At CCDC we appreciate that children’s development is influenced by their family culture, experiences, abilities and disabilities and home language. Assessment practices take these factors into account when determining a child’s developmental progress. Staff at CCDC are trained in assessment procedures at In-Service Staff Development Days and through “on-the-job” training. Many CCDC staff members also have formal course work in assessment.
One of the primary goals of assessment at CCDC is to identify each child’s interests and needs. Assessment is also used to evaluate the developmental progress and learning of the children, plan and improve our curriculum and adapt our teaching practices and environment to the ever-changing needs of the children. On a broader scope CCDC uses assessment results to evaluate and plan for program improvements.
We use the Connecticut's Documentation and Observation for Teaching System. CT DOTS is a framework to guide early care and education providers in a process of monitoring children’s progress on the skills, abilities and behaviors in the Connecticut early Learning and Development Standards (CC ELDS).
Children are always assessed in the natural classroom environment so that the settings are familiar to the children. Teachers use ongoing journal notes, anecdotal records and checklists in addition to more formal observations that take place four times a year. Upon entry at CCDC families are asked to fill out an Ages and Stages Screening Questionnaire to supplement information used in assessment.
Formal Parent Conferences are offered during the fall and spring. In addition to the formal conferences parents and/or teachers may convene additional conferences, as deemed necessary. Teachers frequently share information about developmental progress with parents through phone calls, conversations, daily charts and room newsletters. Parents are expected to inform staff of any events that have the potential to affect their child (e.g. business travel, the death of a pet or loved one, etc.). Additionally, we encourage parents to contribute thoughts about their child’s development and progress and to share any insights they may have. If CCDC staff or parents have concerns about their child’s well-being or development a private conference will be arranged to discuss possible interventions and additional assessment options from community resources. For children under age three, this is typically the “CT Birth to Three” system and for children ages three to five, it is the family’s local school district.
We strive to respect, support and nurture the social, emotional, cognitive and physical capacities of every child we serve. Through careful observation we are able to individualize curriculum for each child. Parents, teachers and the educational resources of our community assist in planning for children’s development and early education.
Information in each child’s files is highly confidential and is kept locked in the CCDC office. Only the administrative staff, child’s teachers and school nurse has access to these files. On the occasion of a Department of Health visit or NAEYC accreditation visit, random files must be viewed to check for completeness and accuracy. In the event that anyone else (such as a specialized service provider,) needs access to the file, a Consent to Share Information Release form with the parent’s signature would be required.