Monday, January 7, 2013

The ABC's of Home Daycare A-E

the ABC's of Home Daycare

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I am very pleased to be participating in the ABC's of series.  Over the next five days I am going to be sharing with you the ABC's of Home Daycare.  If you are doing daycare from your home or have ever considered doing daycare from your home, this series is for you!  I will try to condense the wisdom and experience of my 20 years of home daycare into 5 alphabetized posts.  Though I am providing child care in my home and I try to keep that feeling, I am still professional about my business.  I want to ensure that my children receive all the benefits of going to a centre but still develop the close bonds that being part of a child care family offers.  I hope that you are not one of those people considering opening a home daycare to keep from having to put your child into daycare.  Rather, consider opening a home daycare so that your child will be enrolled in the very best daycare available.  I wish you all the best, and hope that the information I have here may provide a little guidance.

This post focuses on the letters A - E.  Please note that the topics are in alphabetical order, and not necessarily in the order of importance.

A is for Assessments.  Assessments are useful in two ways.  First of all, you can use them as a tool to find out how much the children in your care already know or are learning.  Secondly, and sometimes, even more importantly, by using some simple assessments you can show parents that their children are learning while in your care.  This will go a long way in helping parents feel good about placing their children in your care.  Helping parents feel secure about their child's care will make your job much easier, too.  Many assessment tools and developmental checklists are available on the internet and I have gathered a few of them here:

Assessments and Developmental Checklist Resources

What will you say when parents express concerns that their child hasn't yet acquired the necessary skills to start kindergarten?  As professional child care providers, we can help parents with some of their decisions by providing them with information that will guide them in their choice.  Here's a link to some great information from a former kindergarten teacher that may be helpful in deciding about kindergarten enrollment.

Enroll or Wait?  Kindergarten Readiness: Advice from a Kindergarten Teacher

B is for bonding.  This is one of the biggest reasons I prefer home daycares over centres.  In a home daycare, there is usually a single child care provider who provides continuous care to a small group of children.  Many times, in  a centre, the children are in a large group and have several child care providers that change over the course of a day, making it harder for bonds to form. One of the most important tasks of an infant is to develop a secure attachment with an adult. Family child care naturally promotes the forming of these attachments.  As we bond with the children in our care, they too will come to bond with us.  Sometimes, though, these bonds can make parents and providers feel uncomfortable.  Parents need to be reassured that their place will never be taken away from them.

"When Children Treat the Child Care Provider Like Mom"  by NNCC

"Attachment and Bonding" by A Place of Our Own

C is for curriculum.  A good quality daycare will go beyond meeting basic needs and will provide children with opportunities to grow and develop to their fullest potential.  How will you do this?  With planning, of course.  Creating a plan of activities and opportunities for the children that cover their physical, emotional, social and emotional development falls into what I consider curriculum.  When I started daycare 20 years ago, resources were much harder to come by.  With the internet, we have the ability to see how others are teaching and learn from their experiences.  Here are a couple of them:

A Year Long Study of the Alphabet by Teach Preschool

Reading the Alphabet: PreK Curriculum by This Reading Mama

Toddler Lesson Plan Tidbits by Teach Preschool

D is for discipline.  Sometimes, it might feel like this is what you are doing all day.  Your approach to discipline is as important, if not more important, than anything else you do.  You will be helping the children in your care acquire the all-important skill of self-control.  There are various methods and lots of information available to help you.

Helping Young Children Develop Self Control by Teach Preschool

Conflict Resolution by A Mom With a Lesson Plan

Consequences: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly by Kindergarten Basics

Caught Being Good by Kindergarten Basics

In my home daycare, like many others, I have set aside a space for children to go when they are anxious or upset.  This is a place to be by themselves while they get themselves back under control before re-joining the group.  Rather than a quiet, peaceful area, I have a place where my kids can be active and release the negative energy in a positive way.  You can read about that here:

Jumping Time In by My Buddies and I

E is for experiences.  Children learn through the things they experience. 

Benjamin Franklin said,

 “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” 

Think "hands on" play. 

Want to learn more about this subject than I could possiby explain here?  Try this download by High Scope: Active Learning Practices for Preschool and Child Care Programs.

And while the children should be experiencing things in a "hands on" way, we need to try to keep our hands OFF.  Here's why:

Hands Off by Teach Preschool


I hope you've enjoyed this post and return tomorrow to read ABC's of Home Daycare F-J. This post is part of the ABC Series by the Kid Blogger Network.  For tons of information on tons of topics please visit:

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