Your Child’s Healthy Development

In the first six years of your child’s life, the brain forms connections that set the stage for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. The following is what children need to reach their full potential and how you can help with their healthy development.

To reach their full potential, children:

  •  Need to be safe. Keep play spaces free from danger. Watch children closely, while encouraging them to explore, be active and learn new skills.
  •  Need to feel secure. Have fun together, smile, laugh, hug, show delight and affection whenever possible. Respond to children’s fears, frustrations and failures in a calm manner, so children feel safe and loved.
  • Need help to understand themselves and their feelings. Admire children for trying new things and be patient when they make mistakes. Reassure them and show them ways to calm down when they are upset.
  • Need to be healthy. Children need a variety of good foods, fresh air, time to be active and time to rest, everyday. Children also need regular medical checkups and immunizations.
  • Need to play. Talk, sing and play with children. Read to them and listen to their stories. Encourage children to explore new sights, smells, tastes, sounds and activities. Join them in play that encourages imagination and creativity.
  • Need routines and guidance. Keep to routines and make transitions predictable, flexible and enjoyable. Be consistent and fair with expectations. 
  • Need to make friends. Show children how to be kind and how to play with others. Be patient and consistent in helping them learn how to solve conflicts.


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