Serving as a home- based child care provider is an important job, one that requires hard work, creativity, flexibility, and genuine concern for children and their families. In California, there are several types of home based child care settings, including family, friend, and neighbour care that does not require a license; Family child care homes licensed by the state; and licensed settings that are also accredited by the national association for family child care. Whether you operate a licensed family child care home, care for your grandchildren, or are a provider accredited by a national organization, you have an opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of the children and families in your care.
As you read guidelines for early learning in child care home settings, you may want to think about why you are a home based child care provider. Perhaps you think the home offers the best setting for working with young children. Maybe you want to use your teaching skills in a setting that allows you to work at home and care for your own children.
Or you may want to help a family member or neighbour by caring for their children. Regardless of the reasons you became a home based provider, the guidelines in this book were developed to help improve your service to children and their families and to improve the quality of your work life.
The guideline will help
- Provide learning experiences for preschool children, infants, and toddlers in mixed age group settings that are common in home based care.
- Promote meaningful with children, develop their vocabularies, and encourage their interest in books and stories.
- Interest children in daily home activity that involve problem solving, measuring, sorting, classifying, and other skills that serve as building blocks for future learning in math and science.
- Include children with disabilities and other special needs in your home based setting and get help for those children when needed.
- Show respect and appreciation for the home languages and cultures of children and their families whose backgrounds differ from yours.
One of the strengths of home based child care in that it enhances the opportunity to get to know children in the context of their families. By understanding and respecting the primary role of the family in the lives of young children, and by supporting the family in times of celebration as well as stress, you strengthen a child’s social and emotional development.
- