What is your plan for children’s days away from home?
Consistency is more important than time. We believe that ideally the child should attend 4 or 5 days a week, in a row, for no less than 3 hours and no more than 9 hours. Children use routines to understand their world and feel safe so the care must be consistent in both caregivers and time of day.
Some families have flexibility to support their child to have shorter days at school and others do not. Some children’s personalities thrive in group environments some children are less able to handle long days away from home.
In addition to consistency we encourage families to focus on the quality of the school environment and the quality of out of school experiences. It may be nice for children to have shorter days at school but if that means they have some of their time with a nanny or family member what will children’s experiences be outside of school. If children are spending shorter days at school but much of their time is spent running errands, in organized sports, or in other adult directed experiences.
Reflecting on Children’s Time
- How much flexibility do you have in your family schedule?
- How does your child handle stimulating environments?
- Does your child’s personality thrive in social environments?
- What are children’s experiences at school? Do you have access to a high quality play-based program?
- Where in children’s schedule is there down time, free play time, and self directed play?
- Looking at the schedule on the whole how can we support consistency?
- Day to day how are we able to balance social time with quiet time and adult-led time with child-led time?