7 Ways to Create a Great at Home Child Care Schedule

We all know how beneficial a routine for children can be; and many of you probably already have a routine in one way, shape or form already – some firm and others more relaxed.

Your carer is here to support this structure and align themselves with what is familiar for your family and child/ren. You may feel that you would like to empower your carer to create their own schedule, and in some instances this will work well, but in our experience we find the greatest successes come from parents taking the time to share all the family’s operating systems within their home with the carer. The Carer and your child/ren are set up for success from day one with this strategy. 

Every family is unique and will have differing layers of routine and complexity, invite your carer on your family journey with you – share all the good, and not so good, so you can feel confident that they are aware of how to best care for your children. The youngest of babies through to school aged children can all benefit from structure and expectancies, especially when someone new is introduced to them. They will feel a sense of comfort when their carer knows exactly what time meals are or when you usually go to the park each day. 

If you would like to create a daily program for or with your carer, see below some starting points to assist everyone involved, most of all our children. 

1. Block out Mealtimes

This can avoid inevitable fussy babies or cranky toddlers (we’ve all been there!). Adhering to meal times are crucial to the successful running of day. You could even use the online calendar within our app (**will flag this with Kheang as a wish list item along with bookings – ie the ability to add other things to the calendar within our app)? to block our mealtimes and provide options for the carer with what to feed them. Consider even setting reminders for snacks. These alerts will empower your nanny to check in and see if your child needs feeding. This is sure to set everyone up for a playful, educative and happy time for the rest of the day, and into the evening when you return home. 

2. Get Started with Learning

Little people love to absorb everything around them, they are watching and listening to everything we are doing (even the things we don’t want them to see/hear). With this in mind, we believe everything is a learning opportunity. Our carer’s will take each experience as an chance to teach your child something new, or to repeat a lesion. For example, walking to the park, our carer’s will take the time to stop and educate your child on road safety; or before each meal, our carer’s will ensure children have a fun time “wash wash washing your hands” and gaining an understanding of personal hygiene. In addition to this, we recommend setting specific times devoted to an educational activity the carer can create aligned with your child’s interests. For example, you may go to the aquarium or zoo one weekend and share this with your carer; and the carer may create a cardboard box “under the sea” or “safari” themed scene with your child using fine motor skills and recreating your child’s memory of each animal or sound the animal makes. Our carer’s will use all sorts of teaching methods throughout the day to engage your child from reading, play, music and singing, plus arts and crafts and more. If your child has books, flash cards, or games they are currently adoring please leave these out for your carer to use. 

3. Make Exercise Fun

Everyone of all ages requires some workout time, even small babies. Less cardio and weights, and more simple physical activity. Including exercise each day is how children build muscle tone and develop coordination skills.  Dedicating time each day to increasing your child’s strength will have long lasting impacts for years to come, not to mention create good habits for life. 

For babies, tummy time is helpful for building neck strength and encouraging them in their discover of how to roll over. This is the first step in your child learning how to crawl, and eventually walk. 

As children grow, so does their energy levels (as anyone with a toddler appreciate). Toddlers, therefore require more energy burning time, including outdoor play. 

Communicating with your nanny the optimum times for them to engage in high energy activities will support your child and your routine and serve everyone for meal times, and sleep patterns. No one wants a hyper child at 7pm at night!

Be sure to also share what activities your child is enjoying and developing skills on, for example, climbing frames in a park, kicking a ball or even just taking a nature walk around the block or in the back garden. 

4. Let Their Imagination Run Wild

A child’s mind can be so magical and creative. Story telling can be a beautiful way to enable your child’s free spirit to be let loose and enjoy the adventures they can go on in their own minds – developing their own characters and scenes. It may be pulling down your child’s favourite book of the week to read over and over each day, or it may be making up a story together based on the wildest of ideas. I don’t think anyone will argue against the benefits of reading for a child, they are developing their verbal language skills, supporting their cognitive development, increasing your child’s concentration skills, and cultivating lifelong passions for different themes within each book or reading as a whole. Creating time in your child’s schedule for reading time may facilitate your child learning to read earlier than expected! It is such a wonderous skill to watch develop. 

5. Relax and Chill Time

Creating time and space each day for your child and nanny to relax will enable everyone to feel recharged and ready to tackle the next part of the day. A busy day of fun may sound enticing for your child and carer alike, however we all know how tiring that can be, especially your little one. So, ensuring downtime is carved out will enable everyone to enjoy the entire day from start to finish. Whilst some areas above may be flexible from day to day and week to week; requesting your nanny stick to nap times like glue is not only understandable but recommended. Again, setting a calendar reminder may support you and your carer. We have all seen a happy child turn to meltdown mode in a matter of moments when they hit their limit and become tired. By setting clear nap times or downtimes will support your nanny to provide rest when your child requires it. These downtimes are also an opportunity for your carer to recharge. Whilst your carer loves every moment they spend with your child, they will no doubt appreciate a moment to make a cup of tea and sit quietly. 

6. Creative Play

All children love to build and create things (almost as much as they love to destroy said creation!). Children don’t have the same logical skills as adults, therefore they are far more capable of coming up some pretty special creations from lego, blocks, playdoh, cardboard boxes, nature, or even getting creative in the kitchen. This type of creative play allows them to express themselves in different ways and helps them develop problem solving skills. It can also serve to support mental growth and development. Scheduling Creative Play time will be just as enjoyable for your carer who will thrive on coming up with creative ways to engage your child. This will quickly become everyone’s favourite time of the day! And you will relish coming home to your child’s creation.

7. Plan for Clean Up

No doubt mess will be created throughout the day, this is an indication of a good time had by all. But this is not what you want to walk into at the end of the day; so ensuring your expectations are clear with your carer about cleaning up after each activity, meal or change time will ensure everyone is one the same page and feeling empowered to meet expectations. Setting times or timeframes can support your carer to fulfil your wishes. Involving your child/ren is another great learning opportunity, and most children love to be involved in ‘helping’. This will also teach them valuable team work and cooperation skills. It can be fun and a game can be made of ‘cleaning up’ or a cleaning song may be played to denote clean up time. For older children, perhaps they score a point for every task they complete. 

Our carer’s love what they do and are passionate about taking care of your child/ren; and by providing some supportive structures for your child and your daily routine will only further increase everyone’s enjoyment levels.

NURTURE IS BASED ALL AROUND AUSTRALIA

Find Local, Trusted Carers in Your Community