A Presentation on "The Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care" (A book by Diane Trister Dodge and Laura J. Colker)

Presentation by Grace Freds

This book was published in 1991 by Teaching Strategies, Inc. in Washington DC, and revised in 1998. A look at the Acknowledgments revealed that some very reputable organizations showed interest in the work. Some of those organizations are: Administration for Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and National Child Day Care Association.

The first port of call was the definition of "curriculum", as presented in the book was "a plan for your program". A further look at this word lead to a description of curriculum in the context of children. It clearly stated that "a good curriculum must be ‘developmentally appropriate’." Quality childcare will be related to how well the provider understands the different development stages of child hood. What is generally appropriate for a particular age group and how individual children may differ within each stage. Therefore, what a provider plans depends on her knowledge of each child’s interests, abilities, needs, and background. Point blank, a family childcare that does not fashion its curriculum towards the appropriate development of children is missing the mark. It again reveals that statement of philosophy, goals and objectives, physical environment; director’s role and parents’ role are all essential ingredients in the cooking of a good family day care.

Questions That Help Plan Appropriately

What can I expect of a child at each stage of development?

How does a child lean at each stage of development?

What do I know about each child that will help me individualize my care?

What activities and learning materials are appropriate for each child?

How can I adapt my home and materials for children with special needs?

How can I involve families and include their perspective?

Therefore, to plan appropriately, a provider has to have:

A Statement of Philosophy

This is a belief and theory that guide your planning, including an understanding of how children develop socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically.

Goals and Objectives

What the children will gain through involvement in ones programs.

The Physical Environment

How room arrangements, selections and displays of materials support the development of: Trust, Independence, Initiative and Industry in Children.

Provider’s Role includes;

Activities you plan each day

How you talk with children

How you guide their learning and growth

Parent’s Role

Involvement of parents promotes each child’s growth and development.

Focus of This Curriculum

Understand how children develop, how their family, culture and community impact development.

Organize your home as a setting for learning.

Plan and carry out activities to help children develop.

Build a partnership with parents that respect values and cultures.

This Curriculum Is Organized in Two Parts

  1. Setting The Stage: This helps provides to;

Formulate a philosophy of childcare

Understanding child development

Prepare ones home

Plan Year program

Making Home Safe and inviting

Select right kinds of materials

Manage your day

Guiding children’s learning and behavior

Building a partnership with parents.

The part two of the Creative Curriculum is called Activities. This part deals on how to find or select materials and plan experiences that help children of all ages.

Ages of Children to Consider

Infants (Birth – 18 months)

Toddlers (18 – 36 months)

Preschoolers (3 – 5 years)

School Aged Children (5 – 12 years)

The activities should help to grow and develop them.

Objectives of this Creative Curriculum

Are to help Children.

Learn about themselves and the world around them.

Feel good about themselves and capable as learners.

Specific Goals are centered on these areas.

Social Development

To feel secure, comfortable, trust their environment, make friends, and feel part of the group.

Emotional Development

To experience pride and self confidence

Develop independence and self-control

Have positive attitude toward life

Cognitive/Mental Development

Be confident learners by trying out their own ideas

Experience success by acquiring thinking skills such as:

Ability to solve problems

Ask questions

Use words to describe their ideas

Observe

Feel

Physical Development

Increase their large and small muscle control.

Feel confident about what their bodies can do.

The Focus of the Book is on:

Family Child Providers who offer children and families important services such as: Secure Environment- Children learn to trust other adults/children

Plan Actives- Help Children solve problems

Express their ideas

Learn about real world

Crucial skills in preparing for school/life

Serve children of different ages.

Nine different Activities as described in part two are:

Dramatic Play Sand and Water

Blocks Cooking

Toys Music & Improvement

Books Out door play

When provider plans appropriate activities for the children, she cares for and offers them more choices. She will find that each day goes more smoothly and both you and the children will have more fun. At the end of each activity section, there is a letter for parents to help them understand what you are doing and why.

