Creating a routine for your home day care


One of the first things parents may ask when interviewing you is “What types of things do you do with the children?”  Having a routine in place is the perfect springboard for answering this question.


Are you resistant to creating a daily, day care routine? Even if you are not the type of person that likes to be constrained by a routine, there are several things that need to be done at, approximately, the same time, each day.  And, as an added bonus, children thrive and respond much better when they know what to expect from the day, even if it’s just the order of things, rather than the timing.


TIP: start building your routine with the basic non-negotiable activities such as when children begin to arrive, meals and snacks, nap times, etc.  Then fill in the remaining time with activities like outdoor play, circle time, trips to the park, crafts, etc.  Your routine may change over time and, that’s expected, but you should have a general idea of the pace of each day so that everything is covered (diapers get changed, kids get fed) and parents have an idea of what their children are doing each day.


Here’s a sample of a detailed routine:


7:00 –Arrival; Free Play

8:00 – Diaper/Potty Time

8:15 – Get Dressed for Outdoors

8:30 – Leave for Bus Stop

8:45 – Back Inside; Diaper/Potty Time

9:00 – Circle Time

9:15 – Craft Time

9:30 – Snack Time

9:45 – Diaper/Potty Time

10:00 – Extra Work for Preschoolers (2+); Free Play for Infants/Toddlers (2 and under)

10:30 – Get Dressed for Outdoors

10:45 – Free Play/Walk/Park/Outdoor

11:30 – Back Inside; Diaper/Potty Time

11:45 – Lunch

12:00 – Free Play/Finish Lunch (another opportunity to clean up lunch dishes)

12:30 – Diaper/Potty Time

12:45 – Infant/Toddler Nap Time (anyone still in a playpen)

1:00 – Preschooler Nap Time (anyone on a cot) /Quiet Time (children no longer sleeping)

2:45 – Wake Up for Everyone/ Diaper/Potty Time

3:00 – Snack Time

3:15 – Get Dressed for Outdoors

3:30 – Bus Stop

3:45 – Back to House/Diaper/Potty Time

4:00 – Free Play in Yard (parents may start picking up around now)

5:00 – Departure (in the winter, head inside when it gets dark and have Free Play or read books until close)


Figure out what works for you and what you can implement without feeling rushed or stressed.  Whatever your day care routine looks like, write it down and post it so that parents can see what’s going on throughout the day. If you are routine-adverse, you will be pleasantly surprised at how productive a routine can make you feel!


Adapted from