Child Development

Children and young people develop skills in their own time but tend to follow the same path. Explore the child development timeline or the interactive questionnaires for more information.

Click on the sections below for quick access to each area or scroll down the page to see all the content.

Child Development Timeline (Birth to 5 Years)

Children develop in their own time. The following information provides general guidance on what to expect. Do not worry if your child is not meeting all milestones for their age range. If your child was born early or was unwell as a baby then you might want to look at a younger age range. It is normal for one area to develop quicker than another. If your child is not meeting any of the milestones for their age or you are worried speak to your Health Visitor.


Click here to access the timeline


Premature babies often have to spend some time in special care units attached to maternity hospitals.  This can be a very frightening experience for new parents, particularly when your tiny baby is in an incubator surrounded with medical equipment and beeping machines.  Staff are there to support you as well as look after your baby and there are still ways you can be involved in your baby's care.

We have provided some downloadable resources that give information on how your baby is processing sensory information as well as the different states of arousal your baby experiences.  Please click on the links on the right to view these resources.

Click here for more information on prematurity

Moving On Questionnaires

These questionnaires help you to think about your child's progress at particular stages of development.

The Moving On To Nursery questionnaire is for children aged 2½ to 3½ years old who are about to start nursery. It will help you to teach them the skills they need to take part in nursery.

The Moving On To School questionnaire is for children who are about to start school. It will help you to teach them the skills they need to take part in school.

Don't worry if your child is not meeting all the milestones. The questionnaire will provide you with ideas and activities to help achieve these skills. Further resources are available throughout KIDS. If you are worried speak to your Health Visitor or nursery staff.

Click here to access the Moving On questionnaires

Moving On To Primary School

Children in Scotland usually start Primary School when they are between 4½ and 5½ years old.  This can be an exciting time for children and their families.  It can often be overwhelming too.  There are lots of things you can do to help your child with moving on to Primary School.  On this page, you will find lots of ideas and activities you can use.  Starting to think about what your child will need to do when they start primary school will help you too. Make sure you spend time playing with your child to help them develop the skills they need. 

For more information

Skills for Secondary School

Going to secondary school is an exciting time.  Like any big change you might be a little bit nervous too.  On these pages you will find information and activities to help you prepare for this change.  There is information and resources to help you manage any anxiety you might be feeling.  There is advice about organisation skills such as time management, organising for your school day and finding your way around.  There is also a section on life skills.  These are the basic skills you need to be independent such as tying your own tie, making a snack and managing your own money.

For more information