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Thread: A few questions

  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home...
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    A few questions

    Hi! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day! I have a few random questions for you seasoned providers!

    1. How much of your day is structured compared to free play? With my little group I find the only structure is snack & mealtimes and naps. The rest of the day is free play with some coloring & stories thrown in here & there. I think it's partly because my group is so young - 12 months, 15 months and 2 1/2.

    2. Do you get out of the house every day - and if so, where do you go?

    3. Do you have car seats for all your dayhome kids? If you do, did you buy them or do the parents provide them?

    4. What 1 toy or activity is the favorite of the 1 & 2 year olds in your group?

    5. I have 2 boys starting in November - 2 & 4 year olds. Any tips for transitioning them into my dayhome? The other 3 all started when I opened so it was new for all of us!

    Thanks so much!!

  2. #2
    apples and bananas
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    1. I have 2 - 18month olds, 1 13 month old and a 3 year old. My day is mostly free play. But I consider it structured. Story time, snacks, lunch and nap are done at the same time every day. We go outside at the same time every day and if/when we do crafts/colouring/playdoh etc. we do it in the same timeslot every day.

    2. I do not travel with my kids in the car. I only take them where we can walk. If I have only a few we will walk to the park. If i have more then a few it's the backyard and the neighbourhood.

    4. I have this great grocery store/lemonade stand (there are signs for both) counter/store thing. it's great. They put the kitchen beside and pretend they're in a restaurant. Or, they just dump the bins and play with the food.

    5. All of my older ones have always transitioned well. Mostly because they've come from a daycare environment before. I had one who came to me when he was almost 3, had a nanny all his life so he was never in daycare. He spent the first day completely quiet and hiding in the corner. He spent the second day the same and by the third he was awsome! Transitioned really quick.

  3. #3
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    1. We have about an hour of free play in the morning first thing when the kids all arrive. And usually the 1/2 hour before the kids go home is free play.

    2. We go out every day because we don't have a yard. So we make a short trip to the park or playground every day. We also go to libraries, early years centers, local kids attractions, museums, etc.

    3. I don't drive the kids anywhere.

    4. Favorites for 1-2 year olds here are trains, balls, tool set. But mostly they like playing outside.

  4. #4
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    1. I have a 'structured' program in that we follow the same routine daily aka arrival with free play and sensory / creative options out, morning snack, outside time or field trip, inside time for free play, lunch, story time , quiet time, pm snack, outside time .... but the times are not rigid and I follow the lead of the children in how much time we spend outside and so forth ~ I like to give them large blocks of child directed play time where they are exploring the playroom or materials with little direction or lead from myself ~ children learn best through their play and my job is to be there just to support them and observe where they have mastered things so I can add things to their environment to take their play to the next level and so forth and where they struggle so I can set the stage with open ended questions or prompts about 'wonder what would happen if' or 'what do you think is not working the way you want here' to help them scaffold their learning to that next level.

    2. Yes we go out every morning either outside to the backyard, local park weather permitting and if the weather is too nasty to be outside we go out to a local OEYC or playgroup that has more space and larger equipment to run around and get the gross motor stimulation needed for a nice nap! We go outside again in the afternoon right before pick up time as long as weather permits.

    3. Yes I have car seats .... for liability reasons I choose to buy my own car seats so I am 100% sure they have never been in a car accident, have always been installed properly so no inappropriate wear and tear and that they are not getting additional wear and tear on the belts and tethers by being installed and reinstalled too frequently and all the yanking required on them to ensure they are in 'tightly'.

    4. Right now my wee ones love bucket of indoor balls, chunky trains and vehicles and the dramatic play centre props like phones, cameras and so forth.

    5. I typically transition with a couple of short play dates at different times of day with parent on site but not 'in the room' and these are unpaid so if the child is not coping the parent returns in an agreed amount of time after me trying to 'settle / console' them and than I do a couple of shorter days weaning up to a full day without parents present or onsite where they pay ... if they are seeming to do awesome we adjust the wean in accordingly and get them up to full days soon as possible if they are not coping and screaming inconsolable we keep to the shorter day plan.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
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    1. & 2. I have freeplay until 8:30 then I serve breakfast and we go out from 9 to 11 or 11:30. Then we are back for lunch, then circle time, then naptime from 12:30 or so until 2:30-3:00, then snacktime and free play for the rest of the day due to the odd pickup times. On bad weather days we craft and freeplay in the morning with playdo, colouring, etc. and toys and it's nice to have a day or two a week to take it slow because our field trip days are 3-4 days a week. But I call the inside days 'Imagination Day's'. Our field trips are to the downtown library every Monday because they have a train table and other toys and a 1/2 hour story time. Otherwise we meet friends with their daycares at other parks and I have a choice of 4 parks for variety.

