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Child Growth and Development

"The first six years of a child's life [have] the greatest impact on their future learning, health and development" (McCain & Mustard 1999)

Children depend on their parents and other caregivers to help them grow and develop. When parents know what to expect at each stage of development, it can be easier for them to meet their child's needs and understand their behaviour.


The Early Years Matter!

"Research shows that the quality of early childhood experiences will have long term effects on an individual's performance in the education system, their behaviour in adult life and their risks for chronic disease in adult life…. and that parenting is the most important influence on early child development" (Fraser Mustard).

Parents who spend time with their child every day:

  • Have a positive life-long effect on their baby's ability to reach their full potential
  • Promote language and brain development
  • Help build social skills like how to take turns and get along with others
  • Help children go from one activity to another because they know what to expect
  • Teach children to be independent and do things for themselves
  • Help build self-confidence

One in four Canadian children have a behaviour or learning difficulty when they start grade one. This has an impact on the child's ability to learn. Identifying growth and development concerns early is an important step in making sure that children get the help they need and are ready to learn when they start school.

The Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby Visit

A young child playing with blocks on the floorThe Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby Visit postcard is mailed out to all parents in York Region who have provided consent and have a 15-month old child. Eighteen months is an important milestone in a child’s development. Parents are encouraged to ask their doctor about the Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby Visit.

Information for Parents Who do not Have a Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner

Health Care Connect helps Ontarians who do not have a family health care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner) find one. This service refers families to a family doctor or a nurse practitioner in their community who is accepting new patients.

Parents may also choose to visit a walk-in clinic in their area.


Growth and Development From Birth to Five Years

Tools and Resources for Professionals

Child and Family Health Programs Referral Form

The Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) Program is voluntary and offered at no direct cost to families. HBHC Public Health Nurses and Family Visitors provide information, support, and links to community resources for eligible women and their families from the prenatal period up to the transition to school. To make a referral, complete the Referral to Child and Family Health Programs form.

Red Flags Guide

The York Region 2018 Red Flags guide is a quick reference tool to assist early years and health care professionals in knowing when and where to refer children from birth to the age of six years for whom there are potential health, growth and development concerns.

Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby Visit

Ontario's Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby Visit Information and brochure

Rourke Baby Record

The Rourke Baby Record (RBR) is a system many Canadian doctors and healthcare professionals use for well-baby and well-child visits for infants and children one week to five years of age. It includes forms for charting well-baby visits as well as supporting resources.

Brain Architecture

The Center on the Developing Child provides information on brain architecture and how a child’s brain is shaped. The video Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

On Track

On Track is an online reference guide available through Best Start by Health Nexus. On Track provides professionals who work with young children and families with indicators of healthy child development from birth to six years of age.

Mental Health and Wellness in Pregnancy and Parenthood

Pregnancy or having a baby is not always easy. The adjustment to parenthood can be challenging for many families. Visit Mental Health and Wellness in Pregnancy and Parenthood for information on and referral to the Transition to Parenting program and other supports.

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Related Resources

External Resources

Links to other sites are provided as a reference to assist in identifying internet resources that are available on a particular subject. Internet resources are not substitutes for the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy or appropriateness of the information contained on these sites, nor do we necessarily endorse the viewpoints on these sites.

 

 


Parents,babies,children,toddlers,preschoolers,school-aged children,development,communication,physical development,emotional development,growth and development The Regional Municipality of York en-US Child Growth and Development Child Growth and Development Find tools and resources for parents to help children grow and develop. When parents know what to expect at each stage of development, it can be easier to meet their child’s needs and understand their behaviour.

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