Comprehensive Child Development

Why We Focus On Comprehensive Child Development In
High Quality Child Care

For over 50 years comprehensive child development services have been a hallmark of high-quality child care. Although this focus didn’t start with Head Start, the national child development demonstration project, it was formalized in their Program Performance Standards developed to ensure that supporting/requiring parent involvement, health care including social, emotional, and oral health as critical program components along with consistent developmentally appropriate child care practices in all Head Start settings from birth to age five.

“The early years of a child’s life are very important for his or her health and development. Healthy development means that children of all abilities, including those with special health care needs, are able to grow up where their social, emotional, and educational needs are met.” CDC

Whether you approach child development from a mental health, educational or general health perspective, it is generally recognized that all of these elements are intertwined in helping a child develop to their full potential. Lack of access to nutrition, immunization, health care, safe and secure housing, interactive and supportive parenting as well as high-quality child care when needed all impact a child’s development.

“In 2008, England revised its national 0-5 years curriculum and services under the modern, streamlined title, “Early Years Foundation Stage” (EYFS) Indeed, foundational brain connections for complex language, math, and social-emotional skills form during this time. Neuroscience research and innovative studies reveal that young children are active learners, rapidly building knowledge about their world long before they enter kindergarten. Now… the time is ripe for a unified vision of learning, health, and well-being for young children. The Hechinger Report Opinion November 2021 Kelley M. Campbell

This is why the DC Early Learning Collaborative is a multidisciplinary collaborative focusing on promoting high quality early childhood services and we urge communication and collaboration among all of our community partners. For examples of policy and planning for high-quality early learning experiences. Links are provided to an outline of these principles in DC’s Teddy Bear, symbol, of the ”Early Childhood Systems Approach to Child Health, Development and Well-Being” adopted by the State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council and which became the foundation for the comprehensive infant and toddler early care and development law “Birth to Three for All DC” .

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top