According to the State Government of Victoria the stages of development are the same for every child, however the time it takes for them to get to each stage may differ.
In this blog post, we’ll cover everything from what the different stages are to whether you should send your child to school early.
0-12 months old
This is just the beginning of your child’s development. During the first year of your baby’s life, this will be the time they grow and learn more than at any other period – pretty amazing right?
What can you expect? In the first 12 months, your baby will have their first laugh out loud moment and may also begin to walk with assistance. Your child may also begin to sleep through the night. (Thank goodness)
Your child will now go from a baby to a toddler and language will become an important part of this stage. And they will start to actually understand when you say “Don’t do that”.
What can you expect? Apart from a growing vocabulary, your child will also gain their coordination skills, learning how to pick up a crayon to colour in and kick a ball in the backyard.
Not long until your child gets to go to school! As a pre-schooler, this is the time they start to develop friendships. You may also start to notice those tantrums from the terrible twos coming to an end. (Thank goodness, again!).
What can you expect? In this period they will start to run, climb trees and as you’ll soon find out (or already know) get up to a whole lot of mischief. They are also learning a great deal and you may find yourself answering a lot of questions (again and again and again…).
At the age of 5, children in Australia will typically start school. This can be an emotional time for both the child and parent.
What can you expect? This is where their learning will kick up a notch. They will learn to read, write and use numbers. Their coordination skills will continue to improve and you may just find your Saturday mornings become busier dropping them off to sports matches.
Can you help your child’s development?
You sure can. The key is to be constantly engaging with your child on a daily basis by talking, reading, telling stories, getting out to aquariums and museums…the list goes on. But it is important to remember that each child will reach different milestones at different times, so don’t get upset or frustrated if you see other children saying or doing something that your child isn’t doing yet. Don’t rush them or try to force them into developing early, they’ll do it in their own time.
Should your child start school earlier or on time?
In any given classroom, in NSW as an example, you may find a child that is 4 and a half years old, while another child is 6 years old. This is because the cut-off date for turning 5 isn’t until the end of July.
The important thing to ask yourself is whether your child has the social maturity to start school early or if you should hold them back till the next year. If you’re unsure, bring your child with you for an appointment with the primary school teacher, as they will be able to help you with the decision.
According to most experts there really is no right or wrong answer to this question, it all falls down to whether you think your child is ready.