Observations and Child Development

Staff make a record of observation of on every child. This record allows us to monitor every child’s’ individual’s development, and helps in ensuring they are developing as they should and to their full potential.

The records should be looked at regularly; at least once a week by the child’s nominated key worker and once a month by the nursery manger. Staff simply observe the child in their play and the things that they do during each day and record these observation to gain an insight into their development, likes, dislikes and interests. Staff will then use this insight in planning activities for the child to take part in.

If a child does not show the level of development you would expect considering their age and experiences ensure you plan activities which will encourage the child in this area. It may be the case that the child just needs the opportunity to explore further in order to realise their potential.

Observations are something which should be looked by the child’s nominated key worker on a daily basis. These are records which are kept on every child to form an individual record of how the child has developed during their time at nursery. E.G. the first step, the first word, when they helped one of their friends, when they said bye to mum and dad for the first time, basically everything new that the child does. It is important that staff consider the quality of the observation they record and not just the quantity of them.

We set a minimum weekly amount of 2 observations for staff to record on each of their key children. This way we ensure no children get missed out and all children end up with a good collection of observations that reflect their development and how the activities we plan for them help them to develop using their own interests.

Each member of staff has a designated group of key children and are responsible for maintaining their records and liasing with their parents/carers as needed, e.g. on a daily basis and at parents evenings. Each time staff look at the observation they have made they use the information to help them plan activities and experiences for the children that take into account the children’s own interests and likes and use these to help keep the children interested and open to learning and thus developing.

The room leader will support the staff in their team, looking at their observations and planning on a weekly basis and offering advice and guidance as needed. The nursery manager, or deputy in their absence, will also check these records and ensure the staff are keeping them up to date and on track.

Contracting parents/carers can look at their child’s observations whenever they wish to and we encourage their input into every aspect of their child’s day.

At the end of the children’s time at nursery their observations and development record will either be passed on to their next provider, with parental/carers consent, or be given to the parents to keep or to pass on.