The daily schedule should provide consistency in a balanced program of child initiated and adult-directed activities, including individual and small group activities, routines and transitions.
- Provide for alternating periods of quiet and active play. (see Setting up the Physical Environment policy)
- Schedule outdoor play daily, weather permitting. ( see Playground Safety policy)
- At a minimum outdoor play will be 30 minutes.
- Children will go outside daily unless the weather is extreme (below 25 degrees F, pouring down rain, above 100 degrees with no covered area to play in).
- Classrooms providing service for 5 or more hours per day will schedule outside time in both the morning and afternoon.
- Provide a balance of large muscle and small muscle activity.
- Make available more than one option for group activity (individual, small/large group).
- 60 minutes each day will be scheduled for child initiated activities (e.g., choice time, discovery time) (see Developmentally Appropriate Materials, Equipment, Activities policy). It includes some of outdoor/large motor time.
- Planned or routine activities may be changed according to the needs or interests of children, and/or to cope with changes in weather or other emergent situations that affect routines. Change in routine will be discussed with children to minimize anxiety.
- Schedule field trips to provide hands on learning experiences that will extend classroom learning (see Field Trips and Field Trip Safety policy).
- Set aside 20-30 minutes each day for each meal. (see Mealtimes policy)
- Time between breakfast and lunch is at least 2.5 hours; between lunch and snack is at least 1.5 hours.
- Be sure to allow adequate time for smooth transitions between activities. Children should not always be required to move from one activity to another as a group. Use transitions as a vehicle for learning.
- Incorporate routine tasks into the program as a means of furthering children’s learning, self-help, and social skills. Routines such as toileting, eating, dressing, hand washing, tooth brushing should be relaxed, reassuring, and individualized based on developmental needs. (see Diapering, Hand washing , Toileting policy)
- Brushing teeth will be on the daily schedule.
- Washing hands will be on the schedule at least one time, but preferably before a meal.
- Post daily schedule in the classroom that is visible to adults and near the entrance to the classroom.
- A picture schedule for children’s use will be posted in the classroom at child’s eye level.
This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45 CFR Section 1302.31 .
It was approved by Policy Council on April 8, 1997.
Updated July 6, 1999. November 14,2000, August 20, 2003. June 2008. June 2009. August 2011. July 2013. August 2017.
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