Family Home Providers Change in Observations as a Result of Professional Development Classes
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As the cost of childcare centers in the US rises, more families are turning to alternative arrangements such as registered family home childcare centers. Providers at family homes, however, do not have certification or degree requirements to open and provide care, therefore it is crucial that providers are offered and participate in professional development to learn child development knowledge and other skills to promote growth in children. One skill would be in assessment, specifically the form of assessment called observation, to understand the needs of children, make lesson plans based on needs, and witness growth as it occurs. Seventeen family home providers participated in a year-long professional development program offered by the United Way Bright Beginning program. The program consisted of 20 hours of training and follow-up coaching by a professional early childhood consultant. The average rating of participants was 4.5 out of 5 on their view of a change in practice. Additionally, participants self-reported that they made a great change in their ability for critical observations and documentation of children allowing for expanding of children’s growth and practicing developmentally appropriate practices. Therefore, it is important to measure their change in practice which ultimately benefits children.