30 Milestones in Early Childhood Brain Development

The human mind learns a lot within its first five years, and this period is therefore undoubtedly a crucial one for brain development. We created this list to give budding early childhood education students an insight into the varied stages of neurological growth and development in children. Hopefully the article will also assist such students’ future academic choices as a consequence.

Infancy and early childhood are undoubtedly important stages in brain development. After all, from birth to their fifth year children will be constantly developing the skills necessary not only for speaking, writing and walking but also for social interaction, self-awareness and cognition. And, needless to say, all such skills prepare children for later life.

Psychologists and neuroscientists have, moreover, been fascinated with the ways in which babies and young children learn from their surroundings, and their research has provided valuable insight into how the human brain adapts to the outside world.

The following list article examines the 30 most definitive moments in child development and uses various expert findings to map out how and when a young person’s brain typically reaches these crucial milestones. For those studying early childhood education, this may shed new light on the intricacies of young minds and what to expect when it comes to children’s learning and development.


To create this list, we examined a variety of authoritative sources detailing key milestones in early childhood brain development. These include the following:

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Developmental Milestones
• Child Mind Institute, “Parents Guide to Developmental Milestones
• Women’s and Children’s Health Network, “Milestones: Children 0-4 Years
• NHS Choices, “Birth to five development timeline

In order to decide which milestones to include, we took into account those that appeared most frequently on the aforementioned lists as well as those which seem to contribute most towards learning in a child’s early stages. For this last determining factor, we took into consideration different aspects of neurological development – including sight, cognition and social and motor skills – in order to create the most balanced and diverse portrait of human growth possible.

Lastly, the ordering was organized chronologically, with the article progressing from the earliest to the latest milestones typically achieved by a child.

To read the milestones and what characterizes each, visit the full article at Early Childhood Education Degrees.

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