This is a key text for all those studying for degrees and foundation degrees in early childhood, early years and related disciplines. It enables students to appreciate the central role of observation for understanding, planning for and educating early years children. It covers the theoretical background in detail and highlights important works. Includes guidance on techniques and recording and analysing and consideration of the ethical implications. The text helps students to understand how their observations can be effectively used to draw conclusions or to prompt further study. This second edition includes new chapters on the curriculum and recording and analysing.