Our Guide to Social Development in Children


Social development in children is one of the pillars of success in life and plays an important role in shaping your child’s health, well-being and happiness as they grow. It’s highly recognised that the key to developing a child’s social development begins when they start their early years of education. That’s because socialising is one of the most integral parts of any child’s social development.

From basic soft skills to deeper life lessons, having your child spend time with other children is fundamental to providing them with a fully-rounded education. Keep reading to learn more about social development in early childhood and how this is developed as they enter nursery education.

What is social development in early childhood?

StudySmarter defines social development as “the evolution of someone’s social and emotional abilities that can either positively or negatively impact someone’s life down the road”. It involves children interacting with others so they can develop positive attitudes towards themselves and others, develop relationships with others and many other skills.

Social development in early childhood tends to occur under the radar. Reading facial cues, understanding tone, and body language and exhibiting all of the above is something we take for granted as adults, so giving your children time to learn the ropes is a must.

The human brain is incredible and young children soak up information like a sponge. First Things First states that “from birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more and more rapidly than at any other time in life”. They also claim that scientific research has confirmed that a child’s experiences in the first few years of life help shape how their brain develops. So with this in mind, let’s look at the ways children learn, live and grow while socialising at nursery.

Social development skills in children



Confidence is one of the most important parts of your child’s social development. However it’s important to remember that every child is unique, so not every child is going to be loud or outgoing, but this isn’t the only way to show confidence. Letting your child experience independence from a young age allows them to learn, problem-solve and communicate. These little victories every day will help your little one find their passions, strengths and weaknesses and allow them to grow into themselves.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are an incredibly important group of skills that serve you throughout your life. From people skills to social skills, and communication skills, these help you navigate living in a social environment. For children, this is no different with them learning and mastering soft skills by socialising. Whether in a playgroup or at a day nursery like Stepping Stones, everyday interactions with other children will help your little one learn how to cope with everything life can throw at them.



At Stepping Stones, we have an Activity Playroom that offers a wide range of activities and toys that promote sharing. This social skill can only benefit children as they begin to understand the concept of working together. With the help of our highly qualified staff, your children will be encouraged to use sharing to learn about cooperation and equality.


Children are naturally curious as they learn more and more about the world around them. As such, allowing your children to interact with children from all walks of life will help them understand that everyone is different and everyone deserves respect. Children are the best of us and carry no prejudices meaning that from a young age, children can learn from and socialise with children that are different to them. In this way, children can learn and grow to become caring and understanding adults.



Respect and discipline often bring up visions of Miss Trunchbull from Matilda, but luckily this isn’t the case! Socialising at daycare allows caregivers to set a space where children learn how to listen to authority figures outside of the home. This respect for authority extends to respect for surroundings and belongings as children learn how to share and play together. This exposure to respect and discipline also sets the foundation for life skills like social interaction, being polite, taking turns as well as verbal and nonverbal social cues.


Socialising is known to rapidly increase the development of language skills and present children with the opportunity to play and interact with other children. By spending time in a day nursery, the environment contributes positively to a child’s understanding of their home language and engages them in storytelling, playing and conversation.

Book a visit with us today

These are just some of the many ways a day nursery like Stepping Stones can enhance your child’s social development. It can often be scary for you and your child, but by letting your little one engage with the world, they get a chance to learn, grow and become more independent.

If you’d like to get your little one’s adventure started, be sure to book a free session with us today. We have over 20 years of experience caring for young children and we offer safe and secure premises that feature a wide range of toys, activities and lessons to keep your child entertained and enlightened. If you have any questions, or you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact one of our qualified, friendly team members today.

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