How We Evaluate
Why Is Assessment So Important in Infant-Toddler Programs?
Research tells us that the best programs constantly measure how well caregivers do their jobs and whether children are developing as they should be. They use the results to continue what is working and improve what is not; for example, to decide whether to provide more training to caregivers or to redesign infants' and toddlers' play areas.
HighScope has developed two infant-toddler assessment tools to carry out this process of reviewing and strengthening programs. The Child Observation Record (COR) for Infants and Toddlers evaluates children's development in every learning area.
Each day, teachers or caregivers generate brief written descriptions, or anecdotes, that objectively describe these very young children's behavior. They use these notes to evaluate children's development and then plan activities to help individual infants and toddlers and the center as a whole make progress.
The Infant-Toddler Program Quality Assessment (PQA) Form A: Observation Items (Beta Version) measures four domains of curriculum implementation and program operations in a child care setting: learning environment, schedules and routines, adult-child interaction, and curriculum planning and child observation.
Within each domain is a series of items addressing the specific caregiving, environmental, and planning practices that are necessary for infants and toddlers to thrive in child care programs. Using anecdotal notes, staff interviews, and program records, an outside evaluator (or trained staff member) scores these items on a 5-point scale to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a particular learning environment.