Using information about children

Gather, interpret and use information about children CHCPR509A

This unit is about collecting high quality information about children to help in planning programs.

In childrens services, the specific purposes or needs for observation include:

  • Planning experiences for the child
  • Identifying the child's capabilities
  • Identifying the child's interests and needs
  • Monitoring uncharacteristic or atypical aspects of development

This unit includes children's physical, emotional, cognitive, social, creative, language, spiritual and moral capabilities.



1. Gather and document detailed information about the child

  1. Make series of observations to address emerging skills in all aspects of development (above) over a period of time and in a variety of situations
  2. Use a variety of appropriate methods, for example:
    • Observing while participating with children in an experience
    • Narratives
    • Sampling
    • Charting
    • Gathering information about the child from other workers
    • Asking family members
    • Discussions with other children
    • Collecting samples of children's work
    • Observing children at play, during care routines and social interactions
    • Directly involving the child in the process
  3. check that your information and observations are valid, representative, significant and relevant.
  4. Consult colleagues, families and others in a sensitive manner.


2. Monitor children's developmental progress and develop understanding of individual children

  1. Use observations and information to assess and monitor child's play preferences, social interactions, communication and language, thinking styles, physical abilities and emotional status
  2. Interpret information and observations to identify individual emerging skills, capabilities, potential, interests, preferences of child to guide program strategies to foster development
  3. Monitor and interpret behaviour that is out of character for an individual child and respond appropriately
  4. Demonstrate understanding and application of inclusive principles in interpreting observations


3. Use information from observations with others

  1. Demonstrate quality observation practices to other workers
  2. Give your information to others to use in planning programs, supporting children's play and evaluating programs.
  3. Use records of observations to give feedback to children about their skills and competence and promote remembering
  4. Make time available to share information with parents
  5. Follow up any concerns regarding child's development with appropriate persons/services


4. Use information to plan the program

  1. Use information to consider all aspects of child's development and cater appropriately within the program
  2. Use the information to plan opportunities and experiences to foster development of the child


5. Design observation systems with others

  1. Develop systematic ways of observing children to ensure all children are included
  2. Develop systematic ways of observing children to ensure that all interpretations of behaviour can be clearly linked to evidence
  3. Clearly link observation systems developed to program planning and evaluation processes
  4. Implement processes to ensure appropriate access by others to observation information


6. Other required skills

  1. Use relevant technology safely and effectively
  2. Relate to people and communicate effectively
  3. Treat all parents and children equitably, including Indigenous people
  4. Work with cultural diversity.