Child Development


Child Development (DEV) is 1 of the 12 content areas identified within the 2014 WI Core Competencies for Professionals Working with Young Children and their Families. This competency focuses on professionals applying the principles of child growth and development, valuing each child as an individual with unique biology, interests, needs, and potential; while nurturing relationships, starting with healthy infant-parent attachment.

When adults understand child development, they realize that children learn and grow at different rates, have varying learning styles, and learn best in the context of families & communities. 

This understanding of child development fosters the ability to have individual, age, and culturally appropriate expectations for each child. When appropriate expectations are in place, adults can more intentionally provide experiences to address the needs of the whole child. Challenging but achievable goals can be identified so that children’s learning can be stretched without frustration & the joy of learning can be nurtured. 

The Guiding Principles of the WI Model Early Learning Standards provide common language for all those who care about young children and their families.  They offer a guide for developmentally appropriate expectations that support the health and development of young children to help them be successful at home, in early childhood settings, and in the community. 

The Child Care Information Center is a resource supporting anyone in Wisconsin working in the field of early care and education. This mail-order lending library and information clearinghouse strives to give the best possible start to young children by offering free brochures, tip sheets, and article reprints.


Updated 11/08/2022

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