This curriculum is called the Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care to emphasize that learning is a creative process for both children and adults. The curriculum supports children’s creativity by encouraging them to learn through their active explorations in an interesting and save environment. It also supports your creatively by encouraging you to build on what you already know about children. Try out new ideas and be responsive to each child in your program.

Understanding Child Development

This is the main key to high quality program for young children. Children’s abilities and needs change rapidly, so each stage of children’s development is different. Understanding these stages of development will help one to care for children and guide their growth.

Jean Piaget a psychologist studied children and came out with a conclusion that children learn by using all their senses. Children come to an understanding of the world around them by grasping, rolling, pounding, smelling, sucking and crawling over everything they came in contact with. They discover how things work through that means, as they run, jump, knock things over, and lift things, watch, and listen, they are gaining information and learning. As they use their bodies, their entire bodies imitate the actions of other people or try out their own ideas, they learn how people act and react and what they are capable of doing themselves. These active explorations lead to knowledge. Piaget believed that young children learn by doing. By understanding that children learn and change their ways of thinking about things by being involved actively with materials and people. A provider can create many opportunities for them.

Jean Piaget propounded two theories.

ASSIMILATION

Is when children spontaneously involve in activities such as kicking towards a mobile, crawling or building a structure with blocks, they are adding pieces of information to what they already know and generate new information and ideas. This is known as soaking up knowledge.

ACCOMODATION

Is when children adjust their thinking to include a new knowledge. Therefore, a childcare provider can encourage children of all ages to think by helping them label and organize their world. For young babies, one can help by 1) Talking to them, 2) Pointing out what is happening around them, and 3) Responding to their efforts to communicate with you.

For Older Children

Encourage them by making statements and asking children to describe what they are doing. For example;

Oh, look. I see the older children making big piles of sand in the sandbox.

You’re using the spoon to strike the batter. How does the batter feel?

How could you get that big rock to move even though it too heavy for one person to lift alone?

What did you see on our neighborhood walk this morning?

What did you like best about the book you just read?

We have seen from Jean Piaget that we can not tell the children what we want them to know rather than learn by actively being involved.

But Erik Erikson a psychologist too, believed that each child has special needs that must be met at each stage of development in order for the child to grow and move successfully to the next stage. Erikson outlined the stages of social and emotional development that people go through from birth through old age. Erickson first four stages of development are Trust, Autonomy, Initiative, and Industry.

These are very important for family childcare providers to know about because they address the needs of infants, toddler’s preschoolers, and school-aged children.

Erik Erikson first four stages of development.

Trust: This simply refers to an infant (From birth to 18 months). Infants are totally dependent on adults for feeding, care, making them feel comfortable, hold them. Even though they are dependent on adults, they still are interested in what they see, hear, smell, touch, and taste in their environment. Infants are good observers and respond to everything around them. Before you know it, they develop the ability to crawl and move around to explore their environment on their own. So if one meets the basic needs of infants and gives them interesting things to look and safe spaces to explore, they will learn that the world is a place they can trust. So understanding the development needs of infants helps enables us to plan a program that meets their needs and helps each of them to grow and develop.

What Infants Are Like: The Curriculum Helps You:
Emotionally, they...

Depend on adults to meet their basic needs- to be fed, kept dry and comfortable, picked up, and held.

Are born with individual and unique personalities: Some are quiet, some active; some like to be cuddled and held; others like to be touched.

Respond consistently to each infant’s needs and schedule and uses routines to help infants grow and feel bonded to you and your program.

Observe each child’s unique characteristics and use that information to build a relationship and meet each child’s basic needs.

Socially, they

Develop attachments to their primary caregivers.

Like to watch other children and join the action.

Provide consistent responsive care and build a positive relationship with each infant’s parents.

Find ways to include infants in activities without allowing them to disrupt what older children are doing.

Cognitively, they

Use all their senses- tasting, touching, smelling, hearing, and seeing- to learn about the world.

Experiment with objects and sound and enjoy discovering what effect their actions have.

Communicate with others through actions and have sounds.

Check all materials to be sure that infants can safely suck, squeeze, throw, and push them to learn about them.

Select materials that will be responsive to infant’s explorations and actions.

Respond to infant’s early sounds and words and encourage their language development.

Physically, they

Explore and move by creeping, crawling, pulling themselves up and walking.

Practice new skills such as grasping, touching hitting, rolling, and grabbing.

Organize the environment so that there are large stretches of floor space on which infants can move around safely.

Plan activities that enable them infants to learn and practice developing physical skills.

Second Development Stage by Erikson is the Autonomy. This means independence. Children are learning to do things by themselves and to also make decisions. They love to repeat actions and words over and over to solidify their learning and sense of self-control.

They elicit some response over and over from us. They begin to trust us and also predict our reactions. Their favorite word is "NO". They say it to try out their independence and not to make parents angry and also to let you know that they can make decisions for themselves.

What Toddlers are like: The Curriculum Helps You:
Emotionally, they...

Establish their independence by trying to do things themselves.

Plan and organize an environment where toddlers can find what they need and do things on their own
Are easily frustrated because they want to do things more than they can or do more than the adults will let them do. Plan activities that toddlers can do successfully and that will hold their interests; avoid overstimulating toddlers with too many props or more choices than they can handle
Have stronger attachments to family members and their caregivers Build a partnership with parents and with each child through daily contact
Socially, they

Enjoy being with other children but are not always able to play with others cooperatively

Include toddlers in routines and activities involving other children
Like to imitate what others do Provide activities through cooking and dramatic play experiences that give children an opportunity to "do the things grown-ups do"
Cognitively, they...

Like to practice new skills by doing them over and over.

Plan activities that allow toddlers to practice familiar skills and apply them to new tasks
Learn to use language to express feelings and ideas Talk with toddlers to help them understand new words and to encourage them to use language to communicate with others
Get excited by new things and may turn quickly from one activity to another Collect a variety of materials and ideas for activities that will interest toddlers and keep them busy and happy
Physically, they...

Are very active and want to explore everything: climbing, jumping and running with increasing skill (gross motor development)

Set up safe indoor and outdoor environments that allow toddlers to explore safely and use their large muscles
Develop increasing skills in eye-hand coordination and use of small muscles (fine motor control) Select materials that will challenge toddlers’ developing coordination and balance abilities without frustrating them.

Third Development Stage is the Initiative. This describes the preschool age children ranging from 3 years – 5 years. At this stage, children are active, talkative, and creative. They initiate a lot. Preschool children seem to have endless energy. They are eager to experience and gain new skills to help them learn. They can build, draw, mold, pain; put things together, climb, and swing with increasing skill. They are curious and ask and ask questions about everything to find out more about the world around them. They are very social and often have best friends. They learn to cooperate and play with others. They want to be liked.

What Preschoolers Are Like: The Curriculum Helps You:
Emotionally, they...

Are aware of how others respond to them and use these experiences to develop their own self-concepts

Plan a program and learn ways of talking to preschoolers that help them feel accepted and special
Express their feelings and display a wide range of emotions- fear, anger, happiness, and embarrassment. Recognize what children are feeling and help them express and cope with fears and emotions
Socially, they...

Play cooperatively with other children and often have best friends.

Help children get along with others and feel part of the group
Enjoy role-playing and make-believe play Plan dramatic play experiences and take an active role in helping children use make-believe to further their growth
Respond well to praise and encouragement Give children opportunities to talk about their own work and develop pride in their accomplishments
Cognitively, they...

Love to talk, ask questions, and share what they know

Talk with preschoolers and ask questions that encourage them to think and put ideas into words
Are curious about how thing work and why Select a variety of materials and activities that children can take apart and explore
Take pride in mastering and completing tasks Plan activities that challenges preschoolers and allow time in the schedule for them to stay with a task as long as they wish
Learn by active play with real materials by making their own discoveries Select materials that will interest preschoolers and encourage them to try out their own ideas
Physically, they...

