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Supporting Social and Emotional Development

Interaction Practice 3: Practitioners promote the child’s communication development by observing, interpreting, responding contingently, and providing natural consequences for the child's verbal and non-verbal communication and by using language to label and expand on the child’s requests, needs, preferences, or interests (DEC Recommended Practices, 2014).

The intent of California's SSIP (State Systemic Improvement Plan) is to build capacity of professionals and parents in the Early Start community to support the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental disabilities and delays. One idea for taking on this challenge was outlined by the Division for Early Childhood in a draft document, "Child Social-Emotional Competence Checklist," released for field review in July 2015.

The checklist offers a four-point scale (e.g., "seldom," "sometimes," "often," or "most of the time"), which adults—professionals and parents alike—can use to assess their own behavior, aimed at encouraging, supporting, and promoting healthy social-emotional development.

By focusing on "sensitive and responsive interactional practices" (DEC Recommended Practices, 2014, p. 13), all the adults in a child's life can promote learning through social play and increased responsiveness to a child's social-emotional behavior ("Child Social-Emotional Competence Checklist," 2015). The checklist can also be used to develop a plan to promote a parent’s use of the practices and monitor progress over time.

This resource is related to one or more competencies in the ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM). To find out more, visit this resource in the Neighborhood here.

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