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Schedules for Kids of Different Ages & Week in Review

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Dear Debi,
How do you schedule your day when caring for a wide age range of kids?
Debi's Tips
Debi Gutierrez
Debi Gutierrez
Host
  • Set a daily schedule
  • Pre-determine the dayís goals
  • Set one objective for the entire group, but make activities age-appropriate for different kids
WEEK IN REVIEW
And donít forget about the great things that we learned this week
Expert Advice
Sabra Smith, Ed.D.
Sabra Smith, Ed.D.
Child care provider for 5 years
Itís a great idea for providers to set a schedule because it provides an internal system for them. As a child care provider, you want to create a ritual, something your kids can depend on because sometimes kids come from an environment thatís not steady. Parents want to know what providers do all day, so you need to look at this as a profession. At any other job, thereís a time you come to work, take a break, and go home. Itís the same thing with providers.

When youíre talking about curriculum and activity, you must remember to stay age-appropriate. The big thing to emphasize is to set goals and objectives. What are your goals and how do you achieve them? Make sure you set a schedule and prioritize. Itís like day planning. In my setting I have children ranging in age from 3 to 13. My four year olds go to Pre-K for a couple of hours. But the older kids go to school during the day. Thereís no activity for infants except or caring for them and making sure theyíre engaged and listening.

Make sure you have an objective for everybody and that itís always the same goal, no matter how old your kids are. If providers kept that in mind, they wouldnít be so stressed out. If your goal is to teach the color red, put some red apples on a plate, and engage all your kids in open-ended questioning. Try to pre-determine your goal rather than setting the goal the morning of. A provider might start by planning day by day. You might say, ďI want to discuss primary colors or edible things.Ē

Example of a Daily Schedule:
  • If you have older kids who come before school, make sure you welcome them and all your kids.
  • Next you probably have to drop them off at school.
  • Once you come back, have your breakfast and a morning activity. Iím very academic oriented so we go right to circle time. Iím against having the kids play and watch TV all day. So if possible, it helps if you have some employee or some helper.
  • Breakfast -- for the kids that arenít in school, during breakfast have conversations with the kids since youíre still greeting other kids and serving breakfast.
  • After breakfast, have a TV activity if you have to clean the kitchen or I have ďorganized play.Ē We may have blocks and dress-up or legos.
  • This is the right time while youíre cleaning the kitchen. After that you may go into a learning activity like arts & crafts or story time. You want to develop their comprehension with some sort of mental activity. Theyíve just eaten breakfast and now have the brain power to work.
  • Next, you may want them to go develop motor skills and play outside.
  • After that, itís probably time for lunch. If youíre the only person, you have to bring them in to prepare lunch. Then you serve the kids lunch and communicate with them. Ask them, ďWhat are they eating?Ē Make it all a teachable moment. Then itís probably nap time.
  • After nap, they rise and have a snack. Then you have your kids coming home from school. If you have just one kid, the kid goes with you to pick up the other kids. If you have a helper, the helper could possibly go, or have an employee sit with the kids while you go. During this time, you should schedule arts & crafts or lacing or buttoning.
  • After this, the after-school kids should be arriving. Maybe do another outdoor activity and by this time, the parents will be on the way. Then you do some sort of quiet activity so the kids end their day winding down.

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Topic: Child Care Management
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Related Episodes
The Importance of Schedules and Routines
Daily Routine
Sleeping & Napping
The Importance of Downtime
Resources
PBS / The Whole Child / Building Self Regulation
California Resource and Referral Network
Your Local R&Rs
First 5 California
Downloads (Get Reader)
Tips on Providing an Environment that Supports All Children pdf
 
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