One of the benefits of sending your child to a professional child care centre is having your child’s development properly tracked. Observations are part of every teacher’s day-to-day life at Choo Choo Train. When a teacher observes a child within their care, she can understand the child’s strengths or weaknesses. Through observing how children explore, learn, and play, the teachers learn more about each and every child they work with. The teachers can identify the child’s communication style, find out why a child might be having challenging behaviour, and identify special needs are some of the many reasons why observation is important in early childhood education. It is a time-consuming task that is crucial to help children meet their developmental milestones. It is a process of:
Every single day, the teachers observe how children behave, learn, react to new situations, and interact with each other. They then write down the observation by including the action and language used by the child. For example, Aurelia chooses to play with a baby doll during free-play. She asks the doll “You want milk?” If a supervisor is in the class, the teachers call her to take a photo or a video as another way to gathering evidence. (Choo Choo Train has a policy that does not allow its teachers to use a phone in the classroom). The photo or video is then shared with parents on the school app. Based on the observations and evidences, the teachers then plan the actions to change the environment and the activities to promote growth. As the children learn more skills and adapt to different situations, the teachers reflect on all the written observations and pictures or videos gathered over time to do the assessment in the form of a checklist. This checklist covers a child’s cognitive development, physical development, social development, emotional development, and language and literacy development. For children under 19 months old, their teachers conduct assessments once every two months. For children above 19 months, their teachers conduct assessments once every six months.
Once the assessment is complete, the information is brought back to parents through a meeting for the purpose of working together to support the child both at home and in the classroom. In the meeting, parents and teachers discuss the goals and each other’s roles to make the child successful. If the teacher suspects any issues with the child’s development, it will be made known to the parents and the centre will refer parents to a source for professional help.