Best Daycare Plan Example for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (2023)

Best Daycare Plan Example for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (1)

Creating a daily daycare schedule is no small feat. As a daycare owner or daycare manager, your day-to-day life can be hectic. Daily routines are the key to maintaining order. That goes for daycare workers, children, and even families. In this guide, we'll teach you how to create a daily schedule for toddlers, toddlers, and preschoolers that perfectly balances structure and flexibility.

The basics of a daycare schedule

Creating a daycare schedule can be a challenge. You will need to consider available resources, license requirements, development needs, and space limitations. While each day care center has different rules and program offerings, there are some general guidelines to follow when creating a day care schedule. Regardless of the age group, your daily schedule should incorporate ways to meet all of your children's needs.development milestoneswhile ensuring the safety and well-being of your children and employees.

There are four main areas to consider when creating a schedule that works for your center.

1. License requirements

respect your statusnursery and nursery licensing regulationswhen creating a schedule for your center. They vary depending on your location and will give you a framework to start with. Are you obligated to provide 30 minutes of daily exercise for your three-year-old? What are the rules regarding the ratio of staff to each age group at your daycare? Do you need to document your babies' health checks every morning? Are there rules about cleaning tasks during the day? Do your due diligence to make sure you create both therequired and recommended componentsin your daycare schedule template.

2. Development needs

Consider that 80% of brain development occurs in the firstthree years of life. More than1 million neural connectionsare formed every second during these years. Not to mention the rapid physical development that occurs at this stage of childhood. The good news is that there are easy-to-follow recommended guidelines to meet the daily needs of every age group, whether it's hours of exercise per day or types of play activities. As such, all daycare schedules should be designed to support developmental milestones for each age group and prepare each child for the next.development stageand classroom. Your schedule will contain blocks of time dedicated to supporting physical, social, and cognitive growth through routines and structured activities. It will also consider the necessary physical needs of each age group, such as naps, feeding/meals, and diapering/potty training.

3. Installation logistics

Depending on the daycare and the resources available, the daily schedule can become a puzzle. Different age groups may need to use your outdoor facilities at staggered times. If you have a multipurpose room for special events or guest activities, you will need to include the availability of that space in your child care schedule template. If toddlers and preschoolers share a wall between rooms, you can schedule some quiet activities while the kids nap. If you offer flexible options likenoon morningsor in the afternoon, you may have programs that share a room, so you will need to build transition time into your daily schedule.

4. Equipment logistics

Another basic component of your daycare schedule will be staffing needs. Your child care team will need regular breaks throughout the day. Will you schedule a floating team member to provide these breaks throughout the day? Or will they be incorporated into the daily schedule of each classroom, according to the block of activities? Staff will also need time to perform all other non-supervisory tasks in their rooms, from set-up and clean-up time to record-keeping and assessments. Another common practice is to consolidate classrooms at the end of the day, since children are picked up at different times. This helps maintain proportions, keeping personnel costs low. Some daycare centers plan to call out a teacher in the afternoon when students leave to perform unsupervised cleaning or administrative duties. For example, you may want to schedule outdoor time at the end of the day for toddlers and preschoolers so groups can be combined as needed based on each day's ratios.

Best Daycare Plan Example for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (2)


Creating daily lesson plans will help you organize and stick to your daycare schedule. Download our free daily lesson plan template and customize it to your teaching style and the needs of your children.

Best Daycare Plan Example for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (3)

children's schedule

Childcare programming for children is generally designed to meet the needs of children between the ages of six weeks to 18 months (or when they begin to walk). Creating opportunities to engage with babies one on one will help foster their progress in alldevelopment milestones.

To inform your schedule, you will need to understand the behaviors and benchmark skills in this age group.

Developmental Milestones for Four-Month-Old Babies

  • reaching for toys

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  • Holding their heads without support

  • starting to roll

  • face recognition

  • returning smiles

  • imitating facial expressions

  • babbling and imitating sounds

Developmental milestones for nine month old babies

  • sitting without support

  • Pulling yourself to your feet

  • starting to crawl

  • Playing peek-a-boo

  • Showing favorite toy preferences

  • Show the onset of separation anxiety

  • Understand the "no"

  • Copy sounds/gestures

Developmental milestones for babies from one year to 18 months

  • speaking some words
  • Repeat words/try to say words

  • saying goodbye

  • Work standing/walking

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  • knock objects together

  • drink from a cup

  • Cry when one of the parents leaves

  • Responding to simple requests

Children's Programming Guidelines

Babies need a lotinteractionpossible as they learn about the world around them. they also need a lotexercise- even newborns! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends several minutes oftummy timea day since they come home from the hospital.

Baby's daily schedules should contain a lot of flexibility and variation, as you'll likely have to deal with a variety of needs throughout the day. Children's programs often have a higher staff to child ratio to handle all the physical tasks that accompany caring for a group of babies. You may also face somestrict licensing guidelinesaround documenting naps, feedings or diaper changes, so these activities may need more extensive planning than provided in our example below.

Many centers choose not to post babies' daily schedules, given the variety of needs and how quickly they change. However, it is still good practice to have a guide to work from to ensure they get the support and interaction they need to grow and learn.

Sample Child Care Schedule

8h00 - 9h00

Delivery + bottles/breakfast

9h00 - 9h30


9:30 am - 10:00 am

Circle time (books + songs + puppets / finger plays)

10h00 - 10h15

Bottles/morning snack

10h15 - 10h30


10:30 - 11:30

Nap time

11h30 - 12h00


12h00 - 12h30

Story Time (books + songs)

12h30 - 13h30

External/gross motor play time

13h30 - 14h30

Nap time

14h30 - 15h00


15:00 - 16:00

Sensory or artistic activity.

16:00 - 17:00

single play time

Best Daycare Plan Example for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (4)Fuente

children's schedule

Infant day care hours are generally designed to meet the needs of children ages 18 months to three years. This group is newly mobile and works hard to communicate verbally. Plenty of time to work on language and gross motor skills will form the foundation of a toddler's daily schedule as you help them progress in all their activities.development milestones.

Developmental Milestones for Two Year Olds

  • walking confidently
  • playing a ball

  • holding a crayon

  • Experiment with challenge and independence.

  • copy others

  • Take part in a simple cooperative game

  • Simple vocabulary of names, everyday objects and parts of the body.

  • Speak in sentences of two to four words

  • You can follow simple instructions

Developmental Milestones for Three Year Olds

  • Show affection and concern for friends.

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  • turns in games

  • Participate in joint activities with a common goal.

  • Follow multi-step instructions

  • starting to chat

  • It can be understood by most adults.

  • Run

  • jumping

  • pedaling a tricycle

  • Climb ladders and play structures

Baby Schedule Guidelines

Once your children are mobile babies, your daily schedule will change quite a bit, with the biggest difference probably being the absence of a morning nap. Infants' daily schedules will include sufficient outdoor/gross motor time to promote the important physical development that occurs at this age. The AAP recommends60 minutes of active play a dayfor children, with at least half of this being done by adults.

Young children need plenty of group play time to explore early cooperative play. Your schedule should encourage interactions during activities or in classroom recreation centers. Younger children will benefit from watching older children begin to play and interact with each other. Imitation is key as they begin to develop a real understanding of how to work with other people around them.

Example of a child's daily schedule

8h00 - 9h00

Landing + breakfast

9h00 - 9h30

Free Standing Game Centers/Game Centers

9:30 am - 10:00 am

Circle time (morning routine + songs)

10h00 - 10h15

morning snack

10:15 - 11:30

Outdoor play + physical activity

11h30 - 12h00


12h00 - 13h00

Sensory or artistic activity.

13h00 - 13h30

Story Time (books + songs)

13h30 - 14h30

Nap time

14h30 - 15h00

afternoon snack

15:00 - 16:00

Group game (puzzles + games + center activities)

16:00 - 16:30

closing circle

16:30 - 17:00

Off-pick/playing time

Best Daycare Plan Example for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (5)


Preschool Daily Schedule

The preschool's daily schedule will meet the needs of the older children in your center, typically ages three to five. The shift to this age group will focus more on fine motor and language/cognition and other skills.kindergarten readiness skills. The construction of more structured activities and with an increasing academic focus will stimulate the learning progress of this group.development milestones.

Developmental Milestones for Four Year Olds

  • skip
  • catch and throw a ball

  • walking backwards

  • using scissors

  • copying shapes

  • get dressed

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  • Engage in imaginative play

  • cooperate with others

  • Has interests/likes/opinions

  • Follow some basic grammar rules (using "he/she" and "over/under" appropriately)

  • telling simple stories

  • Sing songs like "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "The Wheels on the Bus"

  • write capital letters

Developmental Milestones for Five Year Olds

  • Hop

  • doing somersaults

  • using the swings

  • Draw shapes and people.

  • Tell the difference between what is real and what is imaginary

  • showing more independence

  • Want to please your friends and be like them.

  • speaking very clearly

  • Use future/past tense and more sophisticated grammar

  • Tell stories with complete sentences

  • write letters and numbers

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Programming Guidelines for Preschoolers

This is the age when the afternoon nap begins to fall, so nap time can also become quiet reading time for those who can't fall asleep. The other big shift will be toward more cognitive and literacy skills in preparation for kindergarten. Their daily preschool schedule should include more desk- and homework-focused activity blocks to ensure they leave their center fully equipped to handle the transition to school.

this age groupThey still learn a lot through make-believe and imaginative play as they build a stronger sense of identity and cooperative relationships with one another. According to the AAP, they also need more physical activity, includingtwo hours a day. This group will work to improve balance and coordination in gross and fine motor activities.

Sample Daily Schedule for Preschoolers

8h00 - 9h00

Landing + breakfast

9h00 - 9h30

Circle time (morning routine + songs)

9h30 - 10h15

Activities Center

10h15 - 10h30

morning snack

10h30 - 11h00

Outdoor play + physical activity

11:00 - 23:30

Desk work (literacy/math)

11h30 - 12h00


12h00 - 13h00

Fine motor/sensory art or activity

13h00 - 13h30

story time

13h30 - 14h30

Nap time/quiet time

14h30 - 15h00

afternoon snack

15:00 - 16:00

Group game (puzzles + games + center activities)

16:00 - 16:30

closing circle

16:30 - 17:00

election time

final reflection

Whatever your variance in these schedules, it is important to post your daily class schedule and share it with your families to keep everyone informed. Following the child care schedule structure will ensure that the developmental needs of each age group are met, helping to build trust with their families. Stick to your daycare routine as closely as possible and allow for flexibility as special events or opportunities arise.


What are examples of routines for infants and toddlers? ›

Care routines for infants and toddlers, such as diapering, feeding, washing, and sleeping, take up a lot of time each day. “Rituals and routines work together to create secure environments that nurture relationships between infants and their caregivers” (Gillespie & Peterson, 2012, p.

How do I create a daily daycare schedule? ›

It's important to build a daycare daily schedule around giving the toddlers plenty of opportunities to build on their language and gross motor skills.
Sample Daycare Schedule for Toddlers.
7:00 amWelcome Children + Breakfast
12:10 pmLunch!
12:55 pmPotty Time
1:00 pmNap!
3:00 pmWake + Potty Time
20 more rows
Jun 2, 2022

What are examples of routines in childcare? ›

Arrivals, packing up, mealtimes, rest periods, toileting, managing personal hygiene and transitioning from one part of the day to another, are all examples of routines rich in learning possibilities.

How do you set a routine in childcare? ›

Keep routines consistent.

Doing the same things in the same order helps children know what to expect in child care. For example, toddlers may know that when the teacher says it's lunchtime, they need to put away their toys, go wash their hands, sit down at their place at the table, and wait for the teacher to sit down.

How do you structure a day with a toddler and a baby? ›

Sample schedule
  1. 8 to 9 a.m.: Eat breakfast and clean up. ...
  2. 9 to 10 a.m.: Playtime. ...
  3. 10 to 11 a.m.: Outdoor time, exercise, etc. ...
  4. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Planned activity or errands. ...
  5. 12 to 1 p.m.: Lunch and wind down. ...
  6. 1 to 3 p.m.: Nap or quiet time. ...
  7. 3 to 3:30 p.m.: Afternoon snack. ...
  8. 5 to 6 p.m.: Family dinner and cleanup.
Sep 24, 2021

What are the best practices for infants and toddlers? ›

Infant/Toddler Teaching Practices
  • Establish strong relationships with young children and their families.
  • Create learning environments that foster children's trust and emotional security and respond to their interests and needs.
  • Support and extend children's learning in culturally and linguistically responsive ways.
Oct 18, 2022

What is a developmentally appropriate daily schedule? ›

A developmentally appropriate schedule is a plan for your classroom that is based upon the understanding of a child's development. This approach to teaching takes into account the child's age and individual needs.

How can I make my daycare more profitable? ›

Interesting things child care centers do to increase their revenue include:
  1. Charge for enrichment programs. ...
  2. Expand “other fees” you charge. ...
  3. Limit “discounts” and “credits”. ...
  4. Consider new ways to offer specials. ...
  5. Ensure regular tuition increases. ...
  6. Take advantage of Food Program money. ...
  7. Find grants.
Mar 15, 2019

What are examples of routine activities? ›

Brushing your teeth nightly and getting ready for bed is a routine. Waking up at 6 a.m. and exercising every morning is a routine. Purchasing a bagel and reading the news before you head to work every morning is a routine. Even eating chips while watching Netflix is a routine.

What are 5 of the different daily routines? ›

List of Daily Routines in English
  • I wake up.
  • I turn off my alarm.
  • I get up.
  • I take a shower / I have a shower.
  • I get dressed.
  • I comb my hair.
  • I make breakfast.
  • I eat breakfast / I have breakfast.

How do you write a preschool lesson plan? ›

How to Make a Lesson Plan
  1. State your purpose. When you design a lesson, it's important to begin with the end in mind. ...
  2. Define any necessary terms. In the ECE classroom, you introduce your students to a lot of new words. ...
  3. Outline the main ideas. ...
  4. Connect to previous topics. ...
  5. Ask good questions. ...
  6. Plan your conclusion.

What are the most common childcare settings? ›

Popular in types of childcare
  • Childminders.
  • Playgroups and crèches.
  • Home childcarers.
  • Day nurseries.

What are structured activities for toddlers? ›

Some examples of structured play include:
  • Doing a jigsaw.
  • Playing Snakes and Ladders.
  • Baking.
  • Gardening.
  • Playing orchard games such as the cupcake game.
  • Top trumps.
  • Trickier crafts that require supervision.
  • Making play dough (ready to play with)

What does a day in preschool look like? ›

Your child will do things like play with blocks, experiment with creative arts, engage in dramatic play, read, do age-appropriate math or science activities, or write.

What are the 3 R's of infant toddler care? ›

This article suggests that teachers of very young children need physical stamina, a sense of humor, and knowledge of the 3 R's (Respect, Response, and Relationship) of high-quality infant and toddler care and education.

What do you teach toddlers in daycare? ›

What You Can Teach Your Two Year Old
  • NEW WORDS AND CONVERSATIONAL SPEECH. Your 2-year-old should have gained a slew of new vocabulary words in the past year. ...
Mar 24, 2021

What are 3 positive guidance strategies for infants and toddlers? ›

Model empathy for infants to imitate. Use a calm tone and make positive statements as you talk with infants about the ways you are keeping them safe. Use simple words and signs to help them express their needs. Maintain a consistent, predictable schedule involving responsive routines.

What are red flags in daycare? ›

Children seem bored or unhappy.

