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Child Development in the Family Context
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The aim of this unit of study is to help students explore child development within the theory and context of the family’s bio-psychosocial and cultural environment. Child and family health nurses working with families with infants and young children must have an in-depth understanding of a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development and the contextual and environmental influences on child health.

This knowledge assists nurses in facilitating parenting strengths and promoting the infant/child carer-relationship, therefore enabling the attachment process, this is a fundamental element in the healthy development of young children. Central to the role of child and family health nurses is the acquisition of skills in growth and developmental assessment. The interpretation of findings in relation to a child’s developmental age within their family, social and cultural context provides a good foundation for optimal developmental assessment, health screening and surveillance, and facilitates early intervention when developmental issues are detected.

Child and family health nurses promote the optimal development of children through a partnership approach and the provision of anticipatory guidance to parents; therefore, knowledge of child development helps in the provision of client-centred health promotion strategies leading to optimum child health outcomes.

Child Development in the Family Context
Unit of study code 018
Availability Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Health Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Nursing

GC single unit of study

Pre-requisite N/A
Credit points 6
Hours of study 150
Fee* Tier 3
Clinical Placement Information There is a compulsory 40 hours clinical placement for this unit of study.

Anyone applying for an ACN course that includes a clinical placement must provide evidence of compliance documents at the time of application.

Applications for enrolment will not be progressed until all relevant documentation has been received by customer services.

Each Australian state and territory has its own clinical placement documentation requirements. Please view our clinical placement information page, then click on the tab for your particular state or territory for information on specific requirements.

Individual placement providers may need additional documentation. If you are required to provide this then you will be contacted by the clinical placement officer following enrolment.

ACN negotiates with health care facilities to secure clinical placements. ACN will make every effort to secure clinical placements within the timeframe indicated in the course outline, however applicants are advised that provision and location of clinical placements is dependent on the availability of placements within the health facility.

As placements are difficult to secure, once confirmed these cannot be negotiated unless there is unforeseen extenuating circumstances. Applicants are not to arrange their own clinical placements with a clinical facility under any circumstances. ACN reserves the right to change clinical placements if necessary.

Prescribed texts Berk, LE & Meyers, AB 2015, Infants and children: Prenatal through middle childhood, 8th edn, Pearson, Boston.
Co-ordinated by Trish Lowe MACN
Content Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program


After completing this subject, the learner will be able to:-

Assessment Tasks
Type of assessment

Note the completed assessment item (e.g. Assessment 1: Online discussion)


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Developmental foundations & influences a) evaluate the research, policies, models and frameworks that provide parameters for assessing, screening and monitoring child development in the early years Assessment 1: Online discussions x2 10% 3, 8
Theme 2: Developmental screening and assessment b) analyse the complex social, cultural and environmental factors that influence developmental outcomes in young children Assessment 2: Professional experience placement Achieved/Not achieved 3-9
Theme 3: Developmental progression  in infancy & toddlerhood c) apply knowledge of developmental foundations and theories to support the biopsychosocial and emotional needs of infants and children Assessment 3: Case analysis (part A) and Essay (part B) (2,500 words) 45% 6
Theme 4: Developmental progression in the preschool years d) interpret the signs of perinatal distress that can influence infant-parent attachment and infant mental health and wellbeing Assessment 4: Case analysis (part A) and Essay (part B) (2,500 words) 45% 10
Theme 5: Supporting optimal development e) implement effective communication strategies that strengthen partnerships with parents, families, community networks

f) reflect on the nurse’s role in facilitating parents’ understanding of their child’s developmental needs through health education and parenting skill development

Child Development in the Family Context (018) is a Tier 3 unit.

Tiers2021 Member price (10% discount)2021 Non-member price2022 Member price (10% discount)2022 Non-member price
Tier 1$2,070.00$2,300.00$2,133.00$2,370.00
Tier 2$2,362.50$2,625.00$2,434.50$2,705.00
Tier 3$2,776.50$3,085.00$2,862.00$3,180.00
Tier 4$3,321.00$3,690.00$3,420.00$3,800.00

*Fees are subject to change without notice.