So My school year does not officially start until next week. However this year I enrolled a professor’s family, and they are due in session this week. Therefore, the prof family started today. Let me just say….It is an eye opener for all the things I need to “prepare” for before school begins. You know..I talk a big game, and say things like “behavior plans” and “job charts” and “classroom arrangement” etc. But when it comes down to it…all those things do not mean anything if you have a child who is having problems adjusting. I forget how hard the first few days are on babies. I don’t know if it is just me, or if every family chilcare provider has issues with babies in the beginning. It is almost like I try to work their needs around the preschoolers. Well…Duh there are 6 preschoolers to the 1 baby. But…it is unfair to think in those terms. Preschoolers are adaptable. They will survive for a week or 2 with very little curriculum implemented. (It will drive me crazy yes, but they will still be happy and get an education) Babies will not flourish in a school if they do not feel like their needs are met when they have them…The problem is how the heck do I do it?!?! How do I support not one but 2 babies (my own & the prof’s baby)….and meet the needs of 4 preschoolers….I am at a loss. I tell myself every year this is the last year I enroll babies. Not because I don’t love them, or do not provide good care to them..but because legistically, I can never quite figure out a good routine…you know..one that works for everyone…Here is what happened today: and yes, this is the very first day…
- Preschool Free Choice, (7:30-8:00)
- 8:15 Baby Arrives
- 8:30 Preschool Breakfast, Baby breakfast (wasn’t quite sure of me yet)
- 8:45 Baby is tired, change diaper, move to nap
- 9:00 baby is supposed to be sleeping, but unsure of self so is upset
- Kids finish break, move into free play
- 9:15-9:45 baby sleeps (At home sleeps 9-11!!!) I am cleaning breakfast
- 9:30 Group Activity (painting)
- 10:00 outside time for preschoolers & awake babies
- 10:40 come inside
- 10:45 get baby bottle and OMG I forgot to turn on the warmer baby is NOT happy to wait (Preschoolers play some more)
- 11:00 Try to feed TWO BABIES at the same time…what a mess…lots of crying.
- 11:20 move group up to make lunch (preschoolers play small motor, babies…Play on floor)
- 11:25 babies cry out of hunger
- 11:30 Get all kiddos to table, feed babies (At least this part went well!!!!!)
- 11:45 Start Cleaning, babies play New baby begins to show signs of being tired.
- 11:45-12:15…kids play??? (This time is super hard for me..the preschoolers need structure but I have to pick up the lunch…they end up playing inappropriately with the toys…not sure what to do)
- 12:15 Babies are both tired, everyone needs diaper changes, everyone is crying. (Me too..jk. almost though!!!)
- 12:30 new baby cant stay awake any longer, put down for nap, then other baby
- 12:45 Story time!!! ALMOST THERE!!!!!
- 1:00, try to get new older brother to nap…he is not having any of it.
- 1:30 New baby wakes up…COME ON!!! you can’t tell me a baby who normally sleeps from 9-11, and then 1-3 is not tired?!?! he gets 4 hrs a day, and now has only had 1.5 hours??? the poor little kid!!! He is definately having a hard time adjusting…
So now..what do I do??? Try to stick with his schedule via mom…or change it up because he is telling me he needs somehting different??? (I will obviously do what he needs at this point…which is REASSURANCE). I am hopefully that things will fall into place…but I tell you….The beginning of the year in family child care is horrendeous. anyone else have a better schedule/routine??? ideas??? Could use them!!!
A follow up will come soon