A flexible, well-organized schedule is essential for the successful operation of any home daycare. Not only does a schedule help you to keep track of your kids, but also provides a sense of structure and predictability for the children in your care. Here are a few tips to help you create a home daycare schedule that will work well for you and the children in your care.
Decide what type of schedule will work best for your home daycare. There are many different types of schedules that home daycare providers can use, so it’s important to find one that will fit well with your individual needs and the needs of the children in your care. Do some research to determine what type of schedule will work best for you, and then plan accordingly.
Once you’ve decided on a general schedule, start filling in the details. Begin by creating a daily routine that includes activities such as meal times, naptime, outdoor playtime, and indoor activities. Remember to have some free play time; this is essential for young children who need time to explore and discover their surroundings.
Be flexible! One of the most important aspects to think about when creating a schedule is to be flexible. Children (and adults!) can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to be able to adjust your schedule as needed. If something isn’t working or if there’s an unexpected change, don’t hesitate to make adjustments to ensure that everyone remains happy and safe.
Things To Consider When Making A Home Daycare Schedule
Age of Children in Your Care
The age of the children in your care will significantly impact the type of schedule you create. For example, infants and toddlers need more frequent naps than older children, so you’ll need to build those into your schedule. You’ll also need to factor in mealtimes and diaper changes.
If you have both infants and older children in your care, you may want to create separate schedules for each age group. Different schedules will allow you to focus on the specific needs of each age group and avoid disruptions from one group to another.
Do you offer transportation to and from school? You will need to factor in the time it takes to get all the kids ready for drop-off and picks ups. Plus, remember to schedule naptime so that they don’t overlap. No one wants to wake up a toddler from a nap.
When creating a home daycare schedule, it’s important to consider your own preferences and needs. For example, maybe you have more energy in the morning to do crafts than later in the day.
It’s also important to remember that no schedule is set in stone. Things will come up that throw off even the best-laid plans. Build some flexibility into your schedule to account for these inevitable disruptions without too much inconvenience.
Types Of Home Daycare Schedules
In this section, we’ll explore three different types of home daycare schedules and the pros and cons of each. Whether you’re just starting your home daycare or looking to change your current schedule, this section will give you some food for thought. Keep reading to learn more!
Traditional School Hours
The first type of home daycare schedule is the traditional school-day schedule. This type of schedule mirrors the hours that public schools are in session. Typically, home daycares that follow this schedule are open from 7 AM until 6 PM, Monday through Friday. The benefits of this type of schedule are that it is familiar to most parents and, therefore, easy to plan around. Additionally, it allows parents to drop their children off on their way to work and pick them up on their way home. The downside of this schedule is that it can be challenging to book appointments for your family because most medical and dental appointments are only available during traditional work hours. If you’re considering this type of schedule, be sure to take your family requirements into account.
The second type of home daycare schedule is the extended hours’ schedule. This schedule keeps the home daycare open for longer hours than a traditional school-day schedule. Extended hours schedules typically run from 6 AM until 10 PM, Monday through Friday. But some home daycares provide 24-hour services.
The benefits of this type of schedule are that it is convenient for parents who work nontraditional hours or have long commutes. Additionally, it allows for more flexible drop-off and pick-up times. The downside of an extended hours schedule is that you will be working for longer hours and could burn out quickly. If you’re considering this type of schedule, be sure to consider work/life balance.
Before and After School
The third type of home daycare schedule is the before and after school schedule. This schedule allows parents to send their children to the home daycare for a few hours before and after school. The benefit of the before and after school schedule is that parents only pay for the hours they need. Additionally, it can be more convenient for families with limited childcare options. The downside of a before and after school schedule is that you don’t make as much money as you would if your home daycare was open all day.
Read more about setting your daycare hours of operations
Example Of A Home Daycare Daily Schedule
Our home daycare provides quality care for children from 7 AM to 6 PM. Our daily schedule is designed to provide a balance of activities that are both fun and educational. Here is a typical day at our daycare:
7 AM-9 AM: Breakfast and free play
9 AM-10 AM: Circle time (songs, stories, etc.)
10am-11am: Outdoor play
11am-12pm: Arts and crafts
1pm-2pm: Nap time
2 PM-3 PM: Snack time and free play
3pm-4pm: Group games
5 PM-6 PM: Free play and cleanup
Example Of A Home Daycare Daily Schedule (Extended hours/Overnight)
A typical day at our home daycare begins at 7:00 AM when we open our doors and welcome the children. After a quick breakfast, we start our morning activities, which include free play, arts and crafts, and learning time. At 10:00 AM, we tidy up the house and sit down for a healthy snack. After snack time, the children have some free time to run around outside or explore the playroom. At 11:30 AM, we sit down for lunch, and then it’s time for a nap. The children sleep for about two hours, then wake up refreshed and ready to play. Our afternoon activities include outdoor playtime or crafts, depending on the weather. Before dinner, we have some more free playtime. Then we wrap up the day with a tasty meal and quiet time. We clean up the toys and start our nighttime routine at 7:00 PM, exhausted but happy!
Creating a flexible, well-organized schedule is essential to operating a successful home daycare. By taking some time to research what type of schedule will work best for you and the children in your care, filling in the details of a daily routine, and remaining flexible, you can create a home daycare schedule that will work well for everyone involved.