Child Development and Learning:

Examine the Environments

Breadcrumb trail:

Environments play a significant role in the learning process.

The early childhood experience involves planning for a variety of environments. The physical environment may be the first one that comes to mind. But the social, intellectual, and emotional environments are equally important and critical to children's overall well being. Remember that the environment — in all of its aspects — is our partner in providing high quality early childhood programs.

A teacher observes a child arranging plates.

Explore how understanding Child Development and Learning can impact physical, social, and emotional environments.

  • When you design the physical, social, and emotional environments, how do you apply understandings of child development and learning?

Environments should be designed with children's points of view and developmental stages in mind.

  • What does this statement mean to you?
  • What everyday routines could you begin to turn over to the children to manage?

Try This!

View these photos one by one, looking at the details of the environment. Use the above questions as you reflect on each environment.

Try the following in your own program or visit a children's environment for this activity.

Take photos of the different aspects of your environment and study them with the above questions for this Key. Be sure you have permission to take photographs before doing so.

Use this template to record your observations, thoughts, and feelings.  Download the Template

Deepen Your Understanding

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Deepen your understanding of planning for children's development in your environment by reading these Topics: Infant/toddler development and learning and Preschool development and learning in Performance Area 2 in the CA ECE Competencies. Scroll to pages18 and 19.

Can you find other places in this competency area that address these questions?

Download the California ECE Competencies

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies