Daily Rhythms in Family Day Care
Your child’s day.
All our educators support Daily Rhythms, made up of ‘breathing in’ (focused activities such as bread making, or cooking, or painting) followed by a period of ‘breathing out’ (imaginative play, outdoor play etc), and a Weekly Rhythm. A copy of your educator’s daily and weekly rhythms will be on display at the entrance to their home.
Mealtimes form part of this rhythmical picture of the day. Mealtimes are valued as a sacred and necessary time of community and replenishment, and educators eat WITH the children as a role model for imitation.
12 Week Seasonal Plans
All of educators work to a 12-week (approximate) seasonal plan, with opportunities to be in, and give thanks to, the natural world. Educators and children work towards the culmination of each term, a seasonal sharing festival with families and friends.
Seasonal activities, songs, crafts, games etc will feature heavily in the program. However of course, our plans are always open to the spontaneous and are ‘reflective’ and ‘responsive’ to what is happening each day, each moment. Evaluating, observing, and reflecting upon our planning and the teachings and unfoldings of the day are crucial steps in the programming practice, and a necessary component of the National Quality Standards. (NQS) and Early Years Learning Framework, (EYLF) that we practice.
Oral storytelling, a circle time of songs and games, and creative fun ways to transition between activity-and-activity form another layer of the daily rhythm. Children rely upon these regular ‘touchstones’ and are gently guided to the next ‘thing’ as they learn to follow the cues, songs and gestures.
Children will also be heavily involved in home-tasks such as cooking, baking, cleaning, and mending. Crafts too, are a focus and many (most?) of these on offer will have direct links to the season in which they are being offered. Activities will also be heavily connected to the seasons, and may include gardening, paddock to plate preparation, artistic fun, and music. What our educators offer must be real and not just a time filler. The guideline for their activity selection is ‘truthful, beautiful and good.’ Eco-friendly and earth-friendly are two other key goals.
A resting time occurs once a day (educators are mindful that babies have their own schedules and follow their rhythms as necessary too) and children are invited to give their bodies a little ‘break’ from working. Resting, but not necessarily sleeping, is integral to each group as it allows little ones to also take a time out from one another and from overactivity. Resting is a breathing-out period that prepares us for the next fun breathing in activity. Educators may also use this time to focus on, and artistically present, the children’s learning journals. These Learning Storytelling Journals form part of our observations throughout the year, and are part of the end-of-year gift to families.
No Screen Time at RBFDC
It is important to note that media (screen time) is not an option at Rainbow Bridge. Our focus is human relationships, and our service believes that parents deserve the best human one-to-one care that the educator can give, not to have their children propped up in front of a box when fees for care are being paid. We provide educators with plenty of resources and ideas to help them find ways to overcome challenging moments. Many, if not most, children may have to access screen time at some point during the day or weekend at home, so they are not ‘missing out’. We also believe that parents, rather than educators, need to be in charge of children’s screen time habits, play a guardianship role, and set the limits over what is ok and what is not ok when it comes to viewing habits, games, and social media.
Plain and simple
We also strive to be mindful about “commercial images” including licensed characters such as Dora the Explorer, Cars, Peppa Pig, Superheroes etc. We ask all families for their cooperation in sending children in plain colourful clothing both during the warmer and colder months of the year. Many families make a conscious effort to minimise their children’s exposure to these kinds of visual stimulants and we here at Rainbow Bridge, support the parents choices, as we too also experience the oft-negative play experiences and imitative responses in our days when children ‘play out’ this kinds of influences. eg aggressive gun play, violent discussions and limited ability to construct healthy happy play scenarios. We also kindly ask that parents refrain from sending these commercial-style images on children’s equipment such as hats, bags, shoes, lunchboxes, food wrappers, toys and the like. We are more than happy to direct you to suppliers who are able to offer great alternatives.
Responding to children’s interests and needs
Please note that each educator is in charge of their own seasonal programming, a framework of teacher-initiated activities and ideas, that is based upon the needs and interests of the children that make up their daily groups and bolstered with activities, ideas and happenings from the child’s own unique viewpoint and goals.Educators teach and guide in their own unique way.
While all Rainbow Bridge services and educators have many things in common, they also have many differences depending on their environment, space, qualifications, personal skills and talents, locations, parent requests and more. We will help you to find the best fit for YOUR family and child.
What to Bring
There are certain things your child will need to participate in their day at family day care. Here is a list of suggestions that might help you. Please see your educator if you have any further queries.
- Each child must arrive wearing sun-safe clothing (eg covered shoulders, no singlets) including broad brimmed hats for outside play. No hat = play in the shade/undercover.
- Please send a full change of clothing (please include singlet, socks, t-shirt, shorts/skirt, long pants/jeans, jumper/long-sleeved shirt, underwear) We kindly ask parents and carers to ensure ALL clothing is free of commercial or licensed images for family day care. Please keep these special clothes for home days.
- Please send at a minimum, a healthy morning tea and lunch with your child. We strive to offer children food as close to its’ natural state as possible (eg fruit, whole grains, organic, farmer’s market style, homemade and home-baked museli bars/slices, soups and salads, leftovers from dinner, limiting sugar etc) and kindly request parents to send food of a similar nature. Please save cakes, chocolate and lollies for weekend or after-kindy treats please.
- Please send your child with a plain non-licensed cot sheet set, a small warm blanket, and a pillow or cuddly friend if they require it. Please leave all other toys at home as we do not want them broken or lost, or scarred in a tug-o-war battle between children. Home toys love to stay home and safe.
- Please ensure children arrive wearing shoes. Most educators do tend to spend a lot of time outside participating in gardening and food growing activities or going for gentle meanders/walks, and many educators are on farms/acreage properties with pets and animals on hand. Shoes are a necessity to engage in outdoor fun!
- Hats are a necessity too. You are welcome to leave a hat (labelled with child’s name of course) at your educator’s home but it is always a good idea to pop a spare into their bag as hats (like socks) tend to go walkabout at times.
- Any necessary medication eg asthma puffers or epipens. Please discuss your child’s health needs with your educator if necessary before commencement.
- A sense of humour and a willingness to embrace a bit of mud! Our family day care educators work under the motto of ‘truth, beauty, and goodness’ and we find beauty and reverence in the everyday. We also like to engage children in the real life happenings of the world so a little splash in the puddles after a day of rain may just happen. Children love little random ‘treats’ like this, and we hope you might too!