Child Growth and Development

What do high quality caregivers, teachers and administrators need to know?

Pathways Core Knowledge Areas are distinct categories of study that prepare early childhood professionals to facilitate children’s learning and development.  For each Core Knowledge Area, there are competencies defining a progressive attainment of understanding, knowledge and skills  As early childhood professionals advance in their careers, the content (competency objective) of the training will become more advanced based on what the professional needs to know at his/her level of experience.Alabama Pathway has adopted eight (8) Core Knowledge Areas with related basic, intermediate and advanced competencies.

Core Knowledge Area: 

Child Growth and Development – Understand how children develop physically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, and culturally; understand how children acquire language and creative expression; understand the links between development and learning; understand the roles and responsibilities of parents, educators, and caregivers; understand the environmental, biological, social and cultural influences on growth and development.

Rationale: During the early childhood years, children are establishing foundations for later learning. Concern and action for all aspects of a child’s growth and development needs to be emphasized. Social, cultural, emotional, physical, and language development is inseparable from cognitive growth. Teachers of young children must understand the nature of growth and development and the adult’s role in supporting a child’s development and learning.


CGD-1 Demonstrates a developing awareness of the ages and stages of child growth and development for newborn, infant, toddler, preschool and school age children by providing activities that are age-appropriate for each child.

CGD-2 Demonstrates a developing awareness of the physical development of children by providing activities that promote both large and small motor development.

CGD-3 Demonstrates a developing awareness of the cognitive and language development of children by providing age appropriate activities that promote language and cognitive growth and development.

CGD-4 Demostrates a developing awareness of the emotional development of children by interacting with children in positive, nurturing and courteous ways.

CGD-5 Demonstrates a developing awareness of the social behavior of children by facilitating age-appropriate social interactions between children and among adults and children.


CGD-6 Demonstrates knowledge of the developmental stages of growth and development of young children by planning and implementing age appropriate practices.

CGD-7 Demonstrates knowledge of prenatal and neonatal development by assisting and providing needed developmentally supportive interactions to parents of both premature and full term infants.

CGD-8 Demonstrates knowledge of physical/motor development, cognitive/language development and social/emotional development of infants and toddlers by planning and implementing age appropriate activities and practices.

CGD-9 Demonstrates knowledge of physical/motor development, cognitive/language development and social/emotional development of preschool age children by planning and implementing age appropriate activities and practices.

CGD-10 Demonstrates knowledge of how the functions of play, the role of creativity and problem solving affect the development of school age children by planning and implementing age appropriate activities and practices.


CGD-11 Demonstrates knowledge of the major child development theoretical approaches and theorists and how they relate to developmentally appropriate practice in child growth and development by informing staff, families and the community of developmentally appropriate practices.

CGD-12 Demonstrates knowledge of current research methods and findings by informing staff, families and the community of their impact on developmentally appropriate practices.

CGD-13 Demonstrates knowledge of optimal prenatal and neonatal development by informing staff, parents and the community of how birth circumstances and the development of newborn infants influence their early care and development and by planning developmentally appropriate programs for newborn infants.

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