Personal social and emotional development in the Early Years Foundation Stage has different milestones based on the children’s age. Since the EYFS changed to Development Matters in 2021, it has broken down into age categories, which include birth – three and 3-4 years old.
PSED (Personal, social, and emotional development) is crucial for children to lead happy and healthy lives and is fundamental to their cognitive behaviour. It is important for children to have strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults. This helps the children to learn how to not only understand their own feelings but also others also. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self and set themselves simple goals. They should be able to gain confidence in their own abilities and learn to be able to wait their turn for what they want. This comes from adults giving guidance and modelling behaviour.
Please see the sections below for what a child should potentially be able to do at the different age stages, although not all children will develop at the same pace.
Exploring Key Milestones in Early Years Development
Birth to Three:
- Finding ways to calm themselves through being calmed and comforted by a key person.
- Establish their sense of self.
- Express preferences and interests, engage with others and through talk, gaze and gestures, use that engagement to achieve a goal.
- Find ways of managing transitions.
- Thrive as they develop self-assurance.
- Look back as they crawl away from their key person and look for clues about how to respond. Play with increasing confidence on their own or near to key person and being confident when taken out to the local neighbourhood.
- Feel strong enough to express emotions and grow in independence.
- Begin to show effortful control (waiting for a turn) and be able to talk about and manage their emotions.
- Notice and ask questions about differences such as hair, skin colour, special needs and so on.
- Safely explore emotions beyond their normal range and talk about feelings in a more elaborate way.
Three to Four:
- Select and use activities and resources with help when needed.
- Develop their self of sense responsibility and membership in the community.
- Become more outgoing with unfamiliar people and show more confidence in new social situations.
- Play with one or more children, extending and elaborating play ideas and finding solutions to conflicts.
- Increasingly following roles and understanding why they are important and also remembering why rules are important.
- Develop appropriate ways of being assertive and talking with others to solve conflicts.
- Talk about feelings using words like ‘happy’, ‘angry’, and ‘sad’ and begin to learn how others may feel.
Understanding the milestones of personal, social, and emotional development in the early years is crucial for every parent. At Angels By Day, we prioritise the holistic development of every child, ensuring they thrive in a supportive and nurturing environment. If you’re keen to give your child the best start in life, don’t hesitate. Contact Angels by Day today and discover how we can make a difference in your child’s early years journey.