Supporting Development and Learning
Infants and toddlers develop and learn through interactions and experiences with their environment. This includes interactions with materials, toys, and everyday activities and routines. Physical development includes gross motor and fine motor skills. Cognitive development includes all mental process such as attention, memory, executive function skills, and other skills that lay the foundation for success in school. Culture plays a critical role in determining what occurs within the family by shaping the “developmental niche” within which the infant develops. Cultural and familial experiences are passed down from generation to generation, including norms and values about parenting and young children. Supporting parents is one of the best ways to support child development and learning. Community supports for family’s helps parents build links with other individuals and important institutions such as schools. Home visitors must also use their knowledge in this content area to deepen their understanding of and respect for the wide variation in the pace and process of children’s learning.