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.


  1. Provides for alternating periods of quiet and active play. (see Setting up the Physical Environment policy)
  2. Schedule outdoor play daily, 30-45 minutes, weather permitting. ( see Playground Safety policy)
  3. Provide a balance of large muscle and small muscle activity.
  4. Make available more than one option for group activity (individual, small/large group). Child initiated activities (e.g., choice time, discovery time) must be scheduled for at least 60 minutes each day (see Developmentally Appropriate Materials, Equipment, Activities policy). It includes some of outdoor/large motor time.
  5. Change planned or routine activities according to the needs or interests of children, and/or to cope with changes in weather or other situations that affect routines without alarming children.
  6. Provide opportunities for children to sort, classify, and manipulate objects, discover relationships, and gain competence through successful experiences.
  7. Schedule field trips to provide hands on learning experiences that will extend classroom learning (see Field Trips and Field Trip Safety policy).
  8. Set aside 20-30 minutes each day for each meal. (see Mealtimes policy)
  9. 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.
  10. 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)
  11. Post daily schedule in the classroom that is visible to adults, including a picture schedule for children’s use. When needed, post daily schedule in the families’ home languages.
  12. Include planning and evaluation time in your schedule (i.e. High Scope-plan, do, review).

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45 CFR Section 1304.21(a) .
It was approved by Policy Council on April 8, 1997.
Updated July 6, 1999. November 14,2000, August 20, 2003. June 2008. June 2009
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