Development of Young Children

MQF Level 6


Development of Young Children

October 2024
Module Type
ECTS Credits
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Module Description

This module offers a comprehensive exploration of the various developmental areas of young children, including physical, social, emotional, linguistic, and cognitive development. Participants will study how these areas interact and influence one another, providing a holistic view of child development.

Developmental Theories and Stages: Participants will delve into several key theories of development that correspond to different stages and milestones in early childhood. The module begins with prenatal development and neonatal stages, progressing through infancy and toddler stages, and culminating in the kindergarten years. The impact of genetics on development will also be covered, highlighting the biological underpinnings of growth.

Environmental Influences: The role of the family, school, and broader community will be examined to understand how various environmental factors contribute to or hinder a child’s development. This section aims to contextualize development within the surrounding environment of the young child.

Practical Application: Engaging with real-life scenarios, participants will discuss the impact of their decisions as ECE practitioners on child development. These discussions are designed to equip participants with the skills to support development in ECE settings effectively and to consider alternative approaches and solutions in their practice.

By the end of this module, participants will have a detailed understanding of child development stages and theories, equipped to apply this knowledge in practical and meaningful ways within early childhood education environments.

Entry Requirements

Candidates who apply for this course will possess:

  • A full qualification at MQF level 4 in Early Childhood Education and SEC/Ordinary Level passes in Mathematics, English and Maltese.


  • 2 Advanced Level passes and 2 Intermediate Level passes including 2 subjects from Mathematics, English, Maltese.
    A pass at SEC/Ordinary Level in the subject that is not presented at advanced/intermediate level from the 3 specified above.
  • In the case of students who do not possess all the formal required academic qualifications, then the RPL process could be applied such that if evidence of equivalent learning, related to the area of study of this programme, is found then the applicant could still be accepted in the course. Such RPL process will subject applicants to an interview held with a board of experts within the field, chosen specifically by IDEA Academy, so as to verify their experiences and prior learning.

IDEA Academy’s RPL policy can be accessed through this link

Furthermore, it will be advised to students at entry point that before going on placements, they will need to be in possession of:

  • The POMA (Protection of Minors Application) certificate.
  • A first-aid certificate prior to commening placement practice.
  • A valid police conduct certificate.

Target Audience

This programme has the following target groups:

  • Individuals who are approaching the field of Early Childhood Education.
  • Individuals who have been working in the field as a means of capacity building.
  • Individuals looking to advance to Kindergarten Educator III role.

Module / Unit Instruction

The proposed structure comprises a blended approach promoting the building of a community of practice via peer-to-peer learning.

The structure uses primarily two dimensions of teaching-learning modes: · Face-to-face sessions: 18h · Online Learning Activities: 12h.

Face-to-face sessions include lectures, tutorials, discussions, presentations, and workshop activities promoting peer-to-peer learning.

Online Learning Activities incorporate tutorials and asynchronous discussions. These may consist of active interaction, participation, and contributions in fora discussions, sharing resources and self-reflection exercises.

Learners also contribute to the building of the community of practice by providing feedback to their peers as critical friends, enhancing the learner’s critical engagement throughout the study period.

The tutor provides continual support during both teaching-learning modes by providing information, readings, and tasks relevant to the module in question.

The tutor provides continuous formative feedback as an on-going guidance during the student’s learning experience in preparation for their summative assessment.

How you’ll be assessed

For this module, the assigned lecturer is guided to develop and assign a minimum of two assessment tasks, one of which should happen during the module to allow for formative feedback. Once the assessment tasks are developed by the lecturer, these go through a rigourous internal verification process to make sure that they are subject, level, and load appropriate.

All formative and summative tasks aim to provide the learner with an opportunity to produce evidence of his/her competences aligned to the learning outcomes of the modules and enhance his/her learning in the process.

Furthermore, the tasks may include different forms of assessment which allow and promote students’ knowledge in the area, critical engagement and other transversal skills that are required in the field (e.g., online discussions, in-class discussions, case studies, etc.).

The module consist of two assessments, each carrying a weighting as is below recommended:

a. Assessment 1 carries 40% of total module mark achieved. b. Assessment 2 carries 60% of total module mark achieved.

The overall grade achieved for this module is calculated as the sum of: · 40% of the mark achieved for Assessment 1; and · 60% of the mark achieved for Assessment 2.

a) Assessment 1 will be conducted in the form of a project based on a case study related to child development.

b) Assessment 2  will be conducted in the form of a 1,500-word assignment whereby the course participants need to show a thorough understanding of child development.

For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve an overall pass mark of 50%.


Module Intake Dates

October 2024

Learning Outcomes


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the responsibility and autonomy to:

  • Analyse how developmental theories can be applied in the ECE setting.
  • Analyse recent and ongoing strategies and resources used by ECE practitioners which promote child development.
  • Manage key milestones in child development (neonatal, prenatal, etc.)
  • Assess the role of the ECE practitioner in light of how this can help and promote child development.
  • Carry out a review of the literature on the different stages of child development.
  • Collaborate with other course participants and participate in discussions about how to use an array of resources to promote healthy and holistic child development.
  • Identify normative development stages and the external factors which help or hinder such stages.


At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Be familiar with the different stages of holistic child development in the first seven years of the life of the young child.
  • Consolidate knowledge about ways of how the surrounding environment can be used to promote healthy and holistic child development.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the canonical theories and proponents of child development.
  • Know the relevant policies which may affect or which are directly related to child development and its milestones.
  • Learn about how to use an array of tools and resources to support development in ECE.
  • Understand the links and divergences between the genetic and environmental effects on the development of the young child.
  • Know how the other children and the adults working within the ECE setting may affect the development of the young child.


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the following skills:

  • Analyse situations in various ECE settings in Malta which may have helped or hindered child development and potential solutions for such situations.
  • Evaluate various ways of how to use observations (as a pedagogical tool) to analyse child development.
  • Identify challenges and barriers to create an environment which is not only conducive to learning, but which respects and promotes child development.
  • Investigate how adults within ECE settings (practitioners) and outside ECE settings (parents/legal guardians) may support child development.
  • Identify and propose different ways in which practitioners and parents can communicate to address and discuss specific milestones within child development.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will be able to:

  • Assess how policy documents can address holistic child development.
  • Establish a positive attitude towards researching the different stages and milestones of child development.
  • Use various ways to examine and assess different resources which are appropriate to support and enhance the development of children.
  • Reflect on various interventions which are used to safeguard the development of children.
  • Interpret specific child development milestones to be able to provide differentiated and personalised pedagogies suitable to the different milestones.

Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences:

At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Carry out academic research on websites (e.g. Google Scholar) or journals (e.g. EBSCO, Taylor & Francis, SAGE, etc.).
  • Develop a reference list using the Microsoft application in-built function.
  • Navigate the Internet for policy documents, legislation, etc., related to child development.
  • Navigate through the online learning platform to download and upload assignments, discussion boards, literature, tutorials, etc.
  • Use basic Microsoft office (or equivalent) applications in order to write and submit assignments.
  • Use several academic software (e.g. Mendeley) to enhance the academic and research experience.
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