Childhood is a category which came to social awareness and scientific research relatively late. The discovery of childhood can be associated with the names of different thinkers and educators. In this article, I will undertake an attempt to reconstruct selected views about the child and childhood coming from J.J. Rousseau and J. Korczak. The first figure is said to be the discoverer of childhood in modern Europe, while the second one is the discoverer of childhood in Polish education, and a progenitor of the modern meaning of childhood. The analyzes that I conduct shows the evolution of understanding of this category.