Editor’s Note: There are several ways to approach coding in a mixed-age setting. Teachstone’s official recommendation when observing in multi-age settings is to alternate between two age levels in order to capture the experiences of most children and produce independent scores between the age levels. That being said, we are interested in hearing how other organizations approach observations. Which approach you choose depends on lots of factors, like the purpose of the observation, and time or money constraints.
So, you’re dual certified on the Infant and Toddler CLASS tools. Congrats! Not only can you observe in Infant classrooms (birth to 18 months) and Toddler classrooms (15 to 36 months), but you can also observe in classrooms that contain a mix of the two age levels! Observing in mixed age classrooms may seem daunting, but I’m here to tell you that it’s completely doable. If you’re preparing to do Infant/Toddler CLASS observations, read on. This blog presents solutions to three of the most common challenges dual Infant/Toddler observers face when observing in a mixed-age setting.
I recently attended the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) annual conference in Orlando. I love going to provider-focused conferences like this one, because it’s great to stay grounded in the day-to-day experiences of child care providers. NAFCC is extra special because it feels like a big family reunion, with shared meals, award ceremonies, family activities, and even a dance on the last night.
So far in our FCC Challenge series, we've looked at coding across multiple age levels, maintaining coding consistency and staying objective, and how to code when there are multiple adults present. As we wrap up our series, we'll explore resources designed to increase the effectiveness of the interactions that matter—those that increase children’s learning and development. Although more research is needed on CLASS-based professional development in family childcare homes, we do know that there are many opportunities to engage in interactions with children regardless of the setting's space, materials, or furnishings.
In last month’s blog post in our family child care (FCC) series, we looked at the challenge of maintaining objectivity. This month’s we'll look at another challenge CLASS observers face while using the measure in a family child care setting: coding when there are multiple adults.
In last month’s blog post in our family child care (FCC) series, we looked at the challenge of coding consistently in inconsistent settings. This month we’re going to take a look at yet another challenge for observers in family child care settings—maintaining objectivity.
In last month's blog post in our family child care (FCC) series, we looked at the first challenge of coding across multiple age levels in family child care homes. This month, we'll explore the second challenge observers often face in FCC settings: what to do when you arrive at a family child care home and there are only a couple of children there.
My last blog post kicked off a series of posts about how to use the CLASS™ measure in family child care (FCC) settings. Ginny Vitiello, Research and Evaluation Director at Teachstone, recently published a white paper on this very subject. From research, discussion with, and observations of FCC providers, we’ve identified four basic challenges to observers who are more familiar with center-based care.
As I read our latest white paper on family child care and the CLASS system, I found myself humming Sister Sledge’s hit song, "We are Family." Even though family child care (FCC) settings may differ from other child-care arrangements (and from one another), we truly are a family when it comes to the business of providing care and supporting children and families through early childhood. And the bond that ties our family together? Interactions!