Develop increasing control over the small muscles in their hands

Include a variety of art materials, writing and drawing tools, and toys that develop children’s small muscles
Develop increasing coordination and control over the large muscles in their legs and arms Plan music and movement activities indoors and a safe environment outdoors for children to run and climb and build
Develop increasing coordination of eye and hand movements Select toys, art materials, and props that will challenge children to practice eye-hand coordination skills

Industry: The industry is school-aged children from 5 years to 12 years of age. They focus on developing the skills they need for their work in school an in life. They enjoy working on real projects and making things. They refine the physical skills they have learned and can become quite skillful at games and athletic activities. School life and friends are very important to school aged children. They feel less need for supervision yet they still depend on adults. The family child care home environment can provide a safe and welcoming place for children before and after their day at school and during school vacations.

What School Aged Children are Like: The Curriculum Helps You:
Emotionally, they...

Are eager to be independent of adults

Give school-aged children opportunities to make choices, play on their own, and be with their peers
Act self-assured but still have many doubts about themselves Plan activities that enable school-aged children to succeed.
Socially, they...

Are concerned about being accepted by peers and conforming to group expectations

Create an environment where all children feel part of the group and are accepted for their unique abilities and interests
Display strong likes and opinions Provide opportunities for children to talk about their feelings and express their ideas
Enjoy assisting young children and being leaders Include school-aged children in activities you have planned for the younger children and give them responsibilities that help them develop leadership skills
Cognitively, they...

Enjoy working on long term projects and like to produce finished products

Work with school-aged children on designing projects that hold their interests over a good period of time
Can follow directions and think abstractly Plan cooking activities and science projects that require following directions
Enjoy cooperative games and games with rules but my have difficulty accepting when they lose Select games and plan activities that school-aged children can play together or on their own
Are increasingly skilled and interested in reading and express themselves verbally and in writing Select appropriate books and provide writing and drawing tools and materials
Physically, they...

Are increasingly able to coordinate their actions

Plan activities that enable school-aged children to develop their large and small muscle skills
Are interested in developing specific physical skills Plan athletic or sports-related special activities that will enable school-aged children to refine their skills

In all these, both the psychologist and the writers of this book believe that no two children go through same development steps in the same order at the same time. Everyone at his/her own pace.

Setting up Your Home for Child Care

Child care homes are natural environment for children to learn therefore should have soft and safe places for children to explore. You may have plants growing in the living room that the children can help care for as well as books and magazines to look through. Your kitchen is filled with pots and pans that a child can bang to make music or use in a cooking activity. The way you arrange space for children can make it easier for them to learn, get along and become independent. It can also make it easier for you to care for these children.

Suggestions on how home should be set to promote children’s learning and overall growth.

Good Environments Encourage Positive Behavior

Physically comfortable: The portion of your home designated for day care service operations should not be overcrowded. It should be safe and secure. One way to encourage positive behavior is to create specific areas in you home for different activities.

Some suggestions to this effect are:

Off Limits:

Identify areas in your home that are "off limits" to the children. Examples are bedrooms, storage; any room you do not wish to use for your program should be locked. Breakable objects should be stored in the off limits areas.

Active Play: Decide where you will allow active play such as musical games, block building and dramatic play.

Quiet Activities: Find comfortable places for children to look at books draw with crayons and listen to stories.

Older Children: These should have a place set aside for them to keep their games, special materials such as paper, scissors, markers and glues. A bedroom could be quiet and private place for them to play and do their homework.

Designated areas for Child Care: Areas designated for child care services should be left set up at all times. Convert the space back to living room only at the end of each day.

It should be clear to children what activities are allowed where in your home. Setting up activity areas does this.

A family child care provider can provide these different activity areas without losing its homelike atmosphere by:

Separate noisy areas from quiet ones.

