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Child Observations/Early Learning Assessment


NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start staff will take detailed observation of the children in the classrooms or during Home Visits to document what the children are doing in the different domains.


Child Observations

  1. A Child Observation Form (see attachments below) will be completed on each child during the Fall, Winter and Spring season.
    1. Observations for all program options will be entered into ChildPlus and will be used to complete the DRDP Parent Reports, report number 5024.
  2. Home Visitors gather child observations during the weekly home visits and record them on the Home Visit Record Form (see attachments below).
  3. Classroom teachers will complete the observation packet to ensure that all domains and objectives are included.
  4. Home Visitors will use a tracking form to ensure that all domains and objectives are included.
  5. Observations of the children are ongoing during the program year.
  6. Observations will be written and kept in a closed binder in the classroom. These binders will be reviewed at the monthly center staffing to ensure the appropriate documentation is being met.
  7. Observations are entered into ChildPlus weekly. Entered observations are monitored by the ECE CSS and Project Manager.
  8. Observations are recorded for planning purposes, goal setting and individualization.
    1. DO INCLUDE: description of actions, quotations, descriptions, descriptions of gestures, descriptions of facial expressions, description of creations, what the child CAN do, focus on the positive.
    2. DO NOT INCLUDE: labels (shy, creative, mad), intentions (wants to), and judgments (sloppy, beautiful), negatives (can’t, didn’t, won’t).


Early Learning Assessment

  1. Children who are funded through Ohio Department of Education Early Entitlement grant will receive additional observations for the Early Learning Assessment (ELA).
  2. The ELA intended to be a process through which early-childhood teachers collect and use assessment information to tailor instruction to the individual needs of each child.
  3. The ELA will be conducted 3 times per year.
  4. Teachers need to complete the scores per the ELA Handbook before the due date.
  5. The completed ELA packet for each season will be turned into the Education Manager by the due date that is posted on the Education Due Dates and Important Dates that is updated each year.
  6. New Child Observation Forms will be sent out to the teachers each season (Fall, Winter, & Spring).
  7. The ELA Binders need to be returned to the Education Manager at the end of the school year.


Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.33(b)(c)(d)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    


Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   5/25/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    


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