Children & Young People' Workforce L2

TDA 2.1 Childhood Development

This unit provides knowledge on the different areas of childhood development from birth to age 19. It focuses on physical, intellectual, communication, language, emotional and social development. The areas of development are influenced by poverty, disability and cultural factors. See the table below:

Areas of development Description Examples
Physical Fine motors skills (development of small muscles)

Gross motor skills (development of large muscles)
Threading beads

Colouring with crayons
Intellectual Thinking and problem solving skills
Understands rules
Language /

Learning to speak

Using symbols to communicate
Learning new vocabulary.

Asking questions
Emotional Confidence
Expression of feelings
Cries when toy is snatched
Social Interacting with other children and adults Making friends
Taking turns
Shares toys


Age Stage of development
3 month Sleep through the night.
Recognise sound of carer's voice.
Lift and turn head when placed on tummy.
Play with fingers.
6 month Sit with support.
Roll over.
Explore objects.
Smile and make squealing noises.
Turns head to see what is happening.
Enjoys simple games.
1 year Feed themselves using fingers.
Enjoys picking up objects.
Stand up holding on to furniture.
Babbles tunefully.
Point at objects.
2 years Enjoys running and climbing. Begin to notice other children. Enjoys singing and dancing. Likes to be near other children. Talks aloud. Show anger and frustration.
3 years Shares toys and plays with others. Can express feelings. Begin to understand needs of others. Able to use the toilet. Able to walk up stairs using alternate feet.
4 years Speaks fluently. Enjoys being with others. Enjoys talking and asking questions. Enjoys riding and climbing. Independent in feeding and dressing. Begin to plan games.
5 - 6 years Reads and writes. Keen to learn and use rules. Kick and catch a ball. Enjoys swimming and dancing Enjoys making friends.
7 - 9 years Understands rules and consequences. Enjoys silent reading alone. Enjoys stories and role play. Able to negotiate. Enjoys chatting and making up games Makes model independently.
9 - 11 years Large movements. Use grammar correctly. Communicates confidently. Can produce imaginative stories. Some early signs of puberty may show.
11 - 13 years Begin to question rules and push boundaries. Aware of roles of boys and girls. May demonstrate anxiety with school pressure. Friendship becomes important. Growth and changes to body as puberty begins.
13 - 16 years Shows high level of skills e.g. using computer. May experiment with identity e.g. piercings, clothes and haircuts. Engage in behaviour such as smoking or drug taking Want responsibility such as caring for others.
16 - 19 years Has many friends and enjoys social activities. Physical maturation complete. May show interest in having a romantic relationship. May show concern about the future and be indecisive.

Factors influencing children's development

Factors Examples Physical Social, communication and emotional Intellectual
Poverty Living in damp housing conditions

Low income
May cause respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and chest infections. As a result children may not be able to engage in physical activity hence hindering gross motor skill development.

Having less money to spend on healthy eating can affect children's physical growth.
Children who have delay in physical development may lack self-esteem and confidence which in turn will affect their ability to interact with their peers.

Not being able to go out or buy the same things as their friends can make them feel depressed or left out.

May find it difficult to make friends or keep them if they cannot afford to go out.
Children with illnesses may often miss school which will affect their learning and achievement.

May not have a computer or afford books which may delay learning.
Disability Children confined to a wheel chair Depending on the severity children may not be able to engage in physical activities which will affect the development of gross and fine motor skills. If disabled children not accepted by their peers or excluded from doing things may make them feel angry or upset. Physically disabled children's intellectual ability is not affected.

Some attend special school and others attend mainstream school.
Culture For religious or ethnical reasons, girls are not allowed to continue education or work after leaving school or participate in sports such as swimming. Not engaging in physical activity may hinder development of gross motor skills. Not being able to do the same things as their friends can make them feel unhappy or sad.

Low self-esteem may also be experienced.

Not able to go out to parties and socialise. Not have the opportunity to communicate or interact with other people in society.
Not being able to continue with their education means they may not acquire the necessary qualifications to work in the future.


Transitions refer to changes children go through from one state or situation to another. For example, by the age of 5, a child will move from nursery to reception class in school.

The table below outlines the usual transitions most children go through. The second table shows the transitions that some children go through and how it affects them.

Age Common Transitions
0 - 6 months Milk to solids
0 - 12 months Nappy changing to potty training
0 - 3 years Home to nursery
4 - 5 years Nursery to reception class
2 - 11 years Childhood to Puberty

Table 2: Uncommon transitions

Unusual Transitions Effect of transition Support available
Moving home Feeling anxious, feeling sad to leave behind friends. Encourage child to keep in touch with old friends by phone or e-mail.

Invite child's old friends to new home.
Separated parents Feeling angry, withdrawal loss of appetite and not sleeping. Counselling
Allow child to see the other parent often.

Arrange to spend time as a family once a month.
Teenage pregnancy Feeling anxious, alone, scared.

Doctors / clinics Sex education at school Parents talking to child offering parental support Internet advisory lines.

Can you think of any other unusual transitions children and young people may experience?



Click on the quiz below and see how much you have learnt.

Quiz on Child Development


DFE (2014) Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

DFE (2014). Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage

DEF(2014). Early years (under 5s) foundation stage framework (EYFS)

DFE (2014) Keeping children safe in Out of hours provisions

DFE(2014) Early Years Outcomes

Parents - guide to EYFS (2014)

What to expect and when (2014)

The British Association for Early Childhood Education
(Supported by DFE)

Every Child Matters 2003)

Effective Pre-school and Primary Education 3-11 Project (2003-2008)

DFE (2008) Effective Pre-School and Primary Education 3-11 Project (EPPE 3-11)

Parliament (2003) Every Child Matters

Tassoni et al (2010) Level 3 Diploma Children and Young People's
Workforce (Early Learning and Childcare). Pearson: Harlow Essex

Caroline Meggit et al (2011) CACHE Level 3 Children and Young People's
Workforce Diploma: Early Learning and Child Care.
Hodder Education: London