Understanding Child Development and Caring for Children’s Physical Needs

MQF Level: 3

Contact Hours: 20

Self Study Hours: 48

Assessment Hours: 36


Module Description

In this module, participants are taught the basic principles of the main child development theories while they are exposed to basic knowledge of how children grow and develop in the first three years of their life. Participants will be taught how to observe, understand, and respond to children’s preferences and needs when providing direct physical care. They will also consider issues of how to maintain a secure environment aimed at sustaining children’s physical needs which would benefit their social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic development.

Overall Objectives and Outcomes

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:


a. Identify developmental changes in children (including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and linguistic);
b. Determine and respond to children’s needs depending on the stage of their development.


a. Understand basic principles of child development theories that outline the developmental stages of children (0 to 3 years of age) and identify the typical ages at which these milestones occur;
b. Describe how to respond to the developmental changes taking place in children in the first three years of their life;
c. Explain why young children’s development may occur in different sequences and at different rates;
d. Understand the elements of responsive caregiving and how these are implemented in everyday practice;
e. Describe how to create a positive environment which will support the development of young children.


a. Provide for a child’s physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and linguistic needs;
b. Maintain a safe and secure environment when providing for children’s physical needs;
c. Provide for children’s nutritional needs;
d. Ensure proper procedures and processes for nappy changing, toileting, washing and dressing that protect both the carer and the child;
e. Implement safe sleeping practices;
f. Liaise with parents to ensure consistency in meeting the children’s physical needs.

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts an online approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Forum Discussions & Assignment

Suggested Readings

Supplementary Reading List

1. Neaum, S. (2019). Child development for early years students and practitioners. Learning Matters.

2. Smith, L. L., & Elliott, C. H. (2011). Child psychology and development. John Wiley & Sons.

3. Meggitt, C. (2006). Child development: An illustrated guide. Heinemann.

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