Learn more about child observations examples and why child observation is important in early childhood
Published 3 Aug 2022
Child Observation is the method of watching, listening, asking questions, documenting, and analyzing the observed words and actions of children as they interact with their surroundings and other people. Proper observation in childcare is crucial in helping educators and parents address the needs of early childhood development.
The intention should be clear before you begin with child observation:
When you begin with the end in mind, you can better prepare for the child observation and choose the most helpful observation method/s.
This article will briefly discuss the importance of child observation in early childhood, methods for observing children, situational examples of child observation reports, and information or details that are typically included in the observation report. We’ll also recommend some helpful tools that educators in learning centers can use for their daily child observation reports.
Observation in childcare is vital in discovering and better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each child. It’s an important element in the creation of an accurate and actionable child observation report, which will, in turn, help tailor the childcare environment to further facilitate learning.
Exploration and learning are the cornerstones of early childhood education, and a child observation report will help in meeting the developmental requirements of preschool children and other young learners. For child educators and care providers, child observation may be the simplest and most effective way to assess young children’s development.
Observation in child care begins with observing child behavior, learning progress, and interaction with others and to unfamiliar situations. This information is later used to determine ways to improve the learning environment.
A child observation report should be based on what was actually seen and heard and should be as detailed as possible. Here are some child development observation examples to help you document and meet the purpose for observing the child:
When documenting child observations be careful to note what you actually observe, what you see and hear exactly. Be objective and always be factual. The information gathered during child observation should serve the intended purpose you have set from the beginning and can help with the needs of early childhood development.
Child Observation Report Example
Completing a child observation report can seem to be a daunting task at first, but armed with the basic child observation techniques, educators can come up with comprehensive reports of children observations. To help you get started, here are a few examples of child observations, or documenting children’s learning, based by the Family Day Care Association Queensland (ConnectFDC):
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The details in a child observation report depend on what type of reporting format is required by the educational institution or what type of observation method or technique was used by the educator upon observing children. Generally, a child observation report should include:
To aid you with documentation and child observation reports, you can use SafetyCulture (iAuditor) on your iPad, tablet, computer, or mobile device to capture photos of fleeting moments and quickly annotate to describe what you saw and heard.
You can use SafetyCulture (iAuditor)’s scheduling feature to time your observations with scheduled events like playtime and art sessions. With SafetyCulture (iAuditor)’s cloud-based storage (unlimited use if you subscribe to Premium), you can be sure that child observations are secure and only accessible to educators who are given permission to access.
Educators can use our collection of carefully created childcare forms and templates for their observations and generate reports on the spot. Reports can easily be sent to parents with the touch of a button, saving time and effort that could be better spent on interacting with children.
Observation checklists assist an observer to identify skill gaps and problem areas to further improve teaching strategies, classroom settings, and student learning development. Check out SafetyCulture (iAuditor)'s free checklist templates for teacher, classroom, and student observations.
Erick Brent Francisco
Erick Brent Francisco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, he is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. His experience in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail helps enrich the quality of information in his articles.
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