30.3: Observation and Documentation While Participating
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One of the critical challenges for infant and toddler caregivers is observing and recording their observations while providing care. Learning how to address this challenge takes time and a sound support system. Caregivers can develop plans together for observing and recording behavior within the context of daily routines and events. Some caregivers take turns; others have systems such as cameras and note cards placed around the indoor and outdoor areas so they can take quick notes or photos in the moment. There are many ways to participate and observe at the same time. Infants and toddlers become accustomed to caregivers who take notes and photos; the process of observing and recording behavior becomes a regular part of daily routines. Documentation from caregivers who are involved daily with infants and toddlers is the most useful because the caregiver understands the infant’s and toddler’s context: everything from how the infant or toddler slept the night before to his current interests. Infant and toddler caregivers who observe regularly are better able to provide care and education that connects with each infant and toddler.
 The California Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework by the California Department of Education is used with permission