Development and Learning from birth to 12 months

What does your baby do? The lovely little bundle that you have just proudly brought home. Well you know he/she sleeps, you know he/she eats, you know he/she cries and of course they know how to fill a nappy.

But what are they learning?

There is so much your baby can do from the very moment he is born. He knows how to suck, and to communicate his needs to others by crying. He has the ability to see faces and objects of different sizes and colours. He can even tell the difference between voices of his parents and others. That's already a lot...


OK, so what can you do to help?

You are so important - you and the other adults that surround your child. The growth of your babies brain is affected by the experiences he had and the care you provide.


Learning from the beginning...

Click on the links below


Starting Nursery

Rhythm games

Every Picture Tells a Story

The first five years

Talking is Important

There are so many opportunities for learning at this time, but to do this learning they need stimulation. So how do you do this? It's not that difficult.

  • Talk to them from the very moment they are born. Whether you're at home or out and about just chatter away. Talk but also listen and respond to your baby as much as possible.

  • Play, sing, dance and encourage them as much as possible. (It doesn't matter if you are tone deaf or have two left feet, your baby will think your amazing.

  • Read aloud looking at the pages of a book together. Tell stories with your child as the main character.

  • Sing nursery rhymes or watch them together on YouTube. (There are lots of YouTube clips on nursery rhymes).

Opportunities for doing all these things will present themselves during everyday routines. When your feeding your child, talk about the food they are eating. When your dressing your child count their toes and fingers, nose and ears etc.

All of these everyday activities will help build the foundation for your child to learn.

 The majority of brain development occurs in the first three years of a child’s life so when you play, sing or read to your child and give them time to respond, you will help them make the most of this opportunity.

Feeding time

  • Describe the food while feeding your baby

  • Count as you do things – like putting out plates

  • Allow your toddler to feed themselves as they get older – it helps build their co-ordination

At home

  • Talk to your baby about things, especially the things they show an interest in, like a favourite toy

  • Encourage your baby to reach for things

  • Turn tidying up into a sorting game – for example putting dolls or cars into different boxes

Bath time

  • Play pouring and emptying games with containers

  • Describe the toys in the water like the ‘quack’ of ducks


  • Let your child feel different shapes and textures outside – leaves, grass or sand

  • Talk about the things you see when you’re on the bus, in the car or walking to the shops

  • Listen together and name the sounds you hear around you. For example, if you both hear a car engine, say ‘That’s a car’


  • Share a book with your child and talk about the pictures

  • Count characters or animals in a picture book

Activities to promote Talk

 (Click the link to find out more)

Puppets   Click to find out how to make sock puppets

Bath Time  Click to explore fun things to do at bath-time


  • Why am I doing this?

    By listening and speaking children develop the ability to think and understand experiences. As your child grows then their language develops and becomes more complex so they are able to have more complex thoughts and ideas. You and the family are the first source of language and learning. Your child will get better through listening and speaking. They need chance to practise words and to hear them. 

  • How can I do more?

    Talk about the things you see around you and their colours. When you are out and about name the things you see. Explain new words, show shapes that you see around you. Talk about animals as you point them out in a book or if you see them out and about.

  • Just keep talking and listening.

Click the buttons below to find out more about ...

What to expect and when.

Well all children are different - and all children develop at different rates.

But there is a very useful booklet that has been brought out to help parents.

The purpose of this booklet is to help you as a parent/carer find out more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years, in relation to the EYFS. Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. This booklet has been written to help you as a parent know what to expect during these vitally important years by focusing on the seven areas of learning and development which are covered in the EYFS.

Click the green button to take you straight to the web-page.

Click the buttons below to find out more about the EYFS and its desired outcomes.




Just what is the EYFS?

EYFS stands for Early Years Foundation Stage.

All providers of childcare, including pre-school, nursery, reception and childminders follow the guidelines of the EYFS. It sets the standards for learning, development and care of your child.

By the end of the Reception year at school EYFS profiles are completed for every child. Information from this profile is then passed onto the Year One teacher.

With this information, the teacher will have a better understanding of the needs of your child and how to help them progress further.

The profile measures your child performance in 17 areas of learning. These are known as the Early Learning Goals (ELG's).

By understanding what the child-care professionals are looking for in this profile you can help your child be ready for learning. 

You can use this profile at home to help you know the next steps to take in learning.


Early Learning Goals


Communication, Language and Literacy Development

  • Listening and Attention

  • Understanding (following instructions, responding to questions

  • Speaking

  • Reading

  • Writing

Physical Development

  • Moving and handling

  • Health and Self Care

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Self confidence and self awareness

  • Managing feelings and behaviour

  • Making relationships

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

  • Numbers

  • Shape, space and measures

Knowledge and understanding of the World

  • People and communities

  • The world

  • Technology

Creative Development

  • Exploring using media and materials

  • Being imaginative

In each of these areas the ELGs set out what the average child is expected to be able to do at the age of five.

In addition to the ELGs, the profile will include information about how your child is developing in 3 characteristics of effective learning.

  • Playing and exploring

  • Active Learning

  • Creating and thinking critically