Ages & Stages: Introduction

Our developmental approach to early childhood education acknowledges that as a child grows, behavioral changes accompany physical changes. This approach also recognizes the individual growth patterns of each child.

As a result of research, “norms” have been established for this developmental growth pattern. These “norms” give us a measuring device to use as a guideline for understanding behavior. It is reassuring to find most behavior exhibited by children is typical and normal for the age. When a child’s behavior extends beyond the norm, we are alerted. We may note an increased frequency or intensity of an otherwise “normal” behavior, as well as behavior not typically associated with the specific age group. These signals indicate a need for more detailed evaluation. Since children develop at such different rates, the majority of the worries are often found to be unnecessary. It is important for us to keep in mind that these ages and stages are only guidelines. We must constantly remind ourselves that children are unique in their growth patterns.

We have provided more information about several typical characteristics of each age group in the hope that some of the anxieties accompanying child rearing will be alleviated. It is very comforting to hear, “Your child does that too?!?!”