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  1. #1

    Watching everyone?

    Do you find it hard to watch what everyone’s doing at all times
    Last edited by carrielind; 03-15-2018 at 05:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrielind View Post
    I just opened 5 months ago, I have 2 19 mth olds, 1 2 year old and 1 3 yr old... i am finding it hard to always be watching them, like I watch one then another is getting into trouble, or if I’m playing with 2 of them and the other two are playing on the other side of the room all of a sudden there is crying because of who knows why because I didn’t see. So then I’m left not knowing how to react to the situation because I don’t know exactly what happened. Obviously 3 of them don’t talk yet so that makes it tricky. But is this common?
    Do you have one large room that the children play in different parts of? Are they spread around different smaller rooms?

    I have them play in one room. They normally play as a group. While the little ones might not be participating with a group play, they are normally playing dependently alongside us. I never leave them unattended, even for a few mins. If I need to move to a different room, they all come with me. That said, I don't do any household type chores during the day so if I am leaving the room, it's to heat lunch.

    How are you set up?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrielind View Post
    I just opened 5 months ago, I have 2 19 mth olds, 1 2 year old and 1 3 yr old... i am finding it hard to always be watching them, like I watch one then another is getting into trouble, or if I’m playing with 2 of them and the other two are playing on the other side of the room all of a sudden there is crying because of who knows why because I didn’t see. So then I’m left not knowing how to react to the situation because I don’t know exactly what happened. Obviously 3 of them don’t talk yet so that makes it tricky. But is this common?
    No absolutely not, supervision is a must at all the times. Even if they're independent but basically you have to know what they're doing.

    Same as Suzie_Homemaker said, I have been paid for my responsibility to supervise (guide and take care). I'm not being paid to do my housework. It is part of our professional ethics to care for the children supervising them properly, my setting is a full space just for my group and I have absolutely everything there so I do not have to leave them unattended.

    Food and snacks are ready in my little fridge, ready to warm and serve. While I heat the food we have a little hand washing station close to it. So it goes 1. Hand wash, 2 bibs on, 3 trays and food. We all work together.

    I have a clear corner where they can play with blocks while the slow eating children finish their lunch so, I still keep an eye on all of them.

    Older ones go one by one to the bathroom if they really need to (that way they do not get distracted or get into mischief), other ways we all go together after lunch even the babies. We all wash off and get ready for nap. If something happens let's say someone push to a friend or pulled a toy or bite or fell by loosing their balance I have to be able to tell the parents how and when it happened and only the truth. My group of parents know that I'm trustworthy I'll tell as it is. Ex. Fell from a playstructure from the 3th step hitting his head. (I usually say to be aware if the child cries or complaints perhaps they need to go to see a doctor, the injury could be more serious internally than it seemed externally); that's one of the reasons I tell parents that for me it is important to report all these little injuries; obviously I cannot be behind each child hovering but things happen it is part of developing and growing, but at least I was able to report it as it happened.

    Oh, another thing that I forgot to mention my husband and parents know I do not distract myself with cell phone or texting etc. The children deserve my total attention and communication, I am being payed for that. So texts, calls, etc. Are checked either before my starting time or during nap time or after my work is done never in between.

    Parents in my group respect my reasons as I do respect theirs.

    Some have older children and they need to check their phone that's also ok. In my case I think that even in the event of something seriously happening, I'm the position of being responsible first for my group and then deal with everything else. I have 6 in my care two 18 months, two 2 and a half and 2 over three (5 boys 1 girl); and parents still wondering how we do it. Well, I always say, a lot attention, observation, positive guidance and role modeling.

    When children feel you're there for them they behave positively, when children notice your attention is not there with them then they will make sure to call your attention somehow (positively or negatively). Give them your attention and you'll gain their trust.

    Just try to keep it as a group. Lock your doors if you have to, and move on together through your activities, it helps, even at playgroups my groups stays together and they care for each other.
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 01-22-2018 at 05:41 PM.

  4. #4
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    Weíre all in one large room at my place, and I can visually scan the room easily. Yes there are times when you can spend the extra time sitting with a group of kids and all is good, and there are other times that iím Patrolling the perimeter of the room. If Iím going to sit, then itís in the middle of the room where I can see everything. Itís constantly looking up, and correcting behaviour verbally or catching them before they make a poor choice, and redirecting the behaviour. I have two 1 year olds/one two yr old/1 three year old, and even though they donít all have great expressive language, they all can follow directions to some capacity. If Iím going to focus on one group or child for a bit, sometimes I will put out a new toy or activity and then introduce it to the other ones to keep them occupied in one corner of the room.Praise the good behaviour.
    There are times when supervision is more challenging like outside in my backyard with play structures. The kids know that I literally do laps around the yard constantly. The kids also understand that I must be with them for using the ladder or slide. Again itís constant looking and catching the behaviour/safety issue immediately even if itís from the other side of the yard. Many times a verbal redirect about unsafe behaviour will work with my group, depending on their ages.
    Last edited by Busy ECE mommy; 01-22-2018 at 02:04 PM.

