Birth to Three Matters

Birth to Three Matters is a framework for all who work with, and care for children aged birth to three, and includes children with SEN and or a disability.

It is intended to be used flexibly by practitioners, both individually and in groups. Children aged between 0 and 3 should be learning how to walk and talk, how to communicate both verbally and non-verbally, they should be learning about boundaries, discovering and exploring the environment around them and learning how to use the objects in it.

The aims of the framework are as follows:

The framework has four aspects which are made up of four Components.

These are shown in the table below:



A Strong Child

A Strong Child is one who feels confident, capable and self-assured. Strong children have a sense of their own identity and their own capabilities. With support, they become able to make decisions, trust themselves and have a positive self-image. These children develop a sense of belonging both in their own home and in their day care setting. They develop these feelings and abilities through the feedback they receive from warm, close and secure relationships, especially with an attentive and sensitive adult.

A Skillful Communicator

A Skillful Communicator is a child who engages with others to communicate in their own particular way. Their communication may be completely non-verbal, or it may involve the use of sounds, signs and words. It includes mirroring and imitation of other peoples’ facial expressions, gestures, sounds and words as well as those types of communication skills the child develops through the movement of their whole bodies, vocalising, gestures, babbling and forming words, and later, sentences. It also includes how children are able to understand others and be understood by them whatever means they use to communicate. They develop their abilities through the feedback they receive from warm, close and secure relationships, especially with an attentive and sensitive adult.

A Competent Learner

A competent learner is a child who uses all their senses to find out about whatever they come into contact with, including people, toys, clothes, furniture, books, flowers, grass, and anything else. Their curiosity leads them to understand that some things are predictable whilst others are not. Children who are competent learners watch the things that go on around them and they often imitate what they see and hear. They use materials imaginatively and creatively and begin to represent their ideas using marks. They are also investigators and explorers who try to find out how things work, and who create new uses for things. They are very active learners both physically, using their bodies, and mentally, using their minds.

A Healthy Child

A Healthy Child feels loved and cared for by the special people in their lives. They feel able to express their feelings of pleasure, anger or sadness and they have a healthy sense of dependence on others with gradually leads them to become appropriately independent. A Healthy Child is well nourished and has sufficient rest. If feeling well, a healthy child is naturally active. Control of their bodies and physical skills develop at their own pace and in their own way. They feel safe and protected when they have clear boundaries and when they are helped to make choices and decisions.

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