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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>For Those Who Separate By Age...
BigMama 12:09 PM 10-13-2011
Hi everyone! I am new to Daycare.com but have been a in-home child care provider for about five years. I have always had my infants, toddler, and preschoolers share the playroom space. This has always worked for me in the past. The big kids played & did their activities and the babies participated at their own level or played independently. This year this is not working. I have four older kids (one 3 yr.old and three 2.5 yr. olds) and two babies (one 15 mo. old and one 8 mo. old). The 15 month old "destroys" (and I mean that lovingly!) anything and everything my older ones are working on. I know that this is entirely age appropriate but I haven't had this issue with past babies (some of whom are now my older ones!). Also, the 8 mo. old is already pulling herself up and starting to cruise & she obviously has no concept of what she is grabbing. I like to provide lots of activities for my older ones & this is becoming almost impossible with the two little renegades on the loose!
Soooo...I was just wondering how other providers go about separating their littles from their bigs? How is your house or playroom set up to separate? Do you use gates, furniture ??? I haven't ever considered separating them before but think this might help this particular group.
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laundrymom 12:21 PM 10-13-2011
If my bigs are building and my littles are destroying, I let the bigs build in a pnp. They may get out at any time but the littles have no access to their projects.
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cheerfuldom 12:23 PM 10-13-2011
do a super yard and create an area just for the babies.
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MommyMuffin 01:16 PM 10-13-2011
I use my living room and dinning room for dc. My living room and dinning room are essentially the same room, no wall seperates them. So I have a long couch and part of a gate seperating the living room from the dinning room.

The infants are in the dinning room with me. I put foam mats on the floor and toys.
I am hoping to get the basement finished soon and there will be a larger dc room which I will section of 1/4 of for the infants.

The toddlers always ruin the preschoolers fun so I have another area just for projects. Gates and furniture!
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caligirl 01:39 PM 10-14-2011
Originally Posted by laundrymom:
If my bigs are building and my littles are destroying, I let the bigs build in a pnp. They may get out at any time but the littles have no access to their projects.
I do the same thing. I have one of those 'super yard's that are octagon shaped. I tell the big kids to go in there where they are 'safe' and let the infants cruise the rest of the room. The big kids think it's pretty cool
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Cat Herder 01:46 PM 10-14-2011
I built wooden half walls and move them in and out of the playroom to create smaller rooms as needed.

L Brackets and a power drill let me set up and break down in minutes.
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nannyde 02:10 PM 10-14-2011
Originally Posted by Catherder:
I built wooden half walls and move them in and out of the playroom to create smaller rooms as needed.

L Brackets and a power drill let me set up and break down in minutes.
Your set up is awesome. It needs to be used in centers and home care too. It would solve so many problems we are seeing with kids today.
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Cat Herder 02:56 PM 10-14-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
Your set up is awesome. It needs to be used in centers and home care too. It would solve so many problems we are seeing with kids today.
It was the only logical way for me to solve my own problems.....

First, I will not allow my infants to be injured by toddlers.

I can't have stronger, more aggressive kids tormenting my smaller, weaker kids.

I needed for my creative builders/readers/artists to be able to play without constant frustration and fighting.

I needed to be able to provide a padded, safe, environment with soft toys for my "bull in a china shop".

I needed an area for us all to come together for circle times. AND we all must be in the same room at all times.

The plastic baby gates are simply too easily pushed over, around the room or knocked over.

I have always said....the playroom setup does half the job if set up correctly.
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AfterSchoolMom 03:00 PM 10-14-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
Your set up is awesome. It needs to be used in centers and home care too. It would solve so many problems we are seeing with kids today.
Totally agree. I think Catherder's set up is the coolest thing I've ever seen, DC wise.
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Cat Herder 03:09 PM 10-14-2011
Originally Posted by AfterSchoolMom:
Totally agree. I think Catherder's set up is the coolest thing I've ever seen, DC wise.
Well, Thank you!!!

I am about to tweak it by adding some really cool peg boards to the walls (meant for garage walls) so I can then add shelves whenever I want ( hopefully with Duplo boards glued on with gorilla glue) and other cool accessories as needed.

I am a bit excited about it.

I have toyed around with the idea of chalk boards, magnetic boards and that cool new toy the BlackCats DH made her...

I will never actually be finished....
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nannyde 03:12 PM 10-14-2011
Originally Posted by Catherder:
I have always said....the playroom setup does half the job if set up correctly.
Yes

I think the room set up really speaks to supervision.

When my state says "carefully supervise at all times" I think this includes more than visual and auditory supervision.

Having excellent equipment and a physical set up that is safe is a good half of the job. Having great toys are a huge percent too.

Having kids that are taught the right way from the first day and kids that eat and sleep....

Voila... excellent care and a happy Nan
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Sprouts 12:16 AM 10-15-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
Yes

I think the room set up really speaks to supervision.

When my state says "carefully supervise at all times" I think this includes more than visual and auditory supervision.

Having excellent equipment and a physical set up that is safe is a good half of the job. Having great toys are a huge percent too.

Having kids that are taught the right way from the first day and kids that eat and sleep....

Voila... excellent care and a happy Nan
I read one of your posts where you state you have a nursery and two other rooms for preschool...I have something similar I split my large room in two...one side for infants and toddler and other side for preschool, and a seperate room for sleep....i now notice babies are getting a little bored...I dont have toddlers yet but i feel there is not a great place for them yet...any suggestions? you can see pics of my space on my website www.sproutinglearners.com
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Sprouts 12:18 AM 10-15-2011
Originally Posted by Catherder:
I built wooden half walls and move them in and out of the playroom to create smaller rooms as needed.

L Brackets and a power drill let me set up and break down in minutes.

do you have pics? i would love to see the set up
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hoopinglady 10:25 AM 10-15-2011
Originally Posted by Sprouts:
do you have pics? i would love to see the set up
me too. I am having some major environmental issues.
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Cat Herder 06:32 AM 10-17-2011
Originally Posted by Sprouts:
do you have pics? i would love to see the set up
Originally Posted by hoopinglady:
me too. I am having some major environmental issues.
I had a huge private album...will have to set it back up.

I don't want them in public, though. Cuts down on the whole annonymous thing. I need to still be able to vent and ask for advice if necessary.

I will send a friend request, so you can see some pics on my profile..give me a few minutes. (oh, Sprouts...You can already see my album. Bottom right of my profile page)
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hoopinglady 11:09 AM 10-17-2011
Originally Posted by Catherder:
I had a huge private album...will have to set it back up.

I don't want them in public, though. Cuts down on the whole annonymous thing. I need to still be able to vent and ask for advice if necessary.

I will send a friend request, so you can see some pics on my profile..give me a few minutes. (oh, Sprouts...You can already see my album

. Bottom right of my profile page)
thanks a ton, it looks really great. I wish I was more handy.

p.s., your play yard is beautiful.

I'd only recently gotten a bunch of toddlers and it seems fairly clear that they need their own space. Right now I am just blockading with the sofa and other furniture, lol. Tried it today and it didn't go too well. (They can easily climb over the sofa and do. Also the new baby wanted to be near his brother.

I have an extra room but don't really want to give up the art/messy/workshop area. Hmmm.
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Cat Herder 11:16 AM 10-17-2011
Originally Posted by hoopinglady:
thanks a ton, it looks really great. I wish I was more handy.

p.s., your play yard is beautiful.

I'd only recently gotten a bunch of toddlers and it seems fairly clear that they need their own space. Right now I am just blockading with the sofa and other furniture, lol. Tried it today and it didn't go too well. (They can easily climb over the sofa and do. Also the new baby wanted to be near his brother.

I have an extra room but don't really want to give up the art/messy/workshop area. Hmmm.
Thanks! I adapt almost monthly. It is a never ending process...

I only enroll newborns and they age out at 4, so about every 4 years I end up starting over with a new group.

Adaptation is my main theme some days.
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Sugar Magnolia 11:59 AM 10-17-2011
If you are one person, by yourself all day, you will have to go with LOW barriers like Cat described. You can buy "room dividers" in the childcare catelogs. Otherwise, if you don't have a separate room that can be staffed by another person, you are going to have problems. I do a multi-age approach center but do NOT accept anyone under 1 year old, simply because babies/young toddlers through a MAJOR monkey wrench in a multi-age approach. I also have two times a day when Bigs and Littles do separate activities in separate rooms with separate staff, and it works very well. They spend 75% of their day together. I wrote an article for daycare.com about this---please check it out on the main daycare.com page.
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Meeko 12:02 PM 10-17-2011
Because I use most of the house for day care, I can separate if I want to, but for the most part I try not to.

My DCP's like the fact that we are a FAMILY day care and that their kids will not be separated from their siblings all day like they are in a center. It's one of my selling points.
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Sprouts 07:43 PM 10-17-2011
Originally Posted by Catherder:
Well, Thank you!!!

I am about to tweak it by adding some really cool peg boards to the walls (meant for garage walls) so I can then add shelves whenever I want ( hopefully with Duplo boards glued on with gorilla glue) and other cool accessories as needed.

I am a bit excited about it.

I have toyed around with the idea of chalk boards, magnetic boards and that cool new toy the BlackCats DH made her...

I will never actually be finished....
I really think you are awesome, thanks for displaying pics, I am trying to upload mine so you can see as well...any feed back very appreciated! BTW how to keep kids alseep in PNP in the same room? Do the other kids disturb them?

I also love the backyard very cute bouncy thing for baby lol....i have trouble coming with ideas for crawlers?? I let them crawl in the grass, BUT i also have those big wooden blocks someone donated, i line them up and let crawlers on them, its like a stage...its hard with the mulch, so messy and babies but in mouth, just the swings are safest ....

And you have a maze or something in the backyard as well?? I've always wanted to create a maze out of bushes, not too high, but i know that must be crazy high maintenance!
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Tags:infants - floor time, infants - safe environment, play yard - infants, playroom, playroom layout
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