Use shelves, tables or tapes and clearly define each area.

Store materials and toys at a height accessible to the children.

Keep materials out of the reach of younger children.

Place activities near needed resources for example:

Art Activities near a water source.

Books in area with enough light.

Allow for traffic flow so that children are not constantly bumping into crawling infants or interrupting each other’s play.

Add touches of what is familiar to children to make your home welcoming and child-friendly such as:

Pictures of their families and themselves

Items they see at home that reflect their culture.

Making Your Home Safe for Children

To eliminate dangers and potential injuries is a very important step in preparing ones home for children. This will help them to explore, satisfy their curiosity and learn through play.

Provider’s choices of materials and equipment and also the way she organizes them help to prevent injuries. The first thing to do in this case is to "Childproofing". Check the health and safety of your indoor and outdoor areas.

Selecting Furnishings and Materials

To operate a family child day care program, successfully, you need to have some furniture and equipment. The following are considered important.

A child size table and chairs

Low shelves to store toys and materials so that children can reach and return

Items they need.

A place for each child to nap, there are tips to keep in mind as you consider making a purchase.

Is a toy well and sturdy so it will last a long time?

Can children of different ages use the toy in different ways? For example

Babies and four year olds both enjoy nesting cubes, baby dolls and plastic

Measuring cups.

Can the toy be used creatively or does it have only one function? E.g. wind up cars.

Sources of Materials are:

Provider’s home- Pots, pans, wooden spoons, empty card board boxes, plastic food containers, large plastic napkin rings, coffee cans with plastic lids, measuring cups and spoons, rubber spatulas.

Trift Stores- second hand quality materials at low costs.

Donations from friends, hospitals, neighbors, family members.

Self made materials- improvisation

Your day care parents

Safety tips for selecting materials for child care programs- pg. 26 in book

Storing Materials

Materials should be stored in such a way that they will be easily accessible to the children for learning. This will help to inculcate into the children the following. To be independent because they can select what they want to play with.

That there is order in their environment because every object has its place

Responsibility because they will help take care of their environment.

Those materials are valued because you provide a special place for everything.

Other Additional Ideas for Storing Materials in Your home are:

Ice cream barrels are perfect for storing the children’s personal belongings. Source is from the local Ice cream store. Add hooks on the wall over those containers for hanging coats.

Stack wooden, sturdy plastic food crates and glue or bolt them together. Paint them and use them for storage shelves. They are safe places for books, stereo equipment, records, tapes and CDs.

Add casters to an empty crate and you will have a moveable trunk for dress up cloths.

Collect shoe boxes to store scissors, crayons, paper scraps, puzzles, anything! Be sure to label each box.

Keep toys such as table block with small pieces in plastic dishpans.

Store sensory materials such as sand, rice, or beans in covered containers. Good storage of materials maximizes their use by children and thus encourages learning.

Managing the Day

Caring for children in your home means managing both time and space. Therefore, having a schedule helps structure the day’s activities and events.

The Daily Schedule

A daily schedule helps children learn the order of their day. It helps them in knowing what to expect at each time.

A Good Schedule for Young Children

Offers a balance between these kinds of experiences.

Indoor and outdoor time

Quiet and Active times

Time to play alone and time to play with others

Time to select activities and time to join a provider has planned.

Pays special attention to transition times during the day such as:

Greeting children when they arrive and are separating from parents

Cleaning up after one activity so that another can be started.

Getting ready for nap after lunch

Arrival and departure of school aged or part time children.

Preparing to go home for all children.

Reflects your unique situation.

When each child arrives and leaves

When babies need to nap and be fed

When children have breakfast, lunch and snacks

Sample Schedules

6:3O- 8:30 Children arrive/breakfast. Infants/toddlers should be allowed to nap at this

Time.

8:30- 9:45 Toddlers/preschool select activities of their choice/finger painting, puppet making.

