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Introduction to Documentation
A foundation for high-quality care includes using information collected through observation and documentation to assess infant and toddler development and support developmentally appropriate curriculum creation. According to NAEYC (2009), there needs to be an organized information collection system to guide classroom decisions. Caregivers’ observation and the documentation created from those observations make infant and toddler learning visible (Rinaldi 2001), a concept first brought to light by the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Through detailed descriptive notes, photos, recordings, and drawings, caregivers reflect on an infant or toddler's ideas, intentions, or feelings during play. When we document infant and toddler learning and collect key artifacts, we create tangible evidence to share with the infant and toddler, their families, administrators, and other stakeholders. Observing infants and toddlers at play reveals much about their process of information gathering and making sense of their world. Rinaldi (1994, 59) explains that young infants and toddlers “ask us to listen, to observe, and support them and to render them visible.” Caregivers “render them visible” by recording what they see infants and toddlers do or say, then reflecting on and interpreting those observations. When infants and toddlers take action to explore different possibilities, they are testing their own hypotheses (Gopnik, Meltzoff, and Kuhl 2000; Gopnik 2009). Observing, reflecting, and creating documentation on infants’ and toddlers' actions or a verbal toddler's explanations serves as a window into their curious and creative minds.
 Early Education and Support. Best Practices for Planning Curriculum for Young Children: The integrated nature of learning is in the public domain