Although careful planning is very important in running a smooth, efficient, and successful family child care home - we also need to be flexible and ready for anything. One of the many benefits of family child care is the flexibility it offers. By keeping order to our day and at the same time remaining flexible, I am able to accommodate various arrival times with my families, plan for occasional special events, take advantage of the weather, and most importantly, meet the individual needs of the children.
Children arrive anytime between 7:00AM and 8:30AM. I love the one on one time I have with each of the children as we begin our day together. We generally have breakfast served and are all cleaned up by 8:30AM. After getting the school-agers on the bus we begin more structured activities with our ‘Group Gathering’ (Circle Time) where we focus on a variety of skills and preschool enrichment experiences, ranging from cooking/baking, art/craft, science/discovery, puzzles/games, music/movement, large/fine motor, literacy/language, reading, and much more.
The flow of our day is not dictated by the clock. I like having flexibility in our routine and in our day which allows me to really focus on the interests of the children in my care. I incorporate outdoor play/learning as much as possible – even in chilly weather. We have an amazing outdoor environment and I love to take advantage of the exploration/discovery/learning that takes place when we are outside enjoying what God has given us – NATURE! As long as the weather is cooperating, we often times enjoy snacks and meals outside as well. I encourage language and reading through-out the day and the children have access to books in every part of our environment - both indoors and outdoors. Infants and toddlers nap as needed and are included in daily activities as they are developmentally able to do so. Older children either rest or nap in the afternoon. Although most of the children leave between 3:45PM - 4:15PM, our day ends promptly by 5:00PM.
I believe CHILDREN LEARN THROUGH PLAY and provide a balance of activities:
Structured and unstructured activities
Active and quiet play
Indoor and outdoor play
Quiet and noisy activities
Large muscle and small muscle activities (gross motor/fine motor)
Opportunities to play alone, in small groups and in large groups
Child-directed and adult-directed activities
Plans for meals and snacks
Rest and nap routines
During the summer months we spend even more time outdoors taking advantage of the weather and everything our community offers.