Thriving Childcare

Daily Schedule for Child Care

daily schedule for childcare

Having a daily schedule or not can be the difference between having a productive day or complete chaos. Here’s how to create one that works for your business.

How a Daily Scheduled Saved the Day

One fine morning I found myself midway through breakfast everything seemed fine like a normal day.  I had plans to get a lot of paperwork done in the morning after my two assistants arrived.

[Insert wrench being thrown] My phone dinged. It was my assistant. She was sending a 911 that while brushing her hair that morning she noticed something. I knew immediately!  

I text back LICE?! Her reply – Yep!

Because we have a daily schedule, while for me the morning was chaotic and a loss, it wasn’t for the kids.

So for the remainder of the morning, I had to go into crisis mode. My other assistant and I checked all of the children that were in care that day.  Then I needed to send a memo out to the parents.  After that, I needed to reach out to the company that we use to deal with this.  

Needless to say, after all the calls, inquiries, return phone calls, and memos, my morning was gone. However, because we have a daily schedule, while for me the morning was chaotic and a loss, it wasn’t for the kids.

A Daily Schedule for Childcare is Essential

As child care providers, we have so many things to do.  Time management is always in play.  Having a daily schedule can help you make the best use of your day.

At any point in the day, I know exactly what’s going on at the childcare. Our daily schedule is built into our program. So whether you have a play-based curriculum, such as mine, or you have a more academic routine having a schedule I think is essential.

For my childcare, I usually use a form (similar to the one above) and then post it in my portfolio and as a sign in the childcare area. It breaks up the day into hourly slots and segments.

Having more than one possible activity helps you mix it up and keep things fresh and interesting for the children.

Gives Flexibility in the program

While many of the activities in our schedule are dictated by daily routines such as mealtimes and naps, other activities can be flexible depending on a teaching theme we are working on or even a seasonal activity.  

Currently, our schedule has 13 different schedule modules.  As I said, many are necessary daily tasks but some have suggestions for various activities. This can be very helpful if rain or heat prevents outside time on a given day.  

Having more than one possible activity helps you mix it up and keep things fresh and interesting for the children.

Change as necessary

There will probably be many times when you will need to amend the schedule. Maybe your current enrollment has you caring for younger children and lunchtimes need to be moved to earlier in the afternoon. Or maybe you’re carrying for older children and their nap times can be a little bit later.

Nothing is static in a childcare. So if you have a basic framework for your daily schedule you can always tweak and make necessary adjustments.

Getting input from your assistant, if you have one,  can be very helpful in setting up your daily schedule.  Working with the children, however, gets you in tune with their rhythms.  

Soon you will be able to tell if it’s better to do certain activities like painting in the morning because it gives time for the paint to dry. Or if it would be better for the children if you serve breakfast before 9 am so that it doesn’t cause too much of the morning to be eaten away (haha that was funny).

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Some benefits of having a daily schedule for your child care:

  • Having a familiar schedule can help you better transition the kids to upcoming activities or events.
  • Having a daily schedule gives credibility to your program when you discuss with parents.  
  • It also makes it easier to train your staff when you have a routine and schedule.
  • You may find gaps in the daily schedule that would be better for you to schedule tours with potential parents.
  • Having a daily schedule can also be very handy whenever you need to be away from the childcare.  You will be better able to schedule appointments or the necessary errand or two when you can see what’s going on in your program by the hour.  
  • It helps with planning the hours and shifts of your staff.

Your schedule will evolve

Start with a Basic Schedule

My advice is to start with the basic framework. Maybe even download this Sample Daily Schedule to get you started.  

Fill in certain daily activities that you need to accomplish each day.  Then input some things you would like to add to your daily schedule to childcare.   From there you can make changes as needed.  

You will find that your schedule will evolve over time and may even change with the seasons.

Want to remember this? Save “Daily Schedule for Child Care” to your favorite Pinterest boards!

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Adrienne Bradley Thriving Childcare

Hey there, I'm Adrienne. I help daycare providers like you create businesses they love!

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