The building blocks for successful relationships and a healthy sense of self begins when a child is an infant.
Very early personal relationships and experiences set the stage for how a child:
- Learns to manage his or her emotions (self-regulation),
- Feels about themselves (self-confidence),
- Relates to others and the world around them (competence).
When children learn a healthy method of managing their emotions, feel positively about themselves, and are included in healthy relationships with those closest to them, they are more likely to:
- Succeed in group situations (schools, community settings, etc.),
- Concentrate and learn successfully,
- Effectively communicate their feelings,
- Continually develop self-confidence and self-esteem
A child uses his or her emotional skills to interact with others. This includes playing and developing relationships with peers, interaction with caregivers and parents, adapting to a variety of environments, and learning about the larger world.
Emotional competence is a vital aspect of a child's social and ultimately, overall development.
We invite you to utilize the resources on this page to learn more about a child's emotional and social development, and more importantly, to MAKE A CHILD'S FIRST YEARS COUNT.
Complete the Whole Child Connection to access appropriate resources.
Community-Wide Screening Days
Children with developmental delays are at high risk of lifelong disabilities which may compromise their ability to fully participate in their community and to realize their full potential. If developmental delays are identified early in a child’s life, there is a high probability that appropriate interventions can enable the child to overcome the delay completely or significantly mitigate its impact on the child’s life. Unfortunately many children are not screened early enough to detect possible delays before they progress to a much more serious and often irreversible condition.
“Nationally, about 16% to 18% of children have disabilities such as speech-language impairments, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and emotional/behavioral disturbance. Although such children are twice as likely to seek health care as children without disabilities, only 20% to 30% of these children are detected prior to school entrance. Under-enrollment rates in early intervention programs (of roughly 80%) confirm the need to improve early detection in primary care.” (Glascoe and Shapiro, 2007)
The Whole Child Social and Emotional Action Team executed Leon County’s first four Community-wide Infant Toddler and Preschool Developmental Comprehensive Screening Days hosted at Children’s Medical Services. Successful outcomes include:
- 233 children screened
- More than 100 families were identified as needing further resources and all of them were connected to these resources
- More than 25 organizations participated, including Apalachee Mental Health Center, Brehon Institute, Capital Area Community Action Agency (Head Start), Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition, Children’s Medical Services, Children’s Home Society, Department of Children and Families, Early Learning Coalition, Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System, FSU, Leon County Health Department, Leon County Schools, TCC, Progressive Pediatric
- Collaborators agreed to semi-annual Screening Days
Links to Social and Emotional Development Aids
|Observing a Child - Social and Emotional Development: Birth to 5 Years|
|Qualities to Teach and Nurture|
|Social-Emotional Characteristics that May be Cause for Concern|
Social-Emotional Downloadable Coloring Book