    3. We travel by foot power and the city bus to get where we are going. I don't take them in a vehicle. It limits us but we do just fine.

    4. I have 4 children 2.5 years and younger and one 4 year old, but a big kitchenette with dishes and a Fisher Price parking garage and a ton of cars are the favourites here. I bought a tent and tunnel and easel at Ikea that are well worn and I have one girly girl who loves the buggy and dollies.

    5. When I'm transitioning I agree with apples & bananas that older children are quicker to transition USUALLY!!! Not always, every child is different. I have more trouble with the babies who haven't been out of their mother's arms for the past year and are having separation anxiety. But I have the Mom and child come for a playdate or two if possible and insist on having them start full days at least 3 days/week to be successful because they get a feel for the way the entire day's schedule runs.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    1. How much of your day is structured compared to free play?
    We have a basic routine, in that certain things occur at certain times, such as eating and sleeping. The rest of the day is more open to what the kids want to do. I might have Art from 3-3:30, but I don't plan 10 min of playdough, 10 min coloring and 10 min of a craft. I just go with what the kids are interested in that day.

    2. Do you get out of the house every day - and if so, where do you go?
    We may not leave the house, but we do go outside. It depends on whether I am doing transport or not as to whether we leave my premises. I have a large yard, so thankfully all outdoor play can be done here.

    3. Do you have car seats for all your dayhome kids? If you do, did you buy them or do the parents provide them?
    Depends on how many kids and what the ages are. I have an extra 5 pt carseat and 2 extra boosters. If parents are more comfortable providing, then I will use their carseat for their child.

    4. What 1 toy or activity is the favorite of the 1 & 2 year olds in your group?
    Hmmmm..... don't know if I could choose one! The large motor toys, maybe? Balls/ sport type stuff. I have an inflatable ball pit that kids big and small go crazy over.

    5. I have 2 boys starting in November - 2 & 4 year olds. Any tips for transitioning them into my dayhome?
    If possible, I wouldn't start them at the same time. The nice thing about older kids, is that you can talk things out with them, and they can talk to you. I would suggest setting the tone/expectations early. Don't let them "get away with" something in the beginning and expect to change it later. Let them know what your routine is, and how things are at your house, and they will adapt.

    Best of luck!!

  7. #7
    To those that do drive their dck's around, did you do that from the beginning or start transporting by car when you were already up and running? Is there special insurance required for the car? Any other tips or things I should know? I currently transport by stroller, but there is only one park nearby and it's suited more for elementary school, not for younger kids. I'm also due with my first child in June and will want to be able to take my child and the others to Early Year's programs, library, suitable parks, etc.

  8. #8
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelaide View Post
    To those that do drive their dck's around, did you do that from the beginning or start transporting by car when you were already up and running? Is there special insurance required for the car? Any other tips or things I should know? I currently transport by stroller, but there is only one park nearby and it's suited more for elementary school, not for younger kids. I'm also due with my first child in June and will want to be able to take my child and the others to Early Year's programs, library, suitable parks, etc.
    I got my van my end of my 2nd year in business once I was full and it was getting harder to take the bus places as a result.

    Choosing the right van was the hardest part cause had to find one that would FIT 5 tethered car seats that was in my budget I ended up choosing to supply all the carseats for various reasons this one being the MOST relevant the only brand name I could find that would fit 3 seats across was the Radian Sunshines and well not all parents are going to invest in them cause they are not cheap

    I researched online what others did as well as through discussion with my insurance carrier what a consent form should entail and drew one up for all my current clients to sign ~ in includes not only permission but the 'position' the carseat will be in for the child as some clients choose to rearface extended and so forth and might be pissed to find out you put their child in forward facing cause you just 'assumed' that was how it should be. No one had an issue with it as I had kept them in the loop about thinking about it and the van search for the perfect van as well as my carseat research and so forth so the felt I had been very diligent in my choices.

    For insurance I just had a home childcare ryder added to that for the purposes of transporting to and from school and field trips and outings ... it basically just adds more 'liability' to your current insurance policy for your vehicle!

    Moving forward there have been clients looking for care who've passed on my program because I transport but I am ok with that because the BENEFIT to the flexibility of doing this outweighs that con to me!
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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