Toddler Language Development, Daycare, And What To Expect

How many words should your toddler know? If your tot hasn't exactly mastered language use, don't worry. Young children are still in the early stages of development and they may not follow a set schedule. This makes it important to understand what is possible and expected for your child's age. Take a look at what you need to know about toddler language development and how daycare can help.

Are There Specific Milestones a Toddler Should Meet?

Instead of thinking about development as a series of set milestones your child needs to meet at precise week or month target dates, look language growth as a continuum. While your child should progress from simple skills to more complex abilities during this time period, you shouldn't mark expected developmental dates on a calendar.

As your child transitions from infancy into the toddler years, they should start to recognize familiar words, follow basic directions, and may say 10 or more words. By two years of age, many toddlers can use two-word phrases, ask questions (again, using two-word phrases), follow commands, and may have a vocabulary of up to 50 words.

What Happens If a Toddler Doesn't Meet a Language Milestone?

Different toddlers will build their language skills and expand their vocabulary at different rates. For some children, the specific month, date, or age isn't the most important part of language development.

If your tot says 45 words by age two, and not 50, you don't need to worry. But if they have no vocabulary or struggle with other language areas, bring your concerns to an early childhood professional or pediatrician.

How Can Daycare Help Language Development?

Language development doesn't happen in a bubble. Without the ability to hear words or communicate with other people, a child won't progress as expected. Even though you might provide plenty of opportunities for your toddler to listen and speak, the addition of other adults (childcare teachers and staff) and peers can make language easier for your child to learn.

The childcare center environment provides your toddler with the chance to use language in social situations. This includes interactions with the teacher as well as play periods with like-aged children. Along with child-to-teacher and child-to-child communication, the early learning setting also gives your toddler the chance to build their vocabulary.

Content-based activities/lessons and story times allow your child to hear new subject-specific words. These could include science, art, math, or movement-related words.

Child language development isn't a choppy, milestone-marked path for your toddler to follow. From their first words and onto their first sentences, you should hear a gradual progression in your tot's speech use, vocabulary, and ability to communicate. If you're looking for ways to boost skills, talk to your toddler's teacher about classroom connections and at-home ideas.

For more information, contact a daycare center in your area.

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From the Classroom and Beyond: A Guide to Education

Where does education take place? In a classroom? At home? At friends' houses? If this were a multiple choice test, we would probably include an option that said "all of the above," and indeed, that would be the correct answer. While most of us think of education and school as being synonymous, the truth is, school is just one component of education. Especially in the age of the internet, there are other ways to learn what you need to know for life and for your career. You can lean all about these different educational opportunities and various educational philosophies here on this website.


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