Daily Schedule

 

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DAILY SCHEDULE

7:00-10:00  DROP-OFF TIME AND FREE PLAY TIME

During this period, some of my time is spent greeting the children and talking with the parents. Children are free to choose their activities under supervised care.  Free play is also an important learning experience for children.  They learn to share, to take turns, to use their imagination, to negotiate, and to play with others.  While I supervise the older children, I also spend time holding, rocking, feeding, and playing with the infants in my care.

10:00-10:30  PICK UP TOYS

Children are expected to pick up the toys as a group.

10:30-12:00 PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES

This time is spent in preschool, adult-led, activities.  These activities help children to learn to take turns, to follow directions, to be patient, to be quiet, to participate in a group, to wait their turn, and to practice the skills needed for school. Our preschool activities include stories, puzzles, music, singing, games, coloring, painting, playdough, baking, exercise, crafts, learning the alphabet, colors, and numbers, using a scissor, and printing their name and letters, among other things.  Board games are often difficult for young preschoolers, so they are played only occasionally.  Often, many in the group are younger than 3 or 4 and unable to understand board games and participate, and even older preschoolers have trouble accepting a situation where one is a “winner” and everyone else “loses”.  I try to have few winning/losing activities. Each day, a curriculum and activities are planned and include special activities and projects to celebrate holidays and special days.  Each week has a theme that unifies the stories, projects, and activities for that week.  The themes teach a variety of subjects including cooperation, dental health, poison awareness, manners, exercise, nutrition, science, germs, plants, the 5 senses, self-esteem, a variety of cultures and animals, and many other topics.  I also hire a geography teacher that comes to the daycare once a month.  Each month, she teaches the children about a different country or part of the world through the use of flannel boards, puzzles, games, songs, stories, activities, and hands on objects.  These lessons, planned for children age 2-6, teach the children about geography, different cultures, and different people and animals from all over the world.  The lessons are on a three-year cycle, so your child should learn something about everywhere in the world before they start kindergarten.

12:00-12:45  NOON LUNCH MEAL

The daycare follows the USDA nutritional guidelines of the food program.  Our meals are well balanced and home-cooked whenever possible.  Your child will receive limited salt, fat, and sugar items and meals and snacks are homemade instead of pre-packaged foods whenever possible.  A list of common foods served here can be found on the daycare's web site.  Children are expected to try what is being served but are not required to clean their plates.  We say a short table prayer before we eat lunch.  It is, “Thank you for this food and drink.  Amen.”  Although this is not the common prayer that we use in our home, or probably in yours, with only 8 simple words, it is easy for preschoolers to learn.  Because it does not mention any particular religious denomination or God, but simply says thank you for what we are given, most families find it inclusive of whatever values they may be teaching their child at home.

12:45-1:00  STORY TIME

This story time differs from our story time during group activities.  The stories read before naps are read while the children begin to relax on their cots. Because they cannot see the pictures, it is a good way to help them improve their listening skills and imagination.

1:00-3:00  NAP TIME

Everyone is expected to rest or be quiet during this time with the exception of infants who nap whenever they are tired and may not necessarily be sleeping at this time.  In the area where the older children nap, classical or relaxing music is played very quietly during the first 30 minutes of nap time.  Not only does this expose the children to different types and styles of music, it helps them relax, settle down, and masks small noises the other children may make as they are also settling in to go to sleep.  There is a separate nursery room for sleeping for the infants and toddlers.  Each infant and toddler has their own crib in which to sleep and the walls of the nursery are insulated to help keep it quiet when the older children are awake. Between 1:00-3:00 p.m., please try not to arrive at the daycare between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. as this disturbs the sleeping children.  Although some parents think that nap time is a relaxing time for me, that is rarely the case.  I use this time to load the dishwasher, prepare crafts and activities, write your daily notes, do my daily bookkeeping, write and type the newsletter, prepare food, monitor the sleeping of the infants and children, and care for and feed infants who may not be sleeping.

3:00-3:30  AFTER NAP MEAL

Our after nap meal is much healthier and somewhat larger than the typical "crackers and juice" snack.  It consists of all the components of any balanced meal--milk, a protein, fruits and/or vegetables, and a grain product.  It is usually a "cold" meal.  The benefits of serving this type of mini-meal, rather than a traditional snack, are many--it gives children a choice of several foods if they do not like something that's being served, it gives them an additional serving of milk rather than the higher sugar content of juice, it gives us an additional opportunity each day to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet, and the protein stays with them longer so they can better wait for dinner.

3:30-5:00  OUTDOOR PLAY TIME AND PICK UP TIME

Weather permitting, we go outside during this time and have supervised free play time.  Please send appropriate outerwear for your child as the weather and season dictates.  During the winter months, infants, toddlers, and any sick children may be kept inside on the days when the other children go outside.  Both groups of children are supervised.  In warm weather, sprinkler and water play are available but wading pools are not used.  Sun screens and insect repellents are provided and used as directed by the parents.  

TELEVISION

Television viewing is an option for only a small portion of free play time.  Only Public Television is available for viewing.  Several programs on Public Television are educational for preschoolers and can be used as a learning tool.  Music appropriate for children is also used during the day as well as an occasional DVD for special purposes.  DVDs for children's exercises, preschool education, or children's movies may be used for special lessons or celebrations.  A portion of every day is devoted to music and times of quite with no "background noise".

INFANTS

The daycare area was specially designed to be safe for crawling infants and toddlers and they are free to explore and develop crawling and walking skills as this is essential for the development and learning of infants and toddlers.  No walkers or playpens are used at the daycare.  "Tummy time" is an essential part of every day for infants as they need this time to develop skills and strength.  Tummy time is done several times a day and at times and places where the infants are safe and supervised.

 


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