The most rapid and significant phase of development occurs in the first three years of a child's life. The Supporting Children from Birth to Three series focuses on the care and support of the very youngest children. Each book takes a key aspect of working with this age group and gives clear and detailed explanations of relevant theories together with practical examples to show how such theories translate into good working practice. Effective planning and observation are fundamental to young children's learning and development. Learning opportunities for children need to be relevant for their age group, realistic and challenging. Drawing on recent research, this book explains why the planning cycle is so important and looks at the links between observation, planning and assessment. Taking a holistic approach to supporting children's learning, it shows how a range of observation strategies can provide insight into children's social, emotional, physical and cognitive development and practically demonstrates how practitioners can develop appropriate planning and observation techniques for babies and toddlers. Features include: clear explanation of relevant theories case studies and examples of good practice focus points for readers questions for reflective practice Providing a wealth of practical ideas and activities, this handy text encourages explores all aspects of planning and observation with the under threes to help practitioners ensure effective outcomes for the youngest children in their care.