Social & Emotional Development
What Is the Link Between Health and Social & Emotional Development?
The quality of children's early experiences has a direct effect on their feelings, behavior, and ability to relate to others. When children have consistent, nurturing, and responsive relationships with caregivers, including both family and staff, they form secure attachments and positive relationships.
Staff support children's social and emotional development by:
- Developing strong and secure relationships
- Helping to support a strong sense of self
- Encouraging them to manage their emotions and express themselves
- Helping them feel capable as learners
- Minimizing the impacts of toxic stress
Teaching them to manage their feelings, behaviors, and follow rules and routines.
To learn more about the link between health and the Social & Emotional Development domain, select .
Examples of School Readiness Goals
The following table [PDF 50KB] includes sample goals developed by the Early Head Start National Resource Centerand the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning. Review the links to health services in the third column and find strategies to accomplish your Approaches to Learning school readiness goals. If program school readiness goals address topics that are different from the examples offered, find links to health services here.
|Early Head Start||Head Start||Links to Health Services|
|Goal 1: Children will develop and engage in positive relationships and interactions with adults.||Goal 1: Children will engage in and maintain positive adult-child relationships and interactions.|| Family Health Literacy
|Goal 2: Children will begin to develop personal relationships with peers.||Goal 2: Children will engage in and maintain positive peer relationships.|
|Goal 3: Children will begin to develop and demonstrate control over some of their feelings and behaviors (self-regulation).||Goal 3: Children will display levels of attention, emotional regulation, and behavior in the classroom that are appropriate to the situation and supports available.|
|Goal 4: Children will begin to learn to internalize rules, routines, and directions.||Goal 4: Children will learn and internalize (follow) classroom rules, routines, and directions.|
|Goal 5: Children will begin to develop and demonstrate a positive sense of self, competence, and an identity that is rooted in their family and culture.||Goal 5: All children will develop and display a sense of self-confidence in their abilities, and a strong identity that is rooted in their family and culture.|
1Knitzer, J., & J. Lefkowitz, J. (2005). Resources to promote social and emotional health and school readiness in young children and families: A community guide. New York: National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Retrieved from http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_648.pdf [PDF, 382KB]
2Shonkoff, J. P., & Phillips, D. A. (Eds.) (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Washington: National Academy Press.
Last Reviewed: April 2014
Last Updated: April 10, 2014