From birth, children being their journey of learning that will last their whole lives. Early childhood educators help them learn by making, studying, supporting, and expanding programs that help children get ready for and do well in school. Special attention is required to meet the needs of children and various assessments are necessary to figure out those needs.

In early childhood education, educators make continuous observations, checklists, and samples of children’s work. Documentation using photos, reflections, and parent communication and input are considered while being mindful of a child’s progress. Summative assessment childcare makes an effort, to sum up in an overview and communicate as well as reflect and determine how an identified learning outcome can be achieved by children. Let’s discuss why summative assessment is important in a child’s progress through childcare and early learning. You can also read about the benefits of childcare here.

What is a summative assessment in childcare?

A summative assessment is essential for all the evidence collected regarding a child’s work and progress. Documentation such as photos, jottings, observations, learning stories, work examples, and parent involvement, among other things, are all summative assessment examples. Compounding them into one cohesive document will give a strong sense of how a child is performing. When reviewing all the information received from a variety of sources to see how it all fits together, one can then relate it to a child’s journey and move along with the assessment process. These kinds of assessments are used by educators for running records of how a child improves over time. Documentation also forms part of planning to support child learning. Check out our article about child development in childcare.

Educator explaining summative assessments

What are the important components when writing a summative assessment?

A summative assessment may be developed in a variety of ways. A template can be used to record any specifics for each learning objective. Summative assessment childcare should be able to:

  • Tell the child’s family about their accomplishments and how they’ve progressed over time in a letter or email.
  • Create separate portfolios for each individual child
  • Keep a learning journal for your children

Instructors write summative assessments to assist them in planning their teaching approach.

Writing summative assessments can be difficult so be sure to include evidence using sentence starters, synonyms, and descriptive words for documentation, observations, and reports.

Children’s strengths and learning

Assessment is done to determine a child’s strengths and prior knowledge. Remember that an evaluation is meant to highlight a child’s strengths while also identifying areas where additional support is needed. It is possible to identify the strengths and needs of a child in a variety of contexts and settings to create a complete picture of a child’s progress. Similarly, we should keep an eye out for kids who require more help with a skill or a developmental area.

Reflect child’s life at home and in childcare

Professionals studying a child’s requirements can benefit from information from family members. As an example, a teacher may not see a child’s ability to discriminate colors, but she may learn this through the child’s parents. So parents and teachers collaborate to better understand what needs to be done in the classroom or at home to help the child learn and develop. This lets the instructor connect with and contribute to their curriculum. With this understanding, individuals can easily summarise and combine their observations in their assessment.

Occur systematically and regularly

Throughout the year, educators must compile various information in relation to a specific child into a report or assessment of the child’s progress and distance traveled on the learning journey. Know whether the child care does this for you, or figure out how to choose child care.

Show progress in relation to learning outcomes 

Do not just simply summarise and share what you’ve learned about the child’s learning journey so far; you’re also trying to figure out how you can continue to help that child and help them learn and grow. You use the information to make new learning goals as you move forwards or as the child moves into a new learning phase, like when they start school.

Reflect child’s social and cultural background

A child’s cultural background helps them figure out who they are. The customs and beliefs about food, art, language and religion that children are exposed to from the time they are born affect how they develop emotionally, socially, physically, and linguistically. Early childhood educators must be able to include this in their evaluation. If you’re looking to maximize your centre’s reach, an online marketplace such as Space can help match you with potential parents.

Summative assessments occurring during childcare

What is the difference between a formative and summative assessment?

Formative assessment is a method of informal daily teaching that checks for comprehension to evaluate whether students are keeping up with the lesson or if they need to be taught again. Assignments, homework, quizzes, and class discussions may all help as they are administered more often. Formative assessments let instructors evaluate the efficacy of teaching approaches and find out which ones work best in helping pupils grasp what is being taught in class.

On the other hand, summative assessments are used to present a summary of the child’s development. Summative evaluations are formal and may include quizzes, essays, examinations, and projects that assess students based on their performance and determines their development for the unit and the school year. Together in writing, they offer complete assessments of a child’s learning for educators and for the family’s knowledge.

The importance of a summative assessment in early learning

Summative assessments are important so that all students are assessed the same way with the same tools. It helps teachers get organized in tracking children’s progress by having a definitive guideline and explicit instruction. Children have strong identities and differences so it is critical to have an individual summative assessment. This can also help children to be invested and motivated in their own achievements helping centres achieve the national quality standards. Learn more about ACECQA.

Summative assessments and the EYLF

A summative assessment develops a picture of a child’s journey through time, from the data educators have gathered. The EYLF set principles and learning outcome that offers essential reference points in which a child’s development may be detected and recorded that present an overall picture of a child’s learning journey. Educators must have an awareness of the EYLF learning outcomes in their many forms to have a good grasp of what to look out for when writing summative assessments. They should also reflect and determine what efforts are required to reach EYLF outcomes and learning.

Summative assessment in early learning

What are examples of summative assessment in childcare?

The assessment becomes a summary of the child’s interests, needs, and participation in activities and experiences throughout the year. Some examples that will support observation findings in relation to the learning of a child:

Sense of identity

Alaska uses role-play to find out more about herself. She likes to dress up and act out different roles when she plays pretend. Alaska likes doctors the most, and she and her friends take turns being doctors while their friends play with the patients. She spends a reasonable amount of time responding to her peers’ ideas and suggestions while taking part in and adding to shared play.

Children are connected with the world

Alaska always wants to include other kids in her play and is always looking for ways to do so. If she sees a child who looks like they are by themselves, she will invite them to join her play. She says what she thinks with confidence, and this is especially clear when the group is talking. She knows that there are different ways to help with projects or play. Alaska will ask the teachers if they need more supplies to finish the project. She will look for other things to play with if she has to. She also likes to learn about other ways of life. She is connected with and contributes to the world around her.

Sense of well being

Alaska uses equipment in a way that keeps herself and others safe and shows how independent she is. Her relationships with her friends are happy and good. She likes to make people laugh and is always looking for new ways to do so. Alaska is also a very active child who does physical activities, things as dance and movement, and uses her senses to learn about and react to the world around her.

Confident and involved learners

Alaska is always one of the first kids to try something new and is eager to join new projects right away. She likes to learn, is creative, and uses her imagination in a good way. Alaska was excited about our under-the-sea theme and wanted to be a mermaid when we told her about it. She used cardboard, newspaper, glitter, and paint to make mermaid tails. After she made her own tail, she helped other people make their own with more materials.

Effective communicators

Alaska is comfortable in both small and large groups. When she talks, Alaska is sure of herself and easy to understand. She asks questions and gives answers that show she is listening and understands what is being said. She likes to share her ideas and participate in group time. Alaska often sings and chants jingles and rhymes. She likes to tell stories and uses art like drawing and painting to show what she thinks and how she feels.

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