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  #1  
Old 02-09-2011, 12:39 PM
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Default How To Get It In In One Short (Long?) Day?

Okay, so I know we work 10-12 hours a day, so how do I have trouble getting everything done? Specifically, it is difficult in the winter.

I live where it's cold, and we are expected to go outside every day. When I asked my licensor what "weather permitting" meant, she said every day that the windchill is above 0. Okay, I LOVE going outside...but it takes a LONG time. So how do I get it all in?

Before winter, we had breakfast, did circle time, art, centers, story circle, free play, lunch, nap, more centers/free play, books, and they went home. I ran a fabulous preschool curriculum with fun activities and had busy, fun days.

Now that it's winter, we have so much less time because going outside takes 1.5 hours. Here is our schedule now:
8:30-10:00 breakfast (I have a late arriver who eats and I'm not going to mess with this-it will correct itself soon)
10:00-10:30 breakfast dishes, diapers, potty
10:30-12:00 outside (25-30 min. outside + dressing/undressing)
12:00 give baby bottle, start lunch (cooked or prepped in am before kids come)
12:30 diapers/lunch prep
1:00 lunch
1:30-3:30 nap
3:30 diapers
4:00 snack
4:30 diapers/clean up
5:00 books
5:15-5:30 organized activity while kids are picked up

We have lost all time to do anything but the basics. I miss running more preschool activities and have two 4 year olds that enjoy it very much. I don't want to skip it all winter, but what do I do? I enjoy being outside, but I feel like it is overtaking my life! How do others do it? I have 6 kids, 4.5 need help getting winter gear on, I have no assistant.

Today was so nice because it is too cold to go outside. I feel so much less stressed and rushed. We had a great morning, I feel like they may have "learned" something, we were busy, we had lunch and nap at a reasonable hour. There has to be a way to do this, and I know you can help!
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:42 PM
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i know what you mean...i'm still trying to understand why my house is messy when all i ever do is clean it
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:45 PM
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I do the basics/necessities every day but I have learned over the years that curriculum and planned activities need to be split up over the week. I do 3 days minimum of curriculum and if I can fit more in, I do but I only aim for 3...if I try to do it all in one day...it is virtually impossible.

IMHO, I really don't think the preschoolers NEED 5 full days of curriculum....they need time to be just 'plain old kids' and explore and investigate and have fun in unguided activities from their own imaginations...

Our schools only recently (within the last 2 years) went to 5 day a week Kindy. A neighboring school district is still at M-R and another is at half-days only 5 days a week.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:59 PM
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Could you do a little bit during that 8:30-10:00 and just not worry about that one child missing it since they are late arriving? Even if it's just 15 minutes? Can you shorten your time outside or is it required to be out that long. We go out only 15 minutes in the winter because otherwise like you I'd be getting behind.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:08 PM
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I will not serve breakfast any later than 8:30 (my contract says 8). We have morning snack just before we go out (9:45ish). Looking at your schedule I would end breakfast and have preschool at 9am, then a snack at 10:00. Could you do that?
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:23 PM
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I know that a lot of this is because of the breakfast thing, but like I said, I would rather just leave it because it will correct itself. The child that comes late (9:30ish) does not eat breakfast before she comes. When she started, I asked dcm and dcd to have her here by 8:30 if she wanted breakfast. They said that they would try. 8:30 became 8:45, then 9:00, then 9:15-9:30. It hasn't changed with my reminders, and I'm not about to let dcg (who is tiny and underweight) go hungry. Dcd is losing his job at the end of the school year, and I'm sure he will not find another job that allows him to arrive at 10:00 , but if he somehow does, I will address it at that time. Dcm and dcd are a WONDERFUL family to work with, dcg is a great kid, and very soon they will be bringing me 2 FT kids (an infant and current dcg). I do not want to ruffle any feathers about something that shouldn't matter anymore in a matter of months, and so I feed her breakfast.

It is a good idea to do other things while we are waiting for her/she is eating, though. I have thought about that, but it seems like I am "doing breakfast" the whole time. I feed the kids about 8:30, the baby takes longer and eats until 8:45ish. Then I clean up the table and floor because it's a MESS and I don't want late arriving dcg to have to eat in the mess or have it look so bad when her parents come. Then, I do the dishes, etc. If she is still not here, I have tried starting circle time. That turns into a mess, though, because she comes and I try to talk to dcd then have to serve dcg (sometimes heat up food, etc.). Meanwhile the rest of the kids get squirrely, get up, run around, and everything is interrupted. Maybe I should just try not to start with circle time, but then many of our activities use the table and dcg is also eating there. I don't know. I should try it and see how it works. Thanks!

