Child development is the process through which humans typically grow and mature from infancy through to adulthood.

It refers to the series of physical, language, thought and emotional changes that occur in a child from birth through to the beginning of adulthood. During this process a child progresses from dependency on parents to full independence as an adult.

Development milestones are age related, but every child reaches key stages and their own pace, but during predictable time periods. Development involves learning and mastering skills such as sitting, walking, talking, and tying shoes laces.

Child development covers the full range of skills that a child masters over their lifetime with five main areas of development to note:

Gross Motor Skill Development: A child's ability to use large muscles in the arms, legs, feet and torso.

Fine Motor Skill Development: A child's ability to use small muscles, specifically their hands and fingers, to pick up small objects, hold a spoon and so on.

Cognitive Development: A child's ability to develop skills to include learning, reasoning and problem solving.

Social and Emotional Development: A child's ability to interact with others, forming relationships and learning self-control.

Speech and Language Development: A child's ability to both understand and use language.

Child development is essential to ensure that children meet their ‘developmental milestones’ and that the child is roughly on track for their age.

Child Psychology is closely linked to child development as it focuses on both development and behaviour from infancy through to adolescent age. It also shows how a child’s behaviour can be shaped by his or her environment. For example, a stable, safe and nurturing environment will influence a child’s development positively.

It examines the psychological situations that can affect how a child behaves in particular in the context of their family, school and society at large.

As both disciplines come hand in hand Portobello Institute offer both child development and child psychology as a combo course for learners.

We offer part-time courses in a number of locations as part of our upcoming autumn Early Year’s schedule.

For full course details please contact Jennifer Matteazzi on 01 8920040 or jennifer.matteazzi@portobelloinstitute.ie