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Oberver Guidelines

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Welcome to the Santa Rosa Junior College Children’s Center. The philosophy of the Children’s Center is that a high quality early childhood program provides a safe and nurturing environment that promotes the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and creative development of young children while responding to the needs of families and our community.

SRJC’s Children’s Center is located in the Robert Call Child Development Center on the south side of the Santa Rosa Campus next to the Armory. There are currently five children's classrooms in use: the Rose infant room for children 6 to 18 months old; the Rose and Heather toddler rooms for children 18 to 36 months old, and the Blue and Teal preschool rooms for children 3 to 5 years old. Each classroom may be viewed from an adjacent observation room.

We invite you to use our center as an observation/learning site. In order to facilitate use of the center, we ask that you respect the Child Development Department philosophy regarding studying young children.

  • The Child Development Department advocates the naturalistic approach to studying young children.

  • Naturalistic studies look at what children do under normal everyday circumstances.

  • We do not allow students to use and experimental approach where the environment is modified to elicit certain types of behavior or where specific tasks are presented to assess the child’s developmental level.

Observer Guidelines

  1. Your Child Development instructor will issue you the pass code to enter the observation rooms. You must wear your student ID card with a sticker that will be issued to you by your instructor. The pass code and stickers change each semester. Parents who wish to use the observation rooms will be issued a sticker and pass code by the Children's Center office. NOTE: NEITHER THE CHILDREN'S CENTER OFFICE NOR THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT OFFICE WILL ISSUE YOU THE PASSCODE. IF YOU FORGET TO BRING THE CODE, YOU WILL NEED TO RESCHEDULE YOUR OBSERVATION. PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB THE OFFICE STAFF (it may seem like a small question to you, but there are literally thousand’s of observations done each semester and these interruptions add up.)

  2. Enter the observation room quietly.

  3. Limit conversation. If it is necessary to talk, please use a quiet voice, preferably a whisper. Close the door quietly when you leave. In order to be unobtrusive, leave the lights off . Do not tap on the windows.

  4. Do not smoke, eat, or drink in the room. There is no smoking at all in or near the Call Center or on all college grounds.

  5. Remember that what you observe is to remain confidential. Your discussions regarding the children and teachers should occur in your classroom with your instructor. Parents of enrolled children and Child Development staff use the observation rooms, too. Please conduct yourselves accordingly.

  6. In each observation room you will find guidelines for the operation of the microphone system, the classroom's daily schedule, and a photo of the children with their first names. We also list the quarter of the year they were born and the year. We do not give out more specific information (i.e., last names and date of birth for security reasons). More information about each child is available through your instructor. Please do not solicit additional information about the children or the families from staff. Additional information will not be provided and is kept confidential.

  7. You may stay in the observation room for a longer period, as long as you do not prevent someone from using the room.

  8. Do not talk to or interact with the children or staff.

  9. All indoor observations must be made from the observation room. Please do not locate yourself in the classroom. If you need to make an outdoor observation, put on an outside observer tag, located in the observation room. Enter the play yard through the classroom and sit on the designated bench. Replace the tag in the observation room when you leave. Remember, stay in the yard for which your tag is designated. Do not stand at the fence to view the yards.

  10. If you go into the play yard, keep your belongings with you at all times. If you move from one spot to another in the play yard, take your backpack or purse along. Otherwise, children may start exploring the contents and discover inappropriate or unsafe items.

  11. This is a learning environment. Turn off your cell phone. You may not take calls, send text messages, or play video games while observing.

  12. When to do your observation? The center is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM on Fridays. By Friday afternoons, the number of children in the classrooms drops off precipitously, so this might be a good time to observe the environment, although it’s not such a good time to observe many children.

  13. Naptime is a major event that extends from approximately 12:15 to 2:00 or 2:30 PM for the toddlers and 12:30 to 2:00 PM for the preschoolers. Some children’s nap time extends even longer. About half of the preschoolers are “non-nappers,” so observers can watch preschoolers at play outdoors or in the raspberry room at that time. On rainy days, the non-nappers will go into the raspberry preschool. Students who need to observe active toddlers should plan to observe before or after naptime.

  14. Students who are observing a particular child in a particular room may also need to be aware of “walk days.” Each room takes the children for walks (actually rides in the carts) on certain days. Here’s the schedule:
    Wednesday Rose Infant Toddler 10:30 AM – Noon
    Thursday Heather Toddler 10:30 AM – Noon
    Friday Blue & Teal Preschools 9:30 AM – Noon

  15. ALL visitors/observers must sign-in each time they enter an Observation Room.  A Binder with the sign-in sheets will be kept on the counter in each observation room.

  16. It is forbidden to photograph or video the children.

  17. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the lowering of a grade and/or being dropped from the class.

    Rev. 10/13