Think back to your childhood. How much do you resemble the person you were as an infant? (Do you even remember?) A five-year-old? A teenager? Your life, as well as the life of every child in your care, is filled with growth, change, and development. That’s why it’s really helpful to have some insights into what to expect from that development as a nanny.

Let’s Test Your Knowledge

Can you answer these questions about early childhood development?

  • At what age do children cut their first teeth?
  • At what age do children begin to understand object permanence?
  • When does imaginative play begin to emerge?
  • When do children begin to express autonomy and why is it important to promote it?

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Experts have identified age ranges when we can expect to notice certain skills and features emerging. Child development generally occurs in a sequence. For example, a child must be able to stand before they can walk. However, when it comes to the timing, each child is unique—based on genetics, overall health, nutrition, and environmental stimulation.

What You Have To Offer Families

This is where you come in as a care provider! When caregivers are familiar with the expected skills in a given age range, they can introduce specific experiences and activities that will help to promote those skills. This transforms what you’re able to offer families from a more basic needs-based care to one that fosters developmental growth.

Here are a few more development questions to think about:

  • What’s the importance of bonding with infants and young children?
  • What are some reasons a child might bite another child?
  • How can adults help children develop an emotional vocabulary?

Make Your Job Easier On You

Another benefit to understanding the varied developmental stages of young children is that it can take some of the stress out of your job. Nothing is more overwhelming than not knowing how to communicate with the children in your care. Knowing what to expect developmentally can help you understand why a child engages in certain behaviors and what capacity they have for understanding what you’re saying.

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Learn Even More

If you’re interested in learning more about development in young children, check out ChildCare Education Institute’s course, Birth to Five: Child Development in Young Children. This course covers important developmental milestones from birth through age five, related to physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Sittercity sitters get a special 20% discount off a year of courses, so start with Birth to Five: Child Development in Young Children and keep going from there! In addition to this course, they have over 150 online child care training courses in English and Spanish that meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start requirements.

Taking continuing education courses is a great way to build your credentials on your profile as well as having strong talking points in the interview process. CCEI offers the convenience of taking coursework from work, home, a library, or anywhere internet access is available, so they make it easy for you to learn at your own pace and around your schedule.

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