Daily Life In Your Day Care
How do you view the daily schedule that you maintain in your day care? How the time is used while you are the primary caregiver for those kids will say a lot about whether you see day care as essentially professional babysitting or as a time when the kids in your charge can grow and mature together. Now, we know that day care is not school. So you are not expected to run a curriculum and show substantial intellectual improvement in the children you care for. For the parents who leave their children with you there are only a few requirements and those are:
- Is my child safe with you?
- Do you know how to handle emergencies if my child has one?
- Is my child getting socialization skills?
- Is my child having happy and having fun at your day care?
For working parents, there is some guilt that comes with putting their children in day care. So if their children are having a positive experience and are as safe with you as they would be at home, much of that guilt is eased. Moreover, for many parents, the time in day care is a wonderful introduction to being in a social setting away from home and developing important social skills that the child will need when he or she starts school. So how you organize the time your children spend at your day care center can go a long way toward achieving those goals for the parents, for the children and for you as a day care provider.
There are a number of great activities that hit several goals at once and are great ways for your day care workers to fill the hours during the day as the children are in your charge. A good activity is one that the kids enjoy and want to do again and again. When you announce “hey kids are you ready to.”, you want to hear cheers and not groans. A good activity is one that works in a group setting. Not only does this encourage socialization, it makes keeping an eye on the kids much easier and takes maximum advantage of a few day care workers caring for many children. And a good activity is one that the kids grow and learn from. That learning doesn’t have to be facts and figures like they will get in school. It should be values and social and problem solving skills that are every bit as valuable as facts as they grow older.
Circle time is a classic and a must have for any schedule you put together. There are so many things you can do with circle time that bring out the personalities of the kids. It’s a relaxed format so if some children are shy, they can hang back. But as they see how much fun everyone is having, you will quickly see them beginning to come out of their shells as well. Some of the things your day care workers can do during circle time include songs, stories, role playing and group games.
When you set up your day care, you should have included both the space and the materials for arts and crafts. Young children love to make things. And the materials you need to excite that creative side of them are easy to keep in stock including clay, colors, construction paper, glitter, glue, child safe scissors and colors. One great way to give a day a feel of being part of something big is to have a theme that carries through play time, circle time and arts and crafts. For example, if your theme is dinosaurs, you can select games and stories with those characters and create crafts that the kids can do as well.
In addition to activates that can happen indoors, you may have wonderful outdoor activities you can take advantage of to get the kids out and about. Field trips can break up the tedium of week after week in the day care. You will integrate these organized activities with rest times and unstructured play as well as all of it is important. But if the day come to the end and you hear the words, “mommy, guess what we did“, then you know you did a god job of providing fun and beneficial activities for the kids in your care.