As for curriculum, I agree. 4 year olds don't need 5 full days of preschool, and they need time to be kids. I just don't like having NO time to do anything related to learning. That's what I advertise and I don't want kids to leave for "real preschool" when I know I should be able to do it here. I don't think it has to be "all or nothing," meaning ALL preschool or ALL free-play kid time. There has to be a happy medium...even in the winter.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:39 PM
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I have kids that come in for breakfast and then kids that come in after. I only server breakfast at 8:30 and 8:45 is the last time is it served. The kids have until 9am to finish so that class time starts right at 9:15.
If parents bring the child after that, they have to be fed at home. I will unlock the front door and the parents come to the gated daycare area and quietly drop their child off, not distracting or disrupting the rest of the class. When they leave, they know to relock my front door.

If you wait on everyone, you will wait forever and lose out. I have to teach 5 days a week, because otherwise my part timers wont get a chance to learn..
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:17 PM
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I serve breakfast from 8-8:30.

Could you end breakfast normal and just move snack time up a little? Maybe give this child a little more at snack, like a breakfast bar? Parents don't seem to concerned if the child eats or not, so a breakfast bar is better than nothing. (which is what the parents are doing)
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:28 PM
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Can you offer a morning snack? You do have lunch really late and technically you are not feeding the kids breakfast from 8:30-10:00 am. That's a red flag. Yes, be concerned about the girl who doesn't get fed. 1. I would say that you can no longer serve breakfast past 8:30 am. I would move up lunch time an hour and everything else. I would also put circle time in the afternoon because if you can go outside between breakfast and lunch the kids will get out energy and sleep better.

If you don't want to move up lunch and everything an hour or add a morning snack, just tell the parents CHILD cannot eat until lunch is served. It's not a big issue and I know you're excited about getting another full timer with this family. Just don't let your excitement for your future be run by this one family....they're controlling the way you do your business and it's not fair to the other 5/6 kids.

BTW, you have 4.5 kids who need help getting dressed for the winter. A. Have the 1.5 child(ren) assist someone by making a buddy system each day. B. Make sure the wintergear parents give you is simple to for you to use because it's OKAY to ask parents for proper and easy-fitting clothing. It's worth the try.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2011, 08:31 PM
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Default This is my schedule.

DAILY SCHEDULE
Welcome to our family child care home! Listed below is what your child will experience during a typical day. My philosophy is to provide a structured setting for children, so they know what to expect and feel secure. Within this structure, I allow for flexibility so that I can better meet the needs and interests of all the children.

MORNING ACTIVITIES
7:30 – 8:00 As children arrive, a variety of activities are available for them to do, such as table toys, blocks, books and story tapes.
8:00 – 8:30 Clean up, prepare and eat breakfast, and clean up again! Each child has an opportunity to help with meal chores such as setting the table or mixing the juice.
8:30 – 9:45 Children have a choice of joining circle time or selecting an activity of their choice. Circle time transitions into a group activity such as painting, water play or cooking.
9:45 – 10:00 Get ready to go outside: bathroom time, change diapers, wash hands.
10:00 – 11:00 Outdoor play – a combination of free play, and group activities such as walks in the neighborhood, a science project such as gardening or an outdoor art project.
11:00 – 11:30 Wash hands. Individual choice – dramatic play, blocks, board games.

LUNCH AND REST
11:30 – 11:40 Clean up for lunch. Wash hands.
11:40 – 12:30 Family style lunch and conversation. Again, each child has an opportunity to help with chores. After lunch, everyone brushes teeth, uses the bathroom or diaper change, washes hands.
12:30 – 12:45 Story time. This is a time to slow down before rest time and enjoy a good book.
12:45 – 2:45 Every one has a rest time. Children who can’t sleep rest quietly on their cots, looking at books for 30-40 minutes before they are allowed to get up and start a quiet activity.
2:45 – 3:00 Children wake up, put away cots, use the bathroom and wash hands.

AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES
3:00 – 3:20 Snack time.
3:20 – 4:30 Active outdoor play. Wash hands.
4:30 – 5:30 Departure time. Children choose activities such as coloring, reading or table toys.

Last edited by Abigail; 02-09-2011 at 08:35 PM.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2011, 09:45 PM
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If it helps, I do NOT usually feed the children lunch at 1:00. We normally eat between 11:40 and noon. It's only when trying to get outside that we eat late. We have to in order to get outside. I am required BY LAW to take them out EVERY single day the windchill is above 0-it is not a choice. Since it gets dark early in the winter, the only time I can take them out is in the morning.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:39 PM
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It should only take 30-45 minutes total to prepare, serve, and clean up breakfast. So after breakfast go into free choice play as they leave the table use the bathrooms and once you're done cleaning up and they're taking turns using the bathroom then you begin to dress them up using the buddy system to go outside for half hour. Do diaper changes once you get inside. This is only about 2 hours after all the kids arrive anyways so it's okay to wait to change diapers until 10 am when you're back inside. Hope something works out for you.
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2011, 02:28 AM
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Could you give her a snack instead of breakfast? If you normally serve lunch at 11:40 how about giving her something like a muffin and a banana to tide her over?

