Glossary Term

Early childhood development

The processes through which young children, aged 0-8 years, develop their optimal physical health, mental alertness, emotional confidence, social competence, and readiness to learn. These processes are supported by social and financial policies and comprehensive programming that integrate health, nutrition, water, sanitation, hygiene, education, and child protection services. All children and families benefit from high-quality programs, but disadvantaged groups benefit the most. Alternative definition: Children’s cognitive, physical, language, motor, and social and emotional development, between conception and age 8.