Early Childhood Community Observation Sites

To:  Early Childhood Community Observation Sites

Thank you for allowing our Early Childhood Students to observe at your site.  Several courses in our Child Development Program require students to do observations at licensed early childhood centers.  The requirements for these observations vary from course to coursePrior to conducting their observations, students are required to provide you with a copy of the assignment guidelines.

This letter is meant to familiarize you with the requirements for all of our course observations, except the Practicum course (CHDV 210).  Due to the extensive involvement of the practicum student in the classroom, students in our practicum course are required to meet with their mentor teacher to discuss the specific requirements of their practicum course.  Practicum students will share with their mentor teacher additional information regarding the practicum experience.

Interacting with Children

Students should not be interacting with other students or children while doing observations.  Students should find an out-of-the-way place to observe from and remain as unobtrusive as possible. Students who are enrolled in the Observation and Assessment Course (CHDV 160) have some additional needs.

Students enrolled in our Observation and Assessment course will be required to complete a DRDP and ECERS.  As part of these assignments, they will need to document their observations. Taking photos is one form of documentation they are required to use (no audio or video taping).  Students enrolled in this course are not permitted to initiate activities with children, thus, it may be necessary for them to ask your staff questions to clarify their observations.  These students will also need to be in closer proximity to the children than students observing for other courses. Whether students will be allowed to ask the children questions directly is up to the discretion of each individual center.

Prior to completing their observations, all students in our Child Development Program have been provided instruction regarding the need to protect the privacy of the children.  They understand they are NEVER to use children’s real names when writing up their observations.  It is also the responsibility of the students to make arrangements to meet with the director or site supervisor of the center in which they would like to observe prior to conducting their observations.  This meeting will allow the center to share any specific procedures they expect the student to follow while visiting their center.

Your willingness to allow our students to enter your program is appreciated. Your support enables our students to gain valuable knowledge and skills.  Please feel free to contact us with any concerns, questions or suggestions.

With Appreciation,

VVC Child Development Faculty

Sandy Visser, MA

Professor, Child Development

Ext. 2771 or sandy.visser@vvc.edu

DeeDee Cole, PhD

Assistant Professor, Child Development

Ext. 2776 or marsha.cole@vvc.edu