  5. #5
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    ^^ This how I am too.

    My home is old house so its not open plan but a series of little rooms. We play in one room but we move together as a pack.

    The front door is visible from my play room so I will unlock door and admit children as they arrive because I can see the whole of my play room. But other than that, if there is a meal, we all wash hands and move into the dining room and then I serve up lunch where I can see them all sitting waiting at the table or in high chairs.

    When it's outside time, we all move as a pack to get our shoes and coats. All get ready together, all walk out door together. When we return, children line up at back door, we all access the house in a group, shoes and coats come off and are hung up and then together we move to the washroom so older children can use that, before headed back into play room.

    I have 6 children. Current ages are 8 months, 21 months, just 2, 2.5 years and 2 x 3 year olds. There's no playing off in corners allowed. I tend to play with children in the center of the room but if someone wants to do something independently, they can do that but they don't need to be along the walls.

    Have you tried having play mats (even those ones which connect together would work) and laying them out in the middle of the room leaving the perimeter uncovered? You could then have the rule that the children must be "on the mats" if you are finding it hard to see them all if they tuck themselves around the edges.

    A lot of this job is in watching and observing. It doesn't take long to learn their little personalities and then you can head off any potential issues long before it escalates, you will know if one of your children tends to target others, you will know if one is a little sneaky at times etc. 90% of my day is redirecting - it's like air traffic control. Do it right and it's all calm. Miss a tiny details and you've got a disaster on your hands.

  6. #6
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    It takes great skill to always have every child in sight. Your back is never to a child (always to a wall) you need to learn to do a task while still being fully aware of each and every child in the room. You can't put your full focus on anything as you NEED to be aware of all.

    If you haven't quite mastered that yet then you need to limit what you are doing to circling and managing. It will mean all meals are prepped in the evening, all art supplies are prepped and at the ready etc.

    It get's easier with practice but you do need to consciously be fully aware of your surrounds. You need to be one step ahead of each child's actions so you can call out and prevent the majority of incidents.

    I would suggest sitting and thinking about where the main issues are arising. Are the crying child in one area of the daycare more so than other areas. If so then figure out how to be more aware of those areas to start. Are there times of the day you are missing more, why and what can you do to limit that.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Okay so I Definitley never said I left the kids alone or was doing housework whilst watching the children.. I have a large basement, itís Very open so I can see everything.. anyways thank you Lee-Bee, this is what I was wondering. I try to make sure every child is happy and having a good time, sometimes when two kids are playing with blocks on one side and then two kids are reading books on the other side it seems they both have a problem at the same time! Maybe my initial question wasnít worded properly, I am always watching them and have no problem with that of course thatís my job, but it seems that if I am helping with one something else will happen on the other side of the room. Anyways, Iím new to this so I am still getting used to it and trying to do the best that I can.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrielind View Post
    .., but it seems that if I am helping with one something else will happen on the other side of the room. Anyways, Iím new to this so I am still getting used to it and trying to do the best that I can.
    Shrink the space. Then there isn't ever a situation where one child is "on the other side of the room". Bring the group into closer proximity of each other and more importantly, you.

    Mats are great for creating a visual perimeter to a space.

    If your basement is set up so different functions happen in different areas, then you have to get the children used to playing as a group doing one activity. Only when you know for sure that a sub-group plays well together 100% of the time can you consider letting them do something different but be warned, that once you start allowing that for certain personalities, the group spreads out and you'll be back to the situation you are now in.

    I also do all prep on my own time. Lunch is cooked in the evenings and in the fridge so it just needs warming up when the children have washed their hands and are in their seats. I often give them some colouring to do or some play-doh to keep them at the table while I'm dealing with lunches. Likewise snacks are also prepared before 7am opening time. Crafts are all prepped on my time too.

    It sounds like your space is just too large to be able to monitor the whole group closely enough. In time, as they adjust to day care rules and as you know the personalities, you will be able to spread out again. But while this issue is arising, I'd certainly reduce the space and have them all playing in a smaller area, together as a group, where you are no more than arms length from anyone. You'll catch any issues much more quickly and be able to deal with them which all helps with the consistent message that what they are doing is not going to happen on your watch.

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    It could be attention-seeking behaviour, or just testing boundaries to see your reaction.
    If I’m sitting doing an activity with a few children, and others are engaged in another activity, I make eye contact and do verbal “check ins” from across the room. I might comment on the skills they are using well, or describe or ask them about their play. The kids then know that I’m paying attention to everybody even if I’m not right beside them.
    I like Suzie Homemakers suggestion. Could you section off a part of the room with a large divider gate so all the kids are in the same area as you? The gate could be moved as you move to different areas of the room.
    Last edited by Busy ECE mommy; 01-24-2018 at 07:32 AM.

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