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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Helpful Hints For Mixed Age Group?
Mom2Two 11:55 AM 06-26-2017
What are some tips for managing infants in care with preschool kids? I have two spots to fill for Fall, and one of the calls I've had is for an infant. The issues I'm concerned about are that the infants mouth everything, so I'm worried about them slobbering on all the great wooden toys I have out for the preschoolers.

Also, one year olds sometimes are hitters or even biters. But it's so hard to teach them anything! I don't have separate spaces and I don't have an assistant reliably (dh helps but on an inconsistent schedule).

I've only had one infant in care. I've had lots of 14 mths and older (all walking) though, and that's been fine. I've never even had a crawler!

Since the older kids have been a great social group for my homeschooled daughter, this has been wonderful. But as she gets older, daycare kids will not be such a great social group for DD since the age gap will increase.

Are there any home providers who have mixed age but feel like they have a good routine for managing the different ages? I feel like I need to learn some new super-powers
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rosieteddy 12:05 PM 06-26-2017
I always had infants with preschoolers.I found it helpful to have a big playpen/playspace for infants.They have some great ones on amazon.I chosethe square 36x36 for outside and a corral type inside.We called the inside one the clubhouse.It had a door and you can make it as big as you want.I would have the rocking chair next to it so I was close.I started infant in it from day one.I put those foam squares for a bottom (cushioned).I would put a bouncy seat in it if needed.I also utilized saucer seats for story time.I used a small table for table activities and babies could be nearby.They love to watch the older kids play.You do need to be on a tighter schedule but it works.
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Mom2Two 12:13 PM 06-26-2017
Originally Posted by rosieteddy:
I always had infants with preschoolers.I found it helpful to have a big playpen/playspace for infants.
Sounds great. Do the babies (crawlers) start wanting out?
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Mom2Two 12:16 PM 06-26-2017
Another issue I have is believing that the babies need to be held a lot--but then I'd be so tied up! I was tied up with my own when they were babies. I didn't start daycare til DD was 2.5 and she quit napping then anyway, so I've never really had that overlap. The one infant I had was the world's easiest baby. He slept through noise and parents didn't mind if he napped in a high chair (I'm allowed with signed letter from parents). And he had his own set of toys. But what about when they want out?
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flying_babyb 03:22 PM 06-26-2017
Ive done mixed age too. Infants are a bit hard with preschoolers but its not to hard to handle. I use the saucer or jumper and put it right by the preschoolers and had group time with all of them. I liked having safe flannel parts or props to include the baby too. As far as toys, I just reminded the big kids to put their toys up where the littles can;t get them, or they would have to be washed. Best thing was when I would find the big kids sitting by the baby reading or pulling on toys for the baby to fallow. May be a bit hard at first but mixed age give everyone a chance to learn from each other.
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trix23 09:01 AM 06-27-2017
I do mixed age 6 months -4 years but I operate a daycare, not a formal preschool. Babies are fed food with everyone and bottles whenever. They have morning nap 10/10:30-11/11:30 lunch at noon for everyone, then nap 1-3. It takes getting used to but I have 2 babies and 3 older kids
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rosieteddy 02:35 PM 06-27-2017
Sometimes the infants want out ,and the preschoolers want in.Thats why it was the "clubhouse".By having my rocking chair next to it I could hold and interact with the children easily.By starting them out in the pen they were used to it.We also walked around the block ,infants under 2 in stroller .Preschoolers holding on...Walk took at least 20 min then play in the yard.I often took turns holding each infant while older kids walking and up, ran around.Meal times everyone fed at same time.Out again in the afternoon.
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