This module is for Topic 1

Topic 1 - Developmental Domains

Children grow at an astonishing pace during the early childhood years. A baby might transition from crawling to walking overnight, while a toddler may begin to string together sentences over the course of a long weekend. Early childhood development is generally divided into five major areas or domains: physical, personal/social, cognitive, language and adaptive development. As a caregiver, it is important that you are aware of – and anticipate – each child's development​ across these domains.

Understanding developmental domains and milestones helps you to plan age-appropriate activities that are enriching and meaningful to children of different ages and levels of development. This is known as Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)​. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a simple rule of thumb for putting DAP into practice: It recommends that caregivers provide activities that are appropriate for a two-year age span. So if you have a group of 4 year olds, you would plan activities that would be appropriate at a 3-year-old level, as well at a 5-year-old level.

Click through the slideshow below to learn more about the developmental domains – and how you can use DAP to plan appropriately for the children in your care.

Developmental Domain Review

How well do you know the different developmental domains? Test your knowledge with the following review activity.