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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What is Child Development and Why is it Important?

Integrated child development services is considered to be the most important period of life. It’s because appropriate support from families during early childhood can help children reach their full potential.

Importance of Child Development

Many experts and research studies suggest that good early childhood development is directly proportional to a child’s positive impact on long-term health outcomes. Appropriate support from families, healthcare professionals and education during early childhood can improve future opportunities for them, attainment of school and even improved earning potential.

Apart from this, the impact of emotional and social development is also of vital importance in children. This can boost their future confidence, relationships, communicating abilities, and improves mental health.

Even the Constitutions of India also suggests certain child rights which cover basic issues, like ‘health’, ‘education’ and protection from ‘hazardous employment’ and ‘exploitation’.

How do We Support Healthy Child Development?

Happy parenting is a critical factor in a child’s development. Parenting is a process of nurturing your child by supporting and promoting their physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development starting from their infancy to adulthood.

Some of the ways parents can support healthy child development include:

Promoting Health and Well-being

Health and well-being of the child

Ensuring the health and well-being of the child, Credits: pixabay

Parents should ensure the good health of their child and teach them good hygiene practices, along with using preventive, promotive, and curative healthcare services. Parents should also protect the child’s emotional and mental state by reacting affectionately.

Adequate Nutrition

Providing adequate nutrition

Providing adequate nutrition to the child, Credits: pixabay

A child’s body is growing and it needs essential micronutrients for the proper functioning of their brain and body. These nutrients may include an adequate amount of proteins and fats and vitamin A that ensure proper growth and help build the child’s immune system.

Provide Security and Safety

Providing security

Providing security to the child, Credits: pixabay

Young children, especially girls, are vulnerable to numerous threats within their surroundings. This can impact them adversely which may lead to social withdrawal or fear of adults and other children. In such a case, parents should take extra care of their child by providing security and safety.

Support early Learning

Early learning of a child

Early learning and development of the child, Credits: pixabay

Early Learning means providing your child with various opportunities to develop motor coordination, social competence, creativity and resilience even before they begin to start school. It can be promoted through play, communication and stimulation from other children and adults. Child development through pedagogy is another important method to help the child develop in their early stages.

Are there any Indian Government Schemes to Help a Child Develop?

There are numerous integrated child development schemes launched by the Government of India. Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) in India is considered to be the world’s largest integrated early childhood programme. These programmes aim to improve the health, nutrition, education and development of the children. It also offers education to mothers on nutrition, hygiene, non-formal pre-school education that can be offered to children aged 3-6.

These schemes have proven to be helpful in reducing female feticide and infanticide rates while also ensuring that girl children become more independent once they reach adulthood. Some of these schemes include:

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Girl with her mom

Girl child development scheme Sukanya Samridhi Yojana, Credits: pixabay

This scheme was launched as a part of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. It is a saving scheme for the benefit of the girl child which encourages parents to build a fund. These funds in future can help meet the expenditure for the education and marriage of their girl child.

Some other similar integrated child development services include Mukhya Mantri Rajshri Yojana. Mukhya mantri Laadli Yojana, Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree scheme.

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