9:45- 10:15 Snack

10:15- 11:00 Outdoor play/ Diaper change/toilet and hand was.

11:00- 11:30 free play again/special planned activity such as making and using playdough at the kitchen table.

11:30- 11:45 clean up/story time- get ready for lunch

11:45- 12:45 Family style lunch and conversation

12:45- 1:00 Clean up/ hand washing,/diaper change and teeth brush

1:00- 2:40 Naptime except for a baby who just woke

2:40- 3:00 Wake up/diaper change/hand wash

3:00- 3:20 Afternoon snack

3:20- 4:00 Active indoor or outdoor play for all children

4:00- 4:45 Free play with table toys, blocks, crayons, read books, build with blocks.

4:45- 5:00 Group story time or singing

5:00- 6:00 Children go home at staggered times. "Departure".

Working with Children

There are two aspects of working with children.

Promoting their learning

Guiding their behavior

Success on these two things means effective family child care program

Promoting Their Learning

Helping or guiding children helps them become enthusiastic learners, independent, self-confident, and active explorers of their environment. You do this everyday when you:

Encourage them to try new things on their own.

Praise their efforts and their successes.

Allow them to make their own mistakes and learn from them.

Allow them the time they need to practice and try out new skills and build on interests.

Treat each child as an individual with his or her own interests, abilities and needs.

Listen to what children have to say and explain things simply in word children can understand.

Ways to Promote Children’s learning are:

Observation

Observing regularly what children do helps to determine their levels of development, materials, and experiences they are ready to tackle. E.g. Children should have experience of puzzle playing before handing them ten-piece puzzle to put together.

Talking With Children

Your daily observations of the children provide you with the information you need to pan activities and respond to what children do in ways that will promote each child’s growth and development.

What You Can Say To Help Children Learn Through Their Play

Describe what you see children do: You are shaking the rattle; listen to the nice shaking sound etc.

Ask Children what they are doing: What are you doing with the blocks?

Ask children questions that will make them think about what they are doing. E.g. What other toys do we have that make a ringing sound when we shake it? Or what do you do with the block tower to keep it from falling over? Etc.

Ask questions that encourage children to explore their feeling and emotions. For example; I think you are happy with the mobile you made. Tell me what you like about it?

Guiding Children’s Behavior

Children need adults to guide them in making right choices. The caring relationship you build with each child goes a very long way in promoting children’s self discipline. A child development approach to guiding behavior knows what children are like at each stage and what they are capable of understanding and learning is the basics for guiding children’s behavior. Methods used will vary, as there are different developmental stages.

Helping Children Learn to Share

This is one of the biggest challenges a provider faces daily. This is a social skill and it is important to have development appropriate expectations for learning it. Young children are unable to take on another person’s perspective; therefore it is difficult for them to share. It is okay to have a simple rule such as this toy is yours until you are finished with it. This rule accomplishes two things.

It gives children the security of knowing that they will be able to complete their play and feel satisfied.

Without this security, children will spend less time learning and playing and more time hoarding toys and protecting their selections.

It places burdens of sharing on the child who wants to take away the toy. In case of the toy being so enjoyable that it takes too long for the child playing with it to be satisfied you can say to the child, "other children are waiting to use the toy, please finish your turn and give John a turn".

Responding To Challenging Behavior

When a child acts out, for example, by kicking, biting, crying, having a temper tantrum, the child is sending you a message. You need to stop the behavior if it endangers the child or someone else. Stop the behavior in a way that acknowledges the child’s feelings and helps him understand what is acceptable and what is not. By doing the following:

Give attention to the child who is hurt: That really hurts, doesn’t it John?

State what happened: You kicked Sally and that hurts.

Acknowledge the Child’s feelings: I think you are angry because John wouldn’t let you sit in the big chair with him.

State what is not acceptable: I can not let you kick because someone will get hurt

State what is acceptable: You can kick this ball if you won’t kick something, or you can use word s to tell us how angry you are.