Maybe there's little to no interaction between the caregivers and kids, or the interaction you do witness doesn't feel warm or engaging. Or the environment isn't age-appropriate and the activities or games aren't stimulating.

How many days of daycare is best? ›

Around 20 to 25 hours of care is usually appropriate for toddlers between the ages of one to three years old. If your family needs more than 25 hours of care each week, consider cutting back on work hours to allow you more time with your child. However, this is easier said than done for most families.

What makes a good daycare employee? ›

Childcare workers need good speaking skills to provide direction or information effectively and good listening skills to understand parents' instructions. Decision-making skills. Good judgment is necessary for childcare workers so they can respond to emergencies or difficult situations.

How do I make my childcare center stand out? ›

How to Make Your Childcare Business Stand Out: 13 Ideas That Parents Will Love
  1. Create a unique environment: Daycares are typically pretty bland places. ...
  2. Offer camera access: ...
  3. Get accredited: ...
  4. Serve organic food: ...
  5. Offer a unique curriculum: ...
  6. Take classes outside: ...
  7. Offer extracurricular activities: ...
  8. Have smaller ratios:
Apr 5, 2022

What is a good profit margin for daycare? ›

According to IBISWorld, the average profit margin for a daycare business is around 15%. That's higher than the average for most other industries! If you're thinking about starting a daycare business, know that you are getting into a very profitable and in-demand industry.

What percentage of income should go to daycare? ›

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises that daycare should amount to no more than 10 percent of a household's budget.

What are common daily activities? ›

Everyday tasks
  • Bathing, grooming and dressing. ... Read more.
  • Preparing meals, eating and drinking. ... Read more.
  • Driving. ... Read more.
  • Household chores. ... Read more.
  • Leisure. ... Read more.

How do you start a day? ›

  4. 4) WRITING. ...
  7. 7) EVENING ROUTINE. ...
  8. 8) BREAKFAST.

What is the 20 20 20 morning routine? ›

Start Your Morning with the 20/20/20 Formula

His 20/20/20 formula calls for 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reflection (journaling, meditating, or quiet contemplation), and 20 minutes devoted to growth (reading, reviewing your goals, or studying a topic of interest).

What is the 5 9 9 5 routine? ›

As the name suggests, this productivity trend sees users establishing a morning routine between the hours of 5 and 9, before their regular work day from 9 to 5. It also covers the hours following the work day when it ends at 5.

What is the 10 10 10 routine? ›

The 10/10/10 routine consists of spending 30 minutes doing three 10-minute leisure activities. These 10 minutes can be completed consecutively or split up throughout different times of the day. The ideal is to have at least 30 minutes of personal time per day.

What is 9 to 5 routine? ›

Of a job, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m., the usual office hours in the US, the UK and elsewhere. A typical working day.

What is a good lesson plan format? ›

A successful lesson plan addresses and integrates these three key components: Objectives for student learning. Teaching/learning activities. Strategies to check student understanding.

What are the 5 lesson plan format? ›

These phases include Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.

How do you write a learning plan example? ›

5 Steps to Creating a Personal Learning Plan
  1. Identify a Learning Objective. Before creating a personal learning plan, you need to identify your objective. ...
  2. Break Your Objective into Smaller Goals. ...
  3. Develop Your Plan. ...
  4. Take Advantage of Available Resources. ...
  5. Hold Yourself Accountable.
May 17, 2018

How many hours are most kids in daycare? ›

The standard recommendation by the AAP is infants and toddlers up to 15 months spend two hours or less in day care, while toddlers from 16 to 24 months can spend up to four hours each day. Older children from 3 to 5 should spend only four to five hours at a time.

What is the #1 indicator of quality in a childcare setting? ›

Small group size and low teacher/child ratios are probably the best indicators for determining the quality of a child care program.

What is a daily checklist in childcare? ›

Our daily check list includes checking fridge temperature, fire exits are clear, toilet and cloakroom area are clean, outside gates locked, check outside area is clear of rubbish and anaimal poo, etc.

