skills through group activities, games, and team-based sports and projects
- Cognitive Skills: Using an extensively-researched curriculum, children at a Bethesda day school learn to think independently, solve problems, learn new skills, remember critical information, and learn reasoning and discernment skills
These are the most critical developmental milestones parents should look for as their children grow. Collectively, over time, and through interactions and interventions at day care centers and at home, these skills form the basis on which a child’s future depends.
Life-long Developmental Roadmap
For parents reading this post, it’s important to remember that milestone skills development isn’t a “sequential” event. In other words, kids don’t cycle through developing gross motor skills first, then move to building fine motor skills, etc. Bethesda child care center staff work with children as young as toddlers, and through age 5, to help them continue to build these skills in parallel.
As toddlers, they may develop certain motor skills. However, as they move through various stages of day care and pre-schooling, staff and child care specialists help them (the children) further enhance each of those developmental skills. This progression is what parents must watch for. For example, at 3-months, babies may use gross motor skills to roll from front to back. By age 4-5, however, those same skills will help them catch a bouncing ball, or kick a ball around the room.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have published a set of child developmental guidelines, that parents, guardians and child care professionals can refer to.