Can you go out at 9:00 and meet dcd outside and bring the kids in at 9:30, and then give dcg her snack (get her undressed first), and then while undressing the others she is eating, then do circle time after that?
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:05 AM
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I have 4 or 5 toddlers and 1 or 2 preschoolers to get dressed in full winter gear. Here's how we do it:

6-7:45 - breakfast
8:00 - potty/diapers
8:15 - get dressed for outdoors
8:30 - leave for bus
8:45 - return and play outside
9:15 - back inside, undress, diapers/potty
9:45 - am snack
10:00 - free play
10:15 - diapers/potty
10:30 - circle time
11:00 - craft time
11:30 - start prepping lunch/ free play for kids
11:45 - lunch

I would suggest taking the kids out earlier in the morning, and then feeding your late breakfast arrival at snack time. Maybe you could make the snack a hot one and make sure she gets extra so that it makes up for missing breakfast.

For getting the kids ready to go outside, I'd consider the amount of time you take getting them ready as learning time too -- they're learning how to dress themselves. I schedule an hour to be outside but only a portion of that ends up being outdoor time (probably 15 - 20 minutes all told). The rest is dressing time, which I think is fine since they're learning valuable skills. Of course, the big question is, are you required to be outside for a specific length of time?

Also, on a practical side, I dress one toddler at a time, in my lap. It takes about 2.5 to 3 minutes to completely dress a kid in winter gear (coat, snowpants, boots, hat, mitts, scarf) and then they sit by the door and wait for the others. If they're getting themselves dressed, it takes longer of course. So, if you do have to spend a specific amount of time outside, you could just do all of the dressing for them (that's what I do when we're rushing for the bus ).
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abigail View Post
DAILY SCHEDULE
Welcome to our family child care home! Listed below is what your child will experience during a typical day. My philosophy is to provide a structured setting for children, so they know what to expect and feel secure. Within this structure, I allow for flexibility so that I can better meet the needs and interests of all the children.

MORNING ACTIVITIES
7:30 – 8:00 As children arrive, a variety of activities are available for them to do, such as table toys, blocks, books and story tapes.
8:00 – 8:30 Clean up, prepare and eat breakfast, and clean up again! Each child has an opportunity to help with meal chores such as setting the table or mixing the juice.
8:30 – 9:45 Children have a choice of joining circle time or selecting an activity of their choice. Circle time transitions into a group activity such as painting, water play or cooking.
9:45 – 10:00 Get ready to go outside: bathroom time, change diapers, wash hands.
10:00 – 11:00 Outdoor play – a combination of free play, and group activities such as walks in the neighborhood, a science project such as gardening or an outdoor art project.
11:00 – 11:30 Wash hands. Individual choice – dramatic play, blocks, board games.

LUNCH AND REST
11:30 – 11:40 Clean up for lunch. Wash hands.
11:40 – 12:30 Family style lunch and conversation. Again, each child has an opportunity to help with chores. After lunch, everyone brushes teeth, uses the bathroom or diaper change, washes hands.
12:30 – 12:45 Story time. This is a time to slow down before rest time and enjoy a good book.
12:45 – 2:45 Every one has a rest time. Children who can’t sleep rest quietly on their cots, looking at books for 30-40 minutes before they are allowed to get up and start a quiet activity.
2:45 – 3:00 Children wake up, put away cots, use the bathroom and wash hands.

AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES
3:00 – 3:20 Snack time.
3:20 – 4:30 Active outdoor play. Wash hands.
4:30 – 5:30 Departure time. Children choose activities such as coloring, reading or table toys.
Your schedule looks structured and very organized!
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:10 PM
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Thanks guys! I knew you would have the answer. I really like the idea of going out right after breakfast, having dcg meet us out there, undressing her first and feeding her then. I think that would work.

I'm not opposed to serving an am snack, but if I do, I think I'd like to do it only in the winter. The rest of the year, they eat breakfast at about 8:30-8:45, lunch about 11:45 and snack about 2:45. Since that is eating every 3 hours, and I serve hot hearty meals, I feel like there is really no need for morning snack. However, it is an idea to do it only in the winter if our lunch continues to be so late.

No, there is no required time that we have to be outside. My only new concern is that we may miss out on a lot of outside time because we so often have a windchill below 0 early in the morning and it warms up enough a bit later that we can go out. I might have to come up with an alternative if it's happening a lot, but I'll keep track of it. Otherwise I say, bring on SPRING!

