How Does a Safe Physical Environment Promote Children’s Development

Physical safety is often the first requirement in achieving and experiencing good wellbeing. If we’re safe, we can allot more physical and mental energy in other pursuits such as learning and forming relationships. 

Importance of physical safety in child development

It’s also the case with children who are just starting to learn and form relationships. If their environment is unsafe and unpredictable, they might find it hard to explore and participate in activities. Even with enough courage and healthy self-esteem, their exploration and participation might be limited. This can significantly affect their rate of learning and development. 

When it comes to sustaining their rate of learning and development, physical safety also plays a huge role. A single instance of illness, accident or injury can slow down or temporarily halt their rapid learning and progress. It can be difficult to catch up and this might also set a negative momentum for several weeks and months to come. 

Maintaining a safe physical environment

Because of the importance of safety in child development, there are now standards related to the physical environment in early learning centres. For example, in the Quality Area 3 under the National Quality Standard, the focus is on ensuring a safe and suitable physical environment for children. This way, both the indoor and outdoor spaces will help maximise the children’s engagement in several activities (which can support their rapid learning and development). 

Aside from the premises, the included furniture and equipment should be clean, safe and well-maintained. It’s also important that the learning resources and play equipment are adequate in number. This will let every child better engage in play-based learning because the materials and resources are enough (no taking turns as much as possible, there should be freedom on where and when to use a certain equipment). 

“Safety first” has always been true whether at the workplace, school, home or early learning centre. With a priority on safety, children are given more freedom and encouragement to explore and play. This will support their rapid progress in learning and development especially during their crucial early years.