Helping children come up with a solution; if you want to sit with John, how can you let him know.

Guiding the Behaviors of Your Own Children

A provider’s own children being involved in her profession is very challenging. It is often difficult for her own children to adjust to sharing their home, their toys and most importantly, their parent with other children. They may not be able to say in words how they feel about other children "taking over" their home. They may try to tell you with their behavior. Either crying more than usual, refusing to share their toys, pushing other children away, insisting on sitting on your lap, clinging on to you throughout the day. To help your children adjust; prepare them...

Ahead of time by telling them that some new children are coming to play during the day.

Allowing them to put away their favorite toys, special possessions.

Once the child care program has started, try the following ideas to help your children to adjust to family childcare.

Be sure that your children have a space of their own in the house that can be off limits to childcare children.

Try to have separate toys for the visiting children so that your children do not have to share their toys with others.

Set aside some time during the day that is just for your children.

Building A Partnership with Parents

For many parents to place their children in someone else’s care, even when they know their child is receiving good care is often time’s very difficult experience. Parents therefore needs reassurance from a provider that their children are happy, well cared for and secure. To reduce parents concerns, a provider should do the following;

Communicate with the Parents

A true partnership depends on good communications. This begins before a child even enters the program. Take time to schedule a meeting with new parents so that you can get to know each other. During the visit, tell parents about your approach to childcare. Answer their questions and obtain information that will help you to provide care that meets their children’s individual needs.

Topics you might cover in the Initial Meeting

How your program operates (share a copy of daily and weekly schedule)

Your philosophy of promoting children’s learning through play (possibly show parents a copy of the Creative Curriculum)

Approach to discipline, mealtimes, toilet training, problem behaviors, and so on.

Tips on making separate easier for both parents and children.

Information on their children’s eating and sleeping habits likes and dislikes fears, favorite toys, and activities.

Written policies and procedures of your family child care program.

Items to put in written policies include;

Logistics

The hours that you provide child care

When children arrive and picked up

Who will bring and pick up children (including list of individuals to whom you are authorized to release the children to.

What you and parents will each supply for children e.g. diapers, wipes, food, change of cloths, toys.

How many meals and snacks you will provide.

Holidays and vacations when childcare will be closed, and if parents are requiring to pay for these times

Your fees or payment schedule (including late fees)

The names and ages of your own children who will interact with the children attending your program, along with other family members that may be present from time to time.

Termination policies

Illness and Emergencies

The name of the child’s doctor or clinic

What you will do if a child gets sick, including which parent should be called first.

Any allergies the child may have and what should be done in case of an allergic reaction

The need for written authorization if you are to give the medicine

How the parents will notify you if the child is ill or will not be coming to your home

How you will notify the parents if you are ill or unable to care for the child, and who is responsible for back up care- you or the parent.

Permission slip authorizing walking field trips and or the transporting of other children by car or bus.

The name and background of an individual you have designated as an emergency back up for you.

Keep in Touch

Regular contact with parents through these ways;

Arrange a time to talk just to spend time (during pick up or drop off)

Let parents know when they can call

Agree on the best time to discuss about child’s progress.

Encouraging parents to write you notes to share a concern related to their child’s well being.

Getting Parents Involved

Get parents involved in the following ways.

Share Curriculum with Parent

This helps the parents to:

Recognize you as a professional who understands how children learn and grow.

Learn more about what you do each day to encourage their children’s growth and development. They will be better able to support and extend this learning at home.

Conducting Workshops for Parents

Planning workshops occasionally with parents can be fun for them and for you, on a convenient day and time for parents. Workshops give you opportunity to share some of the ways in which you both support children’s learning and to suggest activities that parents can try at home.

Workshops could also be a time to do projects together, such as making learning materials, building equipment

Part Two of The Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care Program

This presents nine different types of activities you can include in your program

Dramatic Play- sometimes called "make believe play". Where children pretend to talk on the telephone, be a policeman, doctor, teacher, mother, child etc. They simply imitate adults.

