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Early Childhood Development in MA & RI

Early childhood development (ECD) is a period of rapid and critical development from conception to 8 years of age. Approximately 90% of the brain’s growth occurs within the first 5 years of life, and about 80% of that growth occurs within the first 2 years of life. At Southcoast Health, our pediatric care services are designed with each child’s specific needs in mind. We proudly offer ECD programs to assist children and their families during all developmental stages. Learn more about the importance of ECD and how Southcoast Health can help your child grow strong and healthy in MA and RI. 

Why is Early Childhood Development Important?

Young children absorb information and learn many different skills simultaneously. For example, while a child is learning to crawl and walk, they’re also developing speech, studying social cues, and learning emotional expression. According to the CDC, significant delays in development can be indicators of a medical or psychological condition. ECD allows parents and primary caregivers to better understand a child’s behaviors and give them the support they need from a young age. Our expert pediatricians work closely with patients to provide certain therapies and interventions, using the latest screening tools, to enhance each child’s ability to flourish and reach their full potential.

Primary Areas of Early Childhood Development

Early childhood development is easier to understand when it’s broken down into different categories. The CDC separates early learning abilities into four primary areas, including:

  • Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
  • Language/communication
  • Movement/physical development
  • Social and emotional

In healthy children, these areas often intersect and are vital to growth and development. For example, social and emotional awareness increases through language and communication during a child’s preschool years. It’s important to note that development is not linear and varies greatly from child to child, even within the same family. Our team of pediatric specialists understands what timeframes and milestones to look out for. If you have any questions or concerns along the way, Southcoast Health is here to address them and help you make the right decisions for your child. 

Check out the CDC’s developmental milestones for a complete checklist from 2 months to 5 years of age.  

Insurance and Payment Options

Southcoast Health accepts most major health insurance plans. In certain cases, you may need a referral from your child’s primary care physician. Please call your insurance provider directly with any questions regarding coverage. When you arrive at our office, you must present a valid form of identification and your insurance card. Payment is due at the time of service. 

Early Childhood Development Care at Southcoast Health

Southcoast Health offers comprehensive early childhood development care for kids and their families at our hospitals and primary care practices in Fall River, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Wareham, MA, along with the surrounding areas of Rhode Island. Every child is unique, which is why we provide customized care plans to support your child during their crucial years of development. Find your nearest location to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician and learn more about our ECD programs and services today.