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Preschoolers are constantly learning new skills and information. Much of what preschoolers have learned and are still learning is taught to them through relationships. For instance, when a parent responds positively to a child’s smile or question, the child learns that they are valued and loved. When a toddler sees a friend or a teacher enjoy a new food, the toddler learns that food might be tasty. These factsheets describe the many kinds of relationships preschoolers are forming and how these relationships support their development.


Parenting is a big, challenging job, especially with a preschooler who is learning to be more and more independent, but still needs you very much. Preschoolers who feel safe and cared for in their relationships with their parents are also better able to form relationships with other adults and children.

Family, Siblings, and Peers

Preschoolers’ worlds keep getting bigger. Compared to when they were babies, preschoolers now spend more time with other family members, may have new siblings, and often attend school and/or daycare. As preschoolers interact more with other people they also start to expand their understanding of other people’s feelings.