Facilitate children’s development (0-3years)

Child development is a continuous process and progresses in a certain sequence. However, each child is unique and develops at his/her own pace. While biological factors determine a child’s capability and temperament, environmental factors do play an important role in a child’s learning, social and emotional development.

Ways to help children develop to their full potential

To help children developing to their full potential, they need to feel special, loved, valued and secure. Parents need to provide a stimulating environment which is full of learning opportunities to children as well as giving proper guidance to enable their children to obtain a balanced experience of freedom and limits. Have a look at the ways to facilitate children’s development here.

The developmental milestones

The links below provide information on the developmental characteristics and warning signs of children at different stages. We hope these can help you monitor the development of children together with their parents.

If you suspect a child to have developmental problems, a direct referral can be made by the Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHCs) or doctors working in the public or private sectors to Child Assessment Service of Department of Health or Hospital Authority or to other specialties for further assessment.

Childhood developmental disorders

Developmental problems in a child can be due to a number of factors. While biological factors may play a role, it could be related to environmental factors such as family, preschool education or social factors. Here is some useful information provided by the Child Assessment Service of Department of Health on some of the commonly asked questions related to child development.

Spotlight

Currently, the MCHCs under Department of Health provides a comprehensive range of health promotion and disease prevention services for children from birth to 5 years. Developmental Surveillance Scheme (DSS) is one of the services provided which enables parents and child care providers to monitor children’s development together hand-in-hand with health professionals to allow early detection of childhood developmental problems.

Under the DSS, children will return to MCHCs at specific time age when nursing staff discuss with parents about the development progress of the child, observe his behavior and perform simple assessment. More detailed assessment by MCHC doctors will be arranged when necessary. After assessment, doctors will arrange follow up session, recommend relevant courses or provide referral for children requiring further assessment in Child Assessment Service or other specialty services if needed.

Tips

Many parents would ask, “Whenever I talk to my son or teach him how to speak, he seems not interested. What is the problem?” Now, let babies tell you how to communicate effectively with them! You may also like to have a look on the sharing among a group of parents and speech therapist, and see if your questions on parent-child communication and language development can be answered!