- Young children are actively
observing their world and learning from it from the moment of birth.
- Although development and learning are
often categorized in separate domains—such as social
and emotional development, cognitive development, physical development and
health, and general learning competencies—they are not isolated competencies.
Instead, they each contribute to each other, they are not easily separable, and
different organizations have different labels and ways of categorizing these
- Without an understanding of how
young children learn, adults may underestimate children’s cognitive abilities
and therefore miss opportunities to support their growth.
- Children advance in specific
subject areas when their experiences are guided along a learning trajectory
through increasingly higher levels of conceptual understanding.
- The oral language and vocabulary
young children learn through interactions with parents and caregivers sets the
stage for future academic success.
- Math skills are core components
for thinking and learning; even before first grade, children can learn the
skills and concepts that support more complex mathematics understanding later.
- The development of social
and emotional skills, such as the ability to manage emotions and behavior
and establish positive relationships with peers, are critical for academic
success at the pre-K and K–12 levels. The development of these skills can be
encouraged by skilled educators who have developmentally appropriate
expectations for the self-control of students and provide predictable routines
during the school day.
- Adequate amounts of nutrition and
physical activity are also important for ensuring successful early learning and
- Children who experience chronic stress and adverse childhood experiences as a result of factors such as poverty, family conflict, or exposure to violence are placed at a learning disadvantage that has a cumulative effect over time.