Tips for proper observations and documentation
There is a long list of responsibilities that comes with being a child care provider. The thing that matters most is ensuring children are kept healthy and mentally fit. Children are constantly changing and growing, which is why it is essential to observe and track their ongoing health and overall wellness.
Educator Tips: Here are 4 ways to observe health and wellness in early education
1. Know What to Look For
In order to be able to effectively observe health and wellness in an early education setting, it’s vital to know what to look for. When observing children for health and wellness standards, take note of these factors:
- Physical Health: focus on physical health in terms of illness, nutrition, and ability to engage in physical activity.
- Mental Health: includes emotional state, stress responses, and received support.
- Overall Well-being and Flourishing: focuses on engagement and developmentally appropriate growth
2. Create Health and Wellness Policies
Day-to-Day practices contribute to the creation of a healthy environment in which children can thrive. Within this environment, health and wellness observation can be performed practically, since the elements being investigated are standardized.
3. Perform Health and Wellness Checks
Taking observation one step further and performing health and wellness checks can provide concrete support for hypotheses about the state of a child’s well-being.
Each child should be inspected upon arrival to the early education environment. Recording observations of physical illness and mental distress will create accumulated data which can be analyzed to form a case file for each child.
4. Keep Documented Observations
Early education settings should spend time developing a record-keeping system functional for their specific infrastructure. Observations can be recorded in a number of ways including by hand or using an app and then transferred to a broader system using apps or spreadsheets.
Implementing a structured health and wellness observation system in early education settings increases the likelihood of promoting flourishing in children.
By Savannah Copland