Early child development is best divided into four functional areas:
·speech (language and hearing);
·social (emotional and behavioural).
Cognitive development refers to higher intellectual function and develops as the child gets older. Development is the result of a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. The environment must meet the child’s physical and psychological needs. Developmental progress is about the acquisition of functional skills. There is remarkable consistency in the pattern of skills acquisition, although there is a wide normal range.