Blocks- Blocks can encourage children to explore, try out their own ideas, and recreate the world around them. Blocks encourage them to build, make patterns and develop their physical skills. They also help them to develop balance and coordination of large and small muscle skills.

Develop math concepts – as they build, they notice that two small blocks can take the place of a large block. They create designs and patterns as in Art. They develop social skills as they listen to each other’s ideas and also learn to share materials.

Toys: - Toys, games and puzzles are materials that children can explore, put together, push and pull, stack and create- sometimes for long periods of time. Benefits of toys are practicing new skills such as;

Putting pegs into small holes

Matching pictures that are the same. Children of different stages of development can use a good toy.

Art: - This is all about self-expression. Art allows children to show how they feel, think, and view the world. Arts supports children’s growth in all areas of development. Activities associated with art are painting, molding clay, drawing, gluing and cutting.

Sand and Water

Children are naturally drawn to sand and water play. This is a messy easy activity. As children play with these, they learn how;

Water feels and moves

Sand’s special qualities as they sift, pour and poke sand.

Objective performance by burying a shovel and digging it up again

Counting as they empty four cups of water into an empty quart size milk carton.

Coordinate skills as they pour sand through a funnel

Increase their imaginative skills by digging a tunnel into a sand hill

Improve their physical powers

Get along with other children and adults

Books: Books up the world to children. Through pictures and stories, children clarify ideas and feelings. They hear about people who are just like them and who are different. By sharing books with children when they are very young, you set the stage for success in schools and a lifetime of good reading habits.

Cooking: Cooking is a daily happening in a family childcare program. Children need lunch snacks and breakfast. So this that cooking is already part of your curriculum. Cooking involves activities like pouring, dumping, mixing, stirring, scooping, smelling, tasting, feeling, hearing and tasting which children love.

Music/ Movement

Children easily respond to music and movement. Infants’ smile when adults sing to them, they turn their heads when a toy or mobile makes sounds. They react to noises in their environment. As children grow, their interests continue and they begin to sing hum and create their own rhymes and chants. Young children respond to music with their entire body. As they develop coordination, they dance, sway, bounce up and down, clap hands and stamp their feet to music. When created with prop such as pots, pans, wooden spoons as musical instruments, they discover ways to create music and sound and to combine music with movement. Music gives children opportunities for creative self-expressions. They explore what their bodies can do.

Become aware of their body moves in space. Gain language development and listening skills. Develop physical coordination. Develop ability to put feelings into words or actions.

Outdoor Play

In outdoor environment, children can engage in all activities that have been discussed so far with more freedom and exuberance.

As children play outside they;

Have opportunity to explore and observe nature firsthand.

Experience the change seasons and note different types of weather

Watch things grow and die

Run, jump, climb, and move in a less confined space than indoor

Gain confidence in their abilities using materials such as balls, hoops and jump ropes.

Gain good health as they breath in fresh air, sunshine on their bodies and chance to move freely all contributing to growth and development.

Goals for the Activities

Here are some goals for children in family childcare programs using the creative curriculum.

Cognitive Development

To recognize people, objects and self

Imitate actions of other people

Develop decision- making capabilities

Develop problem-solving skills

Develop language skills

Develop planning skills

Develop math skills such as matching, pairing and classification;

To enhance creativity

To begin to understand scientific and physical concepts and math concepts such as gravity, cause and effect, and balance: size, and color; and volume and measurement.

Emotional Development Goals:

To be able to express feelings,

Develop a concept of self

Develop self-control

Develop self-understanding

Develop a positive self-image

Develop the ability to stick with a task to completion.

Social Development

To acquire social skills;

Cooperate with others,

Respect materials

Resect other people

Appreciate value differences

Physical Development

To refine sensory abilities

Develop large muscle abilities

Develop small muscle abilities

Develop eye-hand coordination

Refine visual discrimination

Refine listening skills.

Establish reading readiness skills

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