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5.16: Putting It Together- Early Childhood

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    Young girls happily playing with ribbon wands.

    Usually, sometime at the beginning of early childhood, a parent will suddenly realize that their child is no longer a baby. This may happen because the child has physically grown and no longer has baby-like features, but more often it is because all of a sudden the parent realizes that this child is becoming independent. The child might be choosing their outfit for the day, or trying to learn to tie their shoelaces. It usually happens when the child is around two years old, right as early childhood is beginning. This realization that a baby is no longer a baby, that they are a child, is just the beginning.

    As you have learned in this module, early childhood is a time of great changes for children. While the child is still obviously a child physically, in the 4-year span of early childhood they make great strides in development—by the end of this period a child’s brain is nearly adu .epub/08:_Module_5:_Early_Childhood/08.16:_Putting_It_Together:_Early_Childhood#footnote-218-1" class="footnote">[1]

    Parents caring for children in early childhood contribute greatly to development in direct and in indirect ways. Teaching new words, laying-down expectations for behavior in different contexts, choosing daycare centers, helping to build self-confidence, and providing general care for the child all contribute to the child’s healthy development through early childhood. Parents and other caretakers should encourage healthy habits in their young children, including making healthy food choices and exercising the body and the brain. They should challenge children to think in new ways and create opportunities for children to learn about themselves so that they can develop a healthy and realistic self-concept.

    The learning that happens for children in early childhood is the stepping stone for the next stage, middle childhood. Many of the advances that began in early childhood will continue to be refined in the next stage.

    1. de Leon Huld, Nickee. "How Many Words Does the Average Person Know?" Word Counter. Retrieved from

    Contributors and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Original
    • Putting It Together: Early Childhood. Authored by: Stephanie Loalada for Lumen Learning. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution
    • Modification, adaptation, and original content. Authored by: Jessica Traylor for Lumen Learning. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution
    CC licensed content, Shared previously

    This page titled 5.16: Putting It Together- Early Childhood is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lumen Learning.

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