Child crawling on grass touching tree

Development Matters

Development Matters

Development Matters

Information about development can be found in Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Development Matters 2012 under Observing What a Child is Learning for each of the 7 areas of learning in the Revised EYFS. The statements relate to the skills, knowledge or attitudes that children develop throughout the period from birth to six years of age. There is a great deal of overlap between these ages and stages because all children develop at different rates and because the development matters statements are intended to be broad.

Top tips: The developing child (members only)

Birth to three months

Newborn babies come into the world ready and eager to learn. They are geared to move, to find out about the strange new world and to communicate with those around them. Amazing! Although not yet able to speak words and having what appears little control over arms and legs, your baby is all the time trying to understand what his or her body can do and making sense of everything that is going on. Development is very rapid in these first few months. This baby is an active explorer.

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3 to 6 Months

Your baby now shows more control over arms and legs and will soon be able to sit upright. H/she enjoys turning from one side to the other and from back onto tummy which helps with the important later skill of standing and is vital for learning. Exploration continues with lots of banging objects and putting things in mouths! Communication is now about babbling in a sing-song way. When your baby is happy h/she laughs but also cries when annoyed or frustrated. The ideas below will help you to support your baby’s development.

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6 to 9 Months

Your baby is now beginning to be able to sit up without your help and does so with much confidence. Mobility is increased through moving or crawling which means the world is opening up to your baby on a wider scale and offers new opportunities for play and exploration. Some children can stand by the end of this period. You will hear increases in speech sounds. Babbling becomes more controlled. Good listening skills means h/she can detect where words begin and end. Self confidence and an awareness of others also increases. The ideas below will help you to support your baby’s development.

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9 to 12 Months

In these final months of the first year, your baby is very active and wants to be involved in everything that is happening. Often s/he will insist on doing things his or her way and wanting to make decisions. Improved hand-eye coordination mean that some activities become easier but you will also see their temper as they can become frustrated. Many children are capable of walking around holding onto furniture and some can stand briefly without any support. Language is used to really communicate with you and your baby is now able to recognise between 20 and 50 words. This is the time you may hear the first word! Your baby loves to be with you, yet may become a little anxious in the company of others. S/he enjoys being with other babies too, although is not yet ready to play with them.

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1 Year Old

The transformation you will see in your baby from a newborn into a confident, communicating and social 12 month old child is amazing! Physically in this first year you will see your baby mature from a tiny being with very little control of his/her head making lots of random leg kicking and arm flailing movements, to a mobile traveller who is crawling with speed and agility, can stand and may even be able to walk a few steps alone. Sitting up is easy and offers exciting possibilities to observe the world and engage with it. Your baby is learning from the very start. Exploring and playing are important ways for this to happen. Early learning uses all the senses and by 12 months you can see increases in memory, concentration and a focussed approach to learning. Many language milestones are achieved by the end of this first year. Your baby is communicating all the time, soaking up new words at a tremendous rate. The first word is spoken! The one year old is a social baby who enjoys interacting with you. Sometimes slight dips in self confidence with new people may need extra reassurances from you. H/she likes meeting other babies too and finds them fascinating. Your baby will achieve a huge number of important milestones during this first year but it is important to remember that all children do so at their own pace. The milestones below will give you an idea of what progress you can expect but please do not worry if your baby takes a little longer or indeed achieves some of these earlier than indicated. As a parent you have a very important part to play in supporting this development within a loving and caring relationship. The ideas below will help you to support your baby’s development.

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1 to 2 Years

From 12-24 months your toddler’s sense of who they are is developing quickly. This can, however, bring with it displays of frustration, wanting to be more independent, and aware of themselves as different to other toddlers. Physically much more confident moving around, you can see how much his or her walking has improved. H/she can stack a pile of 4-6 blocks on top of each other and use a spoon in feeding. Your baby is making huge strides in learning. Notice how well h/she can concentrate now and how h/she draws on what h/e she already knows to solve problems. Your toddler is now putting two words together, like “me juice” and communicates all the time with you. By the end of the year most toddlers will have around 200 words in their vocabulary. Your baby continues to achieve important milestones during this year but it is important to remember that all children do so at their own pace. The milestones below will give you an idea of what progress you can expect but please do not worry if your baby takes a little longer or indeed achieves some of these earlier than indicated. As a parent you have a very important part to play in supporting this development within a loving and caring relationship. The ideas below will help you to support your baby’s development.

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2 to 3 Years

The time between 24 and 36 months is often known as the “terrible twos” but this is not a very helpful way of describing the emotional roller-coaster little ones are on. Being emotional is a perfectly natural part of growing up and it becomes more evident as your child is showing increased independence. Your toddler’s emotions are easily visible, including feelings of frustration. H/she wants to do things when h/she wants to. Be patient and sensitive in your response and build in extra time so you aren’t trying to rush. Try to go with the flow rather than battle with them.
Your toddler at this age is an active explorer who constantly is asking “what?” and “why?” questions and uses what h/she already knows to solve problems. You will see them staring for long periods at an object – trying to discover how it works and what it can do. Better hand-eye coordination
allows objects to be investigated more fully. Blossoming language skills are obvious. Their talk makes sense to them and the people that know them yet they still need some help in structuring what they want to say. This is a time when they are very good company with a sense of humour and understanding a lot of what you are saying.
Your toddler continues to achieve important milestones during this year but it is important to remember that all children do so at their own pace. The milestones below will give you an idea of what progress you can expect but please do not worry if your child takes a little longer or indeed achieves some of these earlier than indicated. As a parent you have a very important part to play in supporting this development within a loving and caring relationship. The ideas below will help you to support your child’s development.

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3 to 4 Years

Your child is maturing rapidly. Active and mobile, h/she is now moving around on a tricycle and using other wheeled toys. These adept movers respond freely to music and love the rhythms of music, shaking and twisting their bodies. Better hand-eye co-ordination allows mastery of new tools like a toothbrush and scissors. Listening to stories continues to delight and children of three will talk about these readily. Sentences now contain four or five words. They remember words to songs and rhymes proudly and may even recite the some numbers. Socially their confidence is soaring and this year you will see new friendships appearing. They are more at ease in the company of others and begin to join in games with others in small groups. Your child continues to achieve important milestones during this year but it is important to remember that all children do so at their own pace. The milestones below will give you an idea of what progress you can expect but please do not worry if your child takes a little longer or indeed achieves some of these earlier than indicated. As a parent you have a very important part to play in supporting this development within a loving and caring relationship.

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4 to 5 Years

Your four year old now shows greater self-control. Dressing, feeding and washing are mostly done independently. They know what is right and wrong and what it is to tell a lie. Their pretend play is complex and sophisticated, although they may still need help in separating fantasy from reality. They have a basic grasp of number, colours, size and time. Confident in social situations with greater communication, they like to initiate conversations with others. When asked a question they reply with a clear and well-thought out answer. They are making many new friends and the minor arguments from earlier are less frequent. Boys tend to play with boys more and girls with girls. They continue to ask what, why and how questions and show an interest in the bigger questions such as life and death. Your child continues to achieve important milestones during this year but it is important to remember that all children do so at their own pace. The milestones below will give you an idea of what progress you can expect but please do not worry if your child takes a little longer or indeed achieves some of these earlier than indicated. As a parent you have a very important part to play in supporting this development within a loving and caring relationship.

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