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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Separate Spaces For Mixed Ages
small_steps 12:21 PM 04-29-2013
Anyone have pictures of their spaces that have mixed ages in separate spaces? I'm thinking of putting my 2's and under on one side of the room and 3 and over on the other but looking for ideas. I currently have no infants but if I do get infants, would probably do a separate space for them as well. I have a 400 sq foot room to utilize and thats it.

Thanks for any help
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MNMum 12:53 PM 04-29-2013
I would love to hear about ideas and see pictures, too.
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preschoolteacher 01:05 PM 04-29-2013
Why do you want to separate them? I think this would cause more headache than help. I can just imagine the kids trying to get into the other areas all day long. I also wouldn't want to leave my kid in a place where he's fenced-in a small section for long periods of time and not free to explore.

I get wanting to keep the little ones away from the older kids' stuff, but can you choose materials/toys that are safe for babies but still fun for bigger kids? Or you could save art time and other messy activities that the older kids can do for when the younger ones are napping.
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daycare 01:29 PM 04-29-2013
I have one room set up for lessons and the other for free play. Everyone gets to use both rooms together but when we pull out activities that are not age appropriate for the young ones I send them to the play room.

My space is shaped like an open "U" so I can always see everyone no Matt where they go.

I do have gates that separate and define the spaces for the kids.

I can't get pics now but can email you later if you pm me
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small_steps 01:37 PM 04-29-2013
Originally Posted by preschoolteacher:
Why do you want to separate them? I think this would cause more headache than help. I can just imagine the kids trying to get into the other areas all day long. I also wouldn't want to leave my kid in a place where he's fenced-in a small section for long periods of time and not free to explore.

I get wanting to keep the little ones away from the older kids' stuff, but can you choose materials/toys that are safe for babies but still fun for bigger kids? Or you could save art time and other messy activities that the older kids can do for when the younger ones are napping.
All of my daycare kids nap together at the same time so that's not going to work. I nap everyone. Also, I'm not sure how many kids you keep on a daily basis but I have anywhere from 8-12 and it's really hard to keep the little ones out of the older ones toys. My bigger kiddos are into toys with smaller pieces and I want them to be able to play with the items that they love. They will play for long periods of time if they aren't interrupted.
Many people on this forum have posted that they use separate spaces and that it works very well for them. I'm hoping it will work well for me too. And it's not like the kids will be behind a fence all day long. There are many times we come together (circle time, arts/crafts, lunch, outside, etc). This would mainly be during free play.
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LK5kids 04:24 AM 04-30-2013
Instead of each age staying in their designated area I have the option to gate off an area that toddlers can't get into. I also have an extra room if I need it for older kids.

I have a young group right now, but if needed older kids could go into any of these areas, just not toddlers/babies.

I have also seen photos of separate play areas. It just wouldn't work for me to limit both groups.
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slpender 08:18 AM 04-30-2013
I also just close off an area to keep the toddlers out. I use a play yard to keep them out and this is where I have all the preschool age toys.
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williams2008 11:52 AM 04-30-2013
I have separate areas for my dcks. You should be able to see them in my album.
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blandino 08:37 PM 04-30-2013
We are a large license, so have 2 staff members present at most times. So one staff member is with the 0-18/20 month olds and I am with the 20 month - 4 year old group. The infants and toddlers have their own room, and a staff member is in there with them for the majority of the day.

Here are some pictures of our setup.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...0403458&type=3
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Cat Herder 09:21 AM 05-01-2013
I have both individual and group play areas. IMHO, Nobody likes to be touched every minute of every day... I used simple half wall deck railing.

The toddler/preschoolers over 12 months choose which side of the rail they want to be on (one at a time per area) during free play times. Infants under 12 months stay in safe individual space when not in direct contact with an adult.

As long as each railed area has the required 35 sq ft per child (usable space not covered by furniture) it is perfectly "developmentally appropriate" according to my training and State regs.

My regs even use the terms " individual and group activities to include, but not limited to..." (science, math, literacy, exploration, etc) to the mandatory requirements for Family Childcare Homes.
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melilley 11:37 AM 05-01-2013
My children are always together. My living room is the main (dedicated) playroom so it's hard to separate spaces. I am licensed for 6 and have 4-6 kids per day and am right at ratio for each age group so it's hard to separate them! (I have 2 9 mo. olds, a 20 and 22 mo. olds, and 2 2.5 year olds) I just sit on the floor right by the babies when they aren't sleeping and are in the playroom with us. I do have areas in my playroom, but are only separated by a long table in the middle of the room and by shelving and carpets. Most days it's not too bad being together and only one of the children constantly needs to be redirected or reminded to use nice touches, but other than that, the other non infants are usually respectful of each other.
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melilley 11:42 AM 05-01-2013
Originally Posted by preschoolteacher:
Why do you want to separate them? I think this would cause more headache than help. I can just imagine the kids trying to get into the other areas all day long. I also wouldn't want to leave my kid in a place where he's fenced-in a small section for long periods of time and not free to explore.

I get wanting to keep the little ones away from the older kids' stuff, but can you choose materials/toys that are safe for babies but still fun for bigger kids? Or you could save art time and other messy activities that the older kids can do for when the younger ones are napping.
I keep all my children together and like you said, have toys that are appropriate for all the children-even the babies and it works out! The babies even do the art, but I don't leave the art stuff out since all my current kids are 2.5 and under, but I do get it out and sit with them while they do it and if they ask for the art materials then I will give it to them-I have a cupboard where the art supplies are and they know. If they can't talk, they point up to it!
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