Child care schedule templates help to streamline the activities at a facility. These can be used to generate handouts for parents to know about their child's day as well as a guide for director and staff. Giving the child care providers on your staff a schedule can help you run a successful business where children get the developmental activities they need and staff the direction they need to work efficiently and successfully throughout the day. For ideas about appropriate developmental activities for the children in your care, see Extension Online Child Care Courses.
To set up a child care schedule, simply divide an 8 ½ X 11" sheet of paper into 2 columns with the headings "time" and "activity." Divide the columns into rows listing the hour of the day you are in operation, with a 5 minute transition in between (e.g., 8:00-8:55am, 9:00-9:55, 10-10:55), leaving the 5 minutes to transition children from one activity or center to another. You may need to break these into 30-minute increments rather than an hour for some activities.
One of the best ways to figure out an appropriate and time-efficient schedule is to write each type of activity you want to do on an individual 3X5" index card or "post-it" note; then, move them around in the time-slots until you can see the day working smoothly. This is especially helpful when you have different age-groups (e.g., preschool, toddler, infant) doing different types of activities each day. You will want to have a separate schedule for each age group, but each schedule will have to work effectively in your space with the other, so moving cards around in each time slot until you have a master schedule will be important.
So, what will you need in each child care schedule? Consider the following for your schedule
It can be very helpful to have theme-related activities for the day or week. These can be centered around up-coming holidays, seasons, animals, color/number/letter-of the day, etc. Also, be sure to have a time for "hellos" and "goodbyes" that give children a sense of belonging and security and parents a short time for connection and communication as well. See Extension Online for more information on building positive partnerships with parents and families.
Also, don't forget to add essential tasks to your agenda, and that of your staff, including: