Physical Development

All domains of child development—physical development, cognitive development, social and emotional development, and linguistic development (including bilingual or multilingual development), as well as approaches to learning—are important; each domain both supports and is supported by the others.

Early childhood educators are responsible for fostering children’s development and learning in all these domains as well as in general learning competencies and executive functioning, which include attention, working memory, self-regulation, reasoning, problem solving, and approaches to learning. There is considerable overlap and interaction across these domains and competencies. For example, sound nutrition, physical activity, and sufficient sleep all promote children’s abilities to engage in social interactions that, in turn, stimulate cognitive growth. Children who experience predictable, responsive relationships and responsive interactions with adults also tend to demonstrate improved general learning competencies and executive functioning.

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