North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Emotional and Social Development (ESD)

Subdomain: Learning About Feelings

Goal: Children recognize and respond to the needs and feelings of others.

Skill Progression: Recognizes and responds to needs and feelings of others

Age: 6-8 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 6-8 Months.

Understands that adults’ signals (voice and face) together convey information and emotions (behavior changes with adult signals)

Situations for Observation of Skill

Watch the child’s facial and body reactions to an adult’s or peer’s smiling, laughing, anger, or frustration.

Elicitation Strategy

The infant may show frustration when the adult stops playing and smiling. He may look away to “recover” and look back to see if anything has changed.

Behavior Observed

The infant to stops actions and stares at the adult’s face, showing understanding that the emotional situation has changed. The infant tries to re-engage the adult or peer with reaching.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage early childhood educators and parents to watch the child’s change in facial expression as an indicator of what he is seeing on their face. Adults may not realize they are relating flat or negative affect to the child. The infant needs as much positive caring exchange as possible to build trust and security.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit