Procedures are an important part of the routine and schedule in a child care settings. There should be specific procedures for different tasks, parts of the day, and activities. Older children will be able to participate in and memorize procedures as part of the everyday routine. Infants and toddlers will begin to recognize that when certain procedures take place, a specific event follows. For example, diapering procedures such as putting on gloves will yield an expectation from infants that their diaper will be changed. Toddlers will understand that washing their hands and being seated at the table means that mealtime or snack is on the way.
Preschool and school-age children will be able to participate in the procedures for specific tasks throughout the day. From the moment that they arrive at child care there should be a procedure to follow as part of the routine. They can come in the door and hang up their jackets and backpacks in cubbies and find their name tags if this applies. During snack or mealtime students can have assigned jobs to help wipe down tables, sweep crumbs, hold the door to go outside and more.
Suggestions for establishing procedures:
Practice often! Children will be involved and will understand the procedures only if they practice them until they become habitual.
Guide! Guide children during procedures so that they develop the skills needed to complete them.
Stay Organized! Procedures will be difficult to follow if materials and belongings are not organized. Involve children in organizing as well.
Delegate! Even young toddlers can participate in procedures. Invite children to be part of the procedures.
Be Intentional! Develop procedures for specific purposes such as fine motor skills, social development, and more.
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