Factors Influencing Early Childhood Development (ECD)

Early Childhood Development: Influencing Factors

Definition of Child:

According to UN convention on the rights of children all human offspring aged 0 to 18 years are children. A child is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty. The legal definition of child generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority.

Definition of Early Childhood:

According to UNESCO, Early childhood, defined as the period from birth to eight years old, is a time of remarkable growth with brain development at its peak. During this stage, children are highly influenced by the environment and the people that surround them.

Early childhood development
Fig: Early childhood development

Definition of Early childhood development (ECD):

According to WHO (World Health Organization), Early childhood development (ECD) encompasses physical, socio emotional, cognitive and motor development between 0-8 years of age.

The development process that a child goes through the period from conception to age 8 years is termed as ‘early childhood development’. This period is most vulnerable time to subsequent growth, development and ultimate productivity.

Factors Influencing Early Childhood Development:

Improper Speech and Language Development

There are several factors that can have a direct effect on a child’s speech and language development, it include-

  •   Lack of stimulation,
  •  Delayed motor skills,
  • Inadequate awareness of communication, reduced


Parental interactions with children can have a largely positive or negative effect on child development. Parents who spend time playing and teaching their kids through reading and by performing various types of hands-on games and activities can have a positive impact on their child’s development.


Children who are surrounded, both at home and at school/daycare facilities, by a strong learning environment that is both informative and supportive may improve their development.


Proper nutrition can have a direct impact on a child’s development both physically and psychologically.

Social Interaction

Research has shown that social isolation or lack of socialization can lead to early childhood development issues, such as speech problems or an inability to socialize with others in a civilized way.


1.      Poverty

2.      Some population groups face considerable inability to access services related to:

  • Language barriers,
  • Transportation issues,
  • Availability of programs and services,
  • Cost.

3.  There is lack of coordination of services.

4.   There are not enough human resources allocated to programs and services for early child development.

Importance of Early Childhood Development:

Evidence tells us that a person’s life successes, health and emotional wellbeing have their roots in early childhood. We know that if we get it right in the early years, we can expect to see children thrive throughout school and their adult lives.

Both nature and nurture (genes and environment) influence children’s development. The quality of a child’s earliest environments and the availability of appropriate experiences at the right stages of development are crucial determinants of the way each child’s brain architecture develops. Caring and supportive environments that promote optimal early childhood development greatly increase children’s chances of a successful transition to school. This, in turn, promotes children’s chances of achieving better learning outcomes while at school and better education, employment and health after they have finished school.

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