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Abigail 11:49 PM 12-09-2010
Wow, that is a lot of young children! Are you licensed for four infants? That would be my max here because infants in family daycares are up to age 24 months. I agree with the PP that it is mostly the age. I would recommend you DONT HAVE BUCKETS at all! Just put the toys on the shelf in groups. Tape a picture of the toy that belongs there (if you choose to do this) and then teach the older ones to match the toy with the picture. I would NOT take away books, but I would ONLY offer the board/cardboard thick books and about eight books total. It's recommended you have two books per child available, but I don't think you need to count your young infant who can't even hold a book! LOL, but licensing rules are always interpreted differently.

If they like the chain links, just supply less of them. If they put 20 of them together and swing it around then only give them 6 or 8 to link together at a time. The three B's are always recommended which includes Books, Balls, and Blocks. We were told that if you have the three B's that you could actually run a daycare and survive. Make sure they have plenty of room for the toys. Can you take a picture of your toy shelves and we can tell you what you could possible change to help your situation?

As for naps. Do you dim the lights when it's nap time? Do you have curtains or blinds to close to help set the nap time routine? Do you have soothing dreamy music to play softly in the background? Do you offer a relaxing transition time prior to nap time? If you don't have nap right after lunch, I bet if you moved lunch back a little or just moved nap time up to after lunch that they would be more relaxed and not scream at each other. We use to keep kids up almost an hour after lunch to go down at 1:00 so they had free play for an hour. This was terrible because it was 2:30 sometimes before everyone got to sleep! Did I get a break, NO WAY! Then we moved it to noon which is a few minutes after lunch ends since lunch is 11:30 followed by bathroom breaks then naps. If you must keep to limiting their views of each other, I would put up a sliding curtain from the ceiling that is short, like 4-6 feet and have their pack n plays in opposite corners. This way you can pull the curtain during naps and push it to the side of the room and tie a knot in it to become decor during the other times of the day. If you did this across one part of the room then you should have two curtains so you can pull one on each side after nap. The fabric should also cut down on noise by absorbing the sound waves better in general too!