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What Are Early Childhood Development Services?

A. Reed
A. Reed

Early childhood refers to the stage of development ranging from birth to about eight years of age. This stage is marked by substantial physical growth and brain development, as language and motor centers engage the young child in activities requiring speaking and coordination skills. Designed for children of this age, early childhood development services place emphasis on helping them to overcome emotional distress, get prepared for school, and stay healthy. Programs of this kind also promote literacy through regional library branches.​

Some therapists and psychologists provide early childhood development services using play therapy. As play is the medium through which children communicate and express themselves, play therapy is a kind of psychotherapy designed to help young children to work through difficult issues such as divorce, abuse, and the death of an immediate member of the family. In a typical session, children play with their choice of available toys or media such as clay or water, and are either joined by parents or observed by a practitioner. The therapist also interacts with the child, taking special note of emerging patterns of play.​

Play therapy is part of some early childhood development services.
Play therapy is part of some early childhood development services.

Intervention programs offer certain families with young children opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them. Typically referred to as head-start, readiness programs, or regional preschool, early childhood development services administer beneficial assessments which alert parents and teachers of possible deficits so that children can get the educational assistance that they need early. Children primarily three to five years of age are taught preschool subjects in a classroom setting for a few hours each day in order to help them to make a smooth transition to traditional schooling.

Promoting literacy is an important part of childhood development services.
Promoting literacy is an important part of childhood development services.

Local libraries are learning enrichment centers for toddlers and preschool age children. Fun activities are offered to stimulate and encourage literacy at an early age through story times, craft-making, and holiday-themed events. Parents are also encouraged to involve the children in book reading contests for which prizes are typically given as incentives, while children develop an enjoyment of leisure reading.

Early childhood development teachers often help prepare kids under age 8 for future learning.
Early childhood development teachers often help prepare kids under age 8 for future learning.

Frequently referred to as well-baby or well-child healthcare visits, pediatricians provide primary care services geared specifically towards infants and small children such as immunizations and physicals. Doctors monitor physical growth and development, checking height and weight at each visit to assess for abnormal growth patterns. Laboratory blood and urine testing is also performed to analyze for proper blood cell and platelet concentration. Physicians also may consult with parents regarding any health or developmental concerns that they may have regarding their children.

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    • Play therapy is part of some early childhood development services.
      By: oocoskun
      Play therapy is part of some early childhood development services.
    • Promoting literacy is an important part of childhood development services.
      By: atikinka2
      Promoting literacy is an important part of childhood development services.
    • Early childhood development teachers often help prepare kids under age 8 for future learning.
      By: Barbara Helgason
      Early childhood development teachers often help prepare kids under age 8 for future learning.
    • An evaluation of a child's phonemic awareness may take place as early as preschool.
      By: altanaka
      An evaluation of a child's phonemic awareness may take place as early as preschool.
    • Libraries may offer art and craft activities for toddlers.
      By: nadezhda1906
      Libraries may offer art and craft activities for toddlers.
    • Early childhood development programs run by private entities are usually more expensive than those run by nonprofit or community groups.
      By: karelnoppe
      Early childhood development programs run by private entities are usually more expensive than those run by nonprofit or community groups.
    • Early childhood is characterized by substantial physical growth and brain development.
      By: Rob
      Early childhood is characterized by substantial physical growth and brain development.