What Should Your Child Be Doing

What Should Your Child Be Doing
Posted on 01/29/2019

Can you picture a classroom with eight toddlers ranging from 24 to 27 months old? Children singing along nursery rhymes, yelling 2-word sentences, drinking from a cup, passing out their own dishes and rushing from one activity to the next. That’s what it looks like!

Those are just a few developmental milestones that a 24-month old child should be doing at that age. For many professionals, developmental milestones serve as benchmarks that can help identify learning disabilities or behavioral problems a child may have, so that they can be addressed early.

For Ms. Alvarez an Infant Toddler Teacher at Uxer Early 1, recognizing and understanding developmental milestones is very important in order to plan for individualized instruction according to each child’s needs. 

“All children have different physical and emotional needs, depending on their age, personality and developmental stage,” said Alvarez. “Developmental milestones help me plan learning activities and guide instruction that are age appropriate to ensure essential skills development.”

In her classroom, children learn to eat at the table and play outside. They have circle time where they look at books, learn colors, shapes, etc. They dance to nursery rhymes and learn new vocabulary, play and socialize with their peers. And let’s not forget their nap which is when their brain is busy building and making connections from these early experiences. 

At Head Start children receive high-quality early experiences that considerably influence their learning and development. All young children learn in the context of caring, responsive, and stimulating relationships as they explore the world around them.

In partnership with Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services, Head Start teachers work hand in hand with therapists in inclusive environments to help children with special needs adapt and advance.

“Children learn best in the natural environment. In this classroom, I’m here to help one child in particular. I work with the teachers to ensure this child is able to perform daily activities and follow a routine,” said ECI Speech Therapist Natalya Rich. “We make sure we create stimulating environments and implement intentional teaching strategies. At the same time, I work with other children to help them understand and cope with the child who has a special need.”

To ensure children are school ready, Head Start follows a researched based early learning framework: ages birth to five describes the skills behaviors, and knowledge that programs must foster in all children. This framework tells us what children should know and be able to do to succeed in school, in turn this helps educators develop intentional teaching strategies.

Jocelyn Arras feels very fortunate to provide support in her child’s classroom as a parent volunteer. She not only contributes to her child’s early development, she also gets to make a positive difference in the healthy development of other children.

“As a result, I’ve learned how to foster the skills, behaviors and knowledge my son needs to succeed in school when we are at home,” said Arras. “When he comes in to the classroom, he knows to wash his hands, sit on the table and so on, I don’t need to tell him. It’s very exciting to see him develop new skills and know that his developing properly.”

Learn to recognize the milestones your child has reached according to their age. Act early by talking to your child’s teacher or doctor if you have any concerns. Visit cdc.gov to learn about developmental milestones from birth to age 5.