What is checklist example? ›

A basic example is the "to do list". A more advanced checklist would be a schedule, which lays out tasks to be done according to time of day or other factors, or a pre-flight checklist for an airliner, which should ensure a safe take-off.

What is infant routine? ›

Most newborns spend most of their time asleep – they sleep 14-17 hours in every 24 hours. It's common for newborns to sleep in short bursts of 2-3 hours between feeds, both night and day. Also, newborns need to feed every 2-4 hours. And they need your attention during the day and night.

What is routine care for infants? ›

Newborn care consists of evaluation for the need of resuscitation, a complete physical exam, administration of prophylactic medications and vaccines, adequate feedings, safe sleep, hygiene of the newborn, and other important areas for baby wellbeing.

What is a baby's daily routine? ›

The majority of a newborn's time is spent sleeping; they sleep roughly 16 hours out of every 24 hours. Night and day, they're trained to sleep in brief spurts of roughly 2-3 hours between feeding. In addition, babies require feeding every 2-4 hours. They require your attention at all hours of the day and night.

What is an example of a routine? ›

Brushing your teeth nightly and getting ready for bed is a routine. Waking up at 6 a.m. and exercising every morning is a routine. Purchasing a bagel and reading the news before you head to work every morning is a routine. Even eating chips while watching Netflix is a routine.

What is the best schedule for infants? ›

From the experts
Your day should start around...7 AM
Naps3 to 5 naps, each 15 minutes to 3 hours long
Time awake between sleeps30 minutes to 1 hour
Longest stretch of nighttime sleep2 to 4 hours
Bedtime should be around...9:30 to 11 PM
1 more row

How do you create a routine? ›

How to Start a New Routine and Stick To It
  1. Decide what needs to be in your routine. Do you want to get more exercise or more alone time? ...
  2. Set small goals. Break each large goal into smaller goals. ...
  3. Layout a plan. ...
  4. Be consistent with time. ...
  5. Be prepared. ...
  6. Make it fun! ...
  7. Track your progress. ...
  8. Reward yourself.
Sep 25, 2019

Why do infants and toddlers need routines? ›

Routines help babies and toddlers learn self-control.

Whether it is time to play, time for a snack, a nap, or a loved one to return, knowing what will happen next gives babies and toddlers security and emotional stability. It helps them learn to trust that caring adults will provide what they need.

What are the most important goals for infants and toddlers? ›

Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping). In the first year, babies learn to focus their vision, reach out, explore, and learn about the things that are around them.

What are the basic care needs of infants? ›

From clothing to food and security, the list can seem daunting. There are six basic needs that all newborn babies require: security, clothing, enough sleep, nutritious food, sensory stimulation, love, and attention.

How do I organize my baby's schedule? ›

Wendy suggests this basic routine for a 6 week old baby:
  1. 7am: Feed.
  2. 9.30: Feed, then put down drowsy, but awake, for a nap.
  3. Midday: Feed, followed by some activity.
  4. 1pm: Put down drowsy, but awake, for a nap.
  5. 3.30: Feed.
  6. 5pm: Catnap to get through bedtime routine, if required.
  7. 5.30: Feed.
  8. 7pm: Feed, followed by bed.

How do you write a daily routine example? ›

The daily routine is:
  1. I wake up early.
  2. Refresh my self.
  3. Brush my teeth.
  4. Take a bath.
  5. Take Breakfast.
  6. Get ready for school.
  7. Spend hours for studying.
  8. Come back home.


1. Molly Wright: How every child can thrive by five | TED
2. Speech Practice Video for Toddlers and Babies - Speech Delay Toddler - Learn To Talk Videos
(Ms Rachel - Toddler Learning Videos)
3. Wellbeing for Children: Healthy Habits
4. Setting Up Learning Centers in the Toddler and Preschool Classroom
(Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds)
5. How Does A Seed Become A Plant? | Backyard Science | SciShow Kids
(SciShow Kids)
6. Clean Up Song | Gracie’s Corner | Kids Songs + Nursery Rhymes
(Gracie's Corner)


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