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Childcare and Development in Toddlers

The 3 main areas of development in toddlers: Gain Self-Regulation, Communicating and Learning, and Relating to others. Let’s explore the relationship between childcare and development.

Providing Quality Childcare Since 2012   Infants, Toddlers & Preschool  •  Daycare Centre

What is the relationship between childcare and development?

Providing toddlers with the care they need for proper cognitive, emotional, physical and social development is a topic that interests both parents and early learning educators. Many toddlers spend most of the day in different forms of childcare.

That is why it’s essential to understand how and to what degree the relationship is between childcare and development in toddlers.

What is childcare?

Childcare represents the care provided regularly by someone other than the child’s mother.

What does science say about childcare and development?

Studies in past decades have stated loud and clear that what happens to children during their first months and years of life matters a lot because they can affect the children’s prospects. The conclusion of these studies, in conjunction with the observations made by toddlers’ parents, other caretakers and educators, is a reason strong enough to pay a great deal of attention to the conditions a child grows during the first years of life.

Childcare and development in preschoolers

The main areas of development in toddlers are:

  • Gaining Self-Regulation

  • Communicating and Learning

  • Relating to others

Childcare and Development -Gaining Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is a foundation principle of human adaptation. It enables us to react to things that happen, regulates our reactions, and is vital to childcare and development. Toddlers have the ability to react but need to learn how to regulate those reactions. Self-regulation is, in this context, the children’s ability to act more independently in different social situations.

Supportive environments such as their homes and early learning centres that provide high-quality childcare stimulate this learning process.

These centres embed in their routine activities that help toddlers to develop, practice and manifest self-regulation. Tasks like playing, “Simon says”, waiting their turn to receive a biscuit, remaining quiet during indicated moments or avoiding distractions while working on designated tasks enable toddlers to master better the ability to regulate their behaviour and reactions. 

Extensive research has revealed that developments in the region of the brain responsible for self-regulation influence, at older ages, abilities such as reasoning, problem-solving capacity and planning and conducting actions with a high degree of complexity.

Daycare and early learning centres support toddlers in acquiring and mastering self-regulation through interactions with educators and their peers. A toddler who gets upset because another child took a toy while playing learns with the help of the educators how to regulate the reaction of being upset.

Communicating and Learning


Communication is vital in childcare and development. Almost all children learn to talk without specific instruction. Usually, a child speaks their first words between 10 and 15 months. Starting at the age of eighteen months, children learn on average nine new words every day. Most three-year-olds can speak complete sentences with their communication skills developing daily.

Researchers have shown that children learn various qualities of their language depending on the features of the environment in which the learning takes place. A toddler’s home, daycare and any other location in which they learn impacts their ability to develop language, communication skills and literacy.

Research indicates that communicating skills support other areas of development. For example, toddlers who speak clearly and can communicate their ideas clearly, are more able to interact socially with other children.

Toddlers attending a daycare or an early learning centre where educators spend a lot of time speaking to them obtain better results on verbal and general ability tests. This score increase is more evident when the educators encourage and guide the learning and exploration of children. Essentially, the more toddlers are talked to at home or a daycare centre, the more they talk to themselves.


From birth to age 5, children embark on the journey of making sense of the world, an essential element of childcare and development. This period is filled with intellectual achievements:

  • A child of 9-12 months can learn new behaviours by watching and copying others;
  • A two-year-old toddler understands the properties of objects such as their appearance and disappearance, their location, and owners and can discuss the actions done on objects by people;
  • At two and a half years, a child comprehends that other people can have different preferences than his or hers.

Daycare and early learning centres can activate and promote the process of learning by providing toddlers with opportunities to learn, acting as the agents of this process and receiving foreseeable responses from their surrounding environment.

Early learning centres often nurture children’s natural curiosity regarding the world and their innate inclinations toward learning. For example, two-year-old toddlers begin voluntarily to sort their toys into piles based on various criteria, such as vehicles and marbles, provided they have the opportunity and the resources to do so.

The learning process runs more smoothly when it takes place in a motivating-stimulating set-up, such as daycare centres where educators constantly encourage the children to explore their possibilities.

Research has indicated that toddlers who learn in a highly-controlled environment, in classrooms focused on obtaining performance before anything else, have a low degree of motivation, can suffer from depression and don’t establish a connection of warmth with their educators. 

Childcare and Development - Relating to Others

Relating with other children is a key element of childcare and development in toddlers. The type of relationships toddlers establish with other toddlers is important to them. These relationships shape their perception of the world as a friendly or non-friendly environment, the assessment of their worth and competence and influence their social behaviour as they grow.

Toddlers of 1 to 2 years experience increased interaction with other children. This developmental stage enables them to imitate other children, become aware of those children’s intent and switch roles with them, creating a solid base for cooperative play. 

How educators in daycare and early learning centres manage the children’s playing environment is essential. The relationship toddlers establish during play are sometimes fragile: a child who gets distracted or insists on changing the rules is sometimes enough to break the play pattern and can leave some children discouraged from getting involved in future playing.

The daycare has an important role also in mediating conflicts whose peak occurs between the ages of 2 and 3. Supervision and proper intervention of educators help toddlers learn how to manage conflicts and stressful situations, compromise, establish trusting and positive relationships with others and engage in calculated risks for sharing playing experiences with their peers.

A final consideration: the quality of the early learning centre matters!

An extensive study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has concluded that high-quality care:

  • stimulates and supports higher development of language and cognitive capabilities, 
  • better relationships with other children, 
  • enhanced compliance with rules, 
  • better development of skills that favour success at school and fewer behaviour difficulties. 

 The main characteristics of high-quality childcare are the child-to-caregiver ratio, the size of children groups organised by the centre, and, most significantly, the positive care provided by educators.

Positive care signs in a daycare include positive physical contact between the educator and the children, praising and encouraging children, telling and singing, reading, efficient management of negative situations such as conflicts between children, and teaching methods that promote the positive development of behaviour.

Choosing a daycare to provide the right childcare and development in toddlers may be challenging for parents overwhelmed by the options available.  

Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre, based upon the Reggio Emilia fundamental principles, provides a creative and open environment which encourages infinite learning for the children and strong relationships between teachers, children and families.

Contact us to book a tour at one of our childcare centres in Panmure, Mt Roskill, Howick in Auckland or Hamilton East.

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Our Early Learning Centres

Our early childhood centre environments strongly reflects our inspiration – The Reggio Emilia philosophy, from Reggio Emilia, Italy.

We provide a creative and open ended environment that encourages infinite learning for the children and strong relationships between teachers, children and families.

The day’s routines are flexible. At the same time, care is taken to recognise and respect each child’s needs.

Playground at Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre childcare in Howick, Auckland
Child playing in BBELC - Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre Childcare (1)

Here's what our parents say about our childcare centres

Come and visit one of our childcare centres and see for yourself why your child will love it

Talk to the Centre Manager, meet the team, see the natural outdoor play areas and educational rooms, learn about how we develop our programs and find out more about our unique approach to partnering with our families.

