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What is meant by high quality observation in the early years? How do you devise effective next steps for young children that build on their interests? How do you ensure that you meet the needs of all the children in your care? Offering a fresh approach, this practical toolkit offers a complete guide to observation, planning and assessment in the early years. It clearly explains the principles of good practice in this area and provides training tools to help practitioners develop their knowledge and skills and embed these principles into their setting. The focus throughout is on helping practitioners to create their own systems for observation, planning and assessment that are appropriate for the children they work with. All the material in the book has been fully tried, tested and proven to work and the methods described can be tailored to meet the needs of individual practitioners. Featuring a wide range of case studies to illustrate how the principles work in practice, the book includes: * Making effective observations and assessments * Recognising the characteristics of effective learning * Ways to engage parents in their children's learning * How to identify next steps and learning priorities * Dealing with barriers and maintaining quality over time With fully photocopiable resources throughout and including downloadable training sessions to accompany the book, this is an essential toolkit for all early years managers, leaders and those involved in setting support.