Task 2 – Explain the difference between sequence of development and rate of development and why the difference is important.
The sequence of development is the order in which development takes place. Although some stages of development may be missed (for example some babies do not crawl and go straight from shuffling to walking) the sequence is usually followed by children and the order usually remains the same.
The rate of development is the time-frame given for the average development of a child expected at a certain age, i.e. at one has started to walk. All children are unique and will develop at their own rate. The rate of development is just a guideline. For example: some babies start teething from 6 months and some of them start at 9 months. Some babies can start making sentences at around 1 year; others can only speak few broken words.
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The sequence of development generally remains the same. The rate of development can change considerably and many other factors such as individual growth patterns, social background, health and nutrition, disability and learning difficulties can have an effect on it. It is important to know the difference between the sequence and rate of development as it helps to meet the children’s individual needs. It helps you recognise if any children have special educational needs and helps you plan to make sure they are getting the help and support they may need.
Practitioners must have a good understanding of the child development rates.
•Carry out assessment and observation effectively. It is required for practitioners to make development comparisons between a child’s actual development stage and expected development rates.
•Offer appropriate activities and experiences. This will be informed by observation, monitoring and assessment of individual children.
•Anticipate the next stage of a child’s development. This allows the practitioner to provide activities and experiences that will challenge and interest children, therefore, stimulating the child’s learning development.
•Notice when children are not progressing as expected. Although children develop at different rates, significant delays in one area or many delays in several areas can be an indication that children need intervention and extra support.