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Early childhood development can be defined as the period between conception and the age of six. It's the period that forms the basis of human development where the brain develops almost to its fullest and various biological and psychological changes occur (Sale, 2011). Early Childhood years are therefore critical to the development of intelligence, personality and social behavior of a child.
Children go through different milestones in their development. These are stages marking the beginning and the end of specific biological changes and mental capabilities of a child e.g. walking and understanding languages (UNICEF, 2007). There are five different developmental stages in children which all relate to each other.
- Physical-The development of motor skills.
- Social- the ability to form relationships and interact with each other.
- Intellectual-the ability to make sense of what is around them.
- Emotional-Development of self awareness coping with feeling as well as understanding them.
- Creative-development of certain interests that make each person unique.
Developmental changes may occur because of genetically-controlled processes known as maturation, or as a result of environmental factors and learning, but most commonly involves an interaction between the two (Jamois, 2011) .It may also occur as a result of human nature and out ability to learn from our environment (Dimino, 2011).
In conclusion, children must receive proper care, nutrition, proper guidance from the caregivers to develop in a healthy manner during this crucial period in life failure to which it may lead to developmental deficit that may hamper a child's success in his/her life (Becker, 2011).