Checking Children’s Progress

Teachers and child-care providers want children to feel a sense of accomplishment while in their care. The more a child-care provider knows about a child's academic, social, and emotional development, the more they're able to meet the child's needs. Teachers and child care providers may use this resource for developing strategies to track a child's progress.

The following is an excerpt from Teaching Our Youngest.

The more you know about children's academic, social, and emotional development, the more able you will be to meet their needs. Information about how well the children are progressing helps you to plan your teaching. You want the children in your care to feel successful and confident, but you also want to offer experiences that will help them to develop further. In addition, through initial screening and by checking the children's progress, you can identify those children who need special help or who face extra challenges.

Here are some ways that you can keep track of children's progress:

  • Observe them daily. Watch as they play with each other, respond to your directions, participate in activities, and use language to communicate.
  • Collect samples of their drawings, paintings, and writing.
  • Keep notes about what they say and do.
  • Encourage them to talk about their own progress.
  • Regularly assess their progress so that your instruction will meet their needs.
  • Talk with parents and caregivers. Ask them what they have observed at home. Tell them about their children's strengths. Let them know about any concerns you may have.

Also, remember to talk often with the children about what they are doing. Be sure to focus on their strengths—what they can do and the progress they have made. This will help them build confidence and motivation for learning.

"Checking Children’s Progress." Teaching Our Youngest. Early Childhood-Head Start Task Force. ED/HHS. 2002. English.

Last Reviewed: November 2008

Last Updated: October 6, 2014