North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Health and Physical Development (HPD)

Subdomain: Self-Care

Goal: Children develop independence in caring for themselves and their environment.

Skill Progression: Self-care

Age: 18-21 Months

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Needs help with toothpaste

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child during self-care routines in the bathroom.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult prompts the child to do each of the bathroom tasks. When needed, adult wipes the child’s nose.

Behavior Observed

Needs help aiming the toothpaste, but tries to squeeze the tube.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage early childhood educators and parents to involve children in all self-care tasks, including tooth brushing, dressing, hand washing, nose wiping, and bathing. Children want to do things by themselves; so let them do what they can. Let them add the last step to household task, such as pouring in laundry detergent or pushing the vacuum cleaner button.

 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