Observation and assessment form an ongoing cycle that is the basis for making educational decisions. Both must be done intentionally and provide a rationale for curriculum planning, adjustments, and accommodations. Professionals working with young children must observe constantly and maintain documentation of such observations, which must take place in all spaces, at all times, and over time so as to form the most complete picture possible of a child. Because young children's growth and development change rapidly, observation must happen frequently and be consistently updated.
Assessment, the systematic collection of information and the subsequent analysis of a child's growth and development processes, must also take place continually over time and utilize tools that are congruent with what is known about developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive practice.
The cycle of observation and assessment informs curriculum planning and evaluation of educational goals for children and programs.
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The professional working with young children: