Although it has been a standard approach in early childhood programs to conduct child assessments, it is not as typical to conduct ongoing assessments of partnership-oriented practices carried out with families. In order to ensure that partnership-oriented practices are implemented appropriately and are effective in their outcomes, assessment is vital. It is important to keep in mind the following assessment principles:
- Use multiple sources of information (parents, teachers).
- Use multiple methods of gathering information (family rating scales, anecdotal records).
- Consider partnership-oriented practices in different contexts and situations (formal parent-teacher meetings, dyadic exchanges, group situations).
- Gather assessment information over multiple points of time.
- Determine if partnership-oriented practices were implemented in the way they were intended.
- Involve the entire team, including the family, in planning, conducting, and interpreting assessment results.
- Use assessment results to modify practices if needed.
Determine if the practice was implemented
Handout 4.6 is a conversation guide that China can use with a mentor (such as a program director or program coach) or with a larger team to discuss and reflect on the extent to which she implemented partnership-oriented practices to establish an initial friendly relationship (beginning ground) to build a trusting partnership with Aaron.
Determine if the practice was effective
Handout 4.7 is a copy of the Beach Center Family-Professional Partnership Scale (Family Version) that Aaron can use to report on the extent to which he is satisfied with the partnership that he and China are in the process of building. Handout 4.8 is a copy of the Beach Center Family-Professional Partnership Scale (Professional Version) that China can use as a self-assessment to reflect on her satisfaction with her partnership with Aaron.
Summarize and use assessment results
Once an assessment has been conducted, a key task will be for China to review the assessment information, including the scales that she and Aaron completed. She should note areas of high satisfaction as well as areas for improvement. She could invite Aaron to make a couple of suggestions to recommend steps that she and/or others in the childcare program could take in order to best build on his strengths and preferences to address continuing needs. In order to track the development of her trusting partnership with Aaron over time, China may file the completed scales to compare with future ones.