Our latest parent reviews from Google

Tanya Vester
Tanya Vester
Our sons attended Bright beginnings early leaning Centre and absolutely loved it. They attended Manuka and Kowhai rooms, and later also Pohutukawa room. The teachers in all three rooms were just SO lovely, caring, attentive and supported their learning journeys and communicated the children’s achievements with us. We are so thankful for the time our kids were able to spend there, and the kids made great memories for life. We highly recommend BBELC to anyone looking for a child care center. We had to leave due to moving overseas and will miss BBELC so much!!!
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
"I don't think I can express in words the gratitude I feel towards you all. My child, Amrin have learnt so much in your care that will stay with her for life. I believe their fondest memories of childhood will include many of you - I truly hope you are all extremely proud your efforts with our children. Thank you for all the wonderful support and care you have given to my daughter. This Centre is a very special place and she has grown so much in your nurturing, inspiring and challenging environment. You are really helping her to prepare for her school foundation." Actually, this is a second home for Amrin, she started her journey from BBELC, Auckland and will leave for school from here. Thanks to all the teachers, If I start typing the names, the list will be so long. In last especially I should not forget Nikita, who is so understanding and caring towards kids as well as families. Thank you with much love."
Anaru Pui
Anaru Pui
We've had our daughter Waikohu pui in the center for over 1 year now And she has Developed into such a beautiful kind person and has gained some great life skills and experiences thank you to all the teachers for there support and care with our baby girl making life alot easier knowing shes getting great education and Aroha (Love) from all the teachers at her Kura ( school ) thanks again ❤️ from the Pui whanau
Jagroop Kaur
Jagroop Kaur
Teachers are very kind and patient. Also they encourage children to learn in different indoor and outdoor activities. I am so pleased in POHUTUKAWA room the teacher do the school transition program, which is really helpful to the kids enter the primary school in the future. Thanks all teacher who support VIRASAT and other kids there quite well.
anne dela cruz
anne dela cruz
We have been with BBELC Hamilton since 2020 during the peak of pandemic and I never doubted to bring my children here knowing that they are on a safe place and the team are all aware of the best health and safety plan to ensure that everyone in the centre are safe. The centre is the BEST for me in terms of CLEANLINESS (the place os very tidy), SAFETY OF CHILDREN (only parents/caregivers can enter the premises on their pin coded door), FRIENDLY STAFF (you will be greeted by a very friendly receptionist, you can talk to the teachers about your concern with your child), OPEN DOOR POLICY (Manager’s door is open all times for parents for any concern or question), NUTRICIOUS FOOD for our kids, SCHOOL READINESS PROGRAM (table activities, book reading, sharing with others, simple literacy), MAT TIME IS THE BEST as the kids learn to socialize, listen to teachers, story telling, yoga, dance time, music time,etc. and they also held PARENTS TIME where we can chat with the teacher about our kids, meet other parents, share experiences and strategies, parents gets treat and gift on special occasion like mother’s day and father’s day that will definitely make your day as a parent. And lastly for few years now, my kids have enjoyed their Christmas party where they get gift and enjoy bouncy castle, it’s simple but the experience and memories will be lifetime. THANKS TO ALL THE STAFF AND TEACHERS OF BBELC Hamilton! KUDOS TO ALL YOUR HARDWORK AND DEDICATION. CHEERS TO MANY MORE YEARS OF SUCCESS! - DELA CRUZ Family ( Robb and Reuben)
I love BBELC and my child love it too. As parents ,my husband and I deeply appreciate the staff being friendly ,kind ,patient ,role models and caring .The educators work well with parents to achieve the children’s developmental goals , the manager Leonie and Teachers Mari, Kathryn, Summer and Emma really care about the children and very welcoming. The childcare is secure and this gives us peace of mind in knowing that our little ones are in good hands and safe . The classrooms are clean and nicely decorated. I highly recommend sending your child to this center. It’s become our second home.
BBELC is an awesome environment for my daughter to learn and grow through different types of activities. All the staffs are friendly, supportive and helpful. Highly recommended to all.
Neda Bolouri
Neda Bolouri
A safe, happy and caring place for our children.
Norvega Bantang
Norvega Bantang
Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre - Hamilton is like a second home to my 2 little girls. They are very supportive of the children’s early learning and individual development. The rooms are spacious, warm and cozy and provide different kinds of resources for the children to explore. My girls are always excited to go to kindy every morning. Since I have also recently become part of this centre, it’s good to know and see for myself how things work in the centre and how very passionate the staff are in looking after every child like they are family. As a parent, it gives me the peace of mind that my children are in good hands and are well taken cared of. Definitely made the right decision to enroll our children here.
Diana Villa-Ignacio
Diana Villa-Ignacio
BBELC is a wonderful centre which caters to quality care and learning of children. We take pride in our relationship with parents , whanau and children having positive environment, open communication, flexibility, catering to children needs and working alongside parent's aspiration for their children. Feel free to come and see our Hamilton centre. We will be happy to show you around and be part of our Bright Beginnings Family.

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