PS: I agree that they are learning a lot by dressing themselves! I do allow plenty of time for trying on their own because I think it's really important. That's probably why I'm having this problem in the first place, but I think it is an essential skill...especially when you live in Minnesota!
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCMomOf3 View Post
I will not serve breakfast any later than 8:30 (my contract says 8). We have morning snack just before we go out (9:45ish). Looking at your schedule I would end breakfast and have preschool at 9am, then a snack at 10:00. Could you do that?
I was thinking this same thing. End breakfast earlier. I would say have your child fed if arriving after 7:30 or 7:45.

Abigail my schedual is about the same as yours. Times are a little different but not by much.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:48 PM
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Abigail Abigail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemonkeys View Post
Your schedule looks structured and very organized!
Thank you Littlemonkeys! It's right from our local child care resource sample with a few adjustments I made for it to make sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momatheart View Post
Abigail my schedule is about the same as yours. Times are a little different but not by much.
Want to send me your schedule? Mine is just tentative, but I like how most of it is worded. This will be hung up on my parent board by the entryway and I will create a picture schedule to hang up in the daycare room in order for the children to view what activity is next. I have not thought of what pictures I want to print yet besides the basic book for reading after lunch and sleeping children for nap time, etc.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:00 AM
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I understand about the time thing. I was wondering if maybe you could drop the am snack and just do pm snack. That may give you a few more minutes? Also dropping your curriculum to 3 days a week sounds like it may work. I have a smaller group than you and still struggle with the time crunch. Occupational hazard! Hang in there! You will figure it out and remember spring is coming soon.
Debbie
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:09 PM
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I like to do alot of preschool activities as all my parents were looking for that. Also I consider myself more of a preschool than daycare. We go outside ALOT once it get warm but we live where most of the time it is cold or very rainy! This week I've decided to go outside no matter what. Everyone has to bring rainboots and we went for a walk today. Everyone's pants are haning by the fire as they are all wet from splashing in the puddles but guess what that is part of being a kid!

Here is my daily schedule-

6:45-8:30=Arrivals and free time
8:30=SA's to the bus/bathroom/diaper changes
8:45-9:30=Circle time-reading of a Bible story, sing songs, calendar, and then I put STARFALL on the computor and we have music time
9;30-10:00=Snack/bathroom/diaper changes
10:00-10:30=Storytime/craft
10:30-11:00=ABC Time (Starfall again on the computor) and then something to do with letter of the week
11:00-11:30=123 Time (Starfall again on the computor) and then something to do with numbers
11:30-12:00=Shapes/Colors

12:00-12:30=Make lunch/eat/Set up for lunch
12:30=Bathroom/diaper changes/go for a walk or playoutside
1:00=Storytime/nap
3:00=Start getting afternoon snack ready/bathroom/diaper changes as they wake up
3:45=SA's come home snack
4:00-5:30=Free play or during nice weather outdoor time

This will mostly change because once nice weather happens we will be outside probably most of the time. I also ordered MGT so once it arrives I will more than likely redo everything depending on their lesson planning.
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  #21  
Old 04-07-2011, 03:43 AM
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I find that if I'm prepared to get them all dressed that it goes smoother. I get the kids busy with centers (which they love) and go get all the outside clothes ready. I set out the clothes for the kid over 3 in piles with everything they need and I put the piles for the little ones I need to dress next to me.

I help "big kids" with zippers and mittens only unless they want to wait until all the littles are done dressing. The big kids are dressed 99% of the time now before I'm done with the littles. We make it a race, first one done gets to open the door to go outside, I give lots of praise for working hard getting ready too.

We're out the door in 15 minutes with full winter gear. I dress 3 and 3 others dress themselves. But the key for me is to be TOTALLY ready before they even know we're going outside so they don't go crazy with excitement. When we get back inside I strip them quickly, get them settled doing something they like and then go back and hang up the coats etc.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:24 PM
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I live in VA...it gets very hot here in the summer. Once it Memorial Day passes, we have 90+ degree days til October...usually 97 - 105 throughout the summer. According to our licensing standards, we are supposed to have the kids outside everyday unless the air quality is at red or purple level.

About half my kids have asthma or bronchitis. If the air quality is yellow or orange, "sensitive groups" are supposed to limit time outdoors. What are sensitive groups? The elderly, young children and those with breathing problems. Mostly, its too hot to be outside for more than 15 -20 minutes anyway. So, I put my common sense above standards in this case.

They also say even in "bad" weather...snow, rain, etc...kids should be taken outside...the parents should just provide the gear. Um, nope! We can barely get the parents to put caps on these kids in January...they are definitely not going to buy snow or rain boots, snow pants, slickers, etc.

So if its very hot, very cold, raining, snowing, etc...we just stay in. I'm not going to compromise the health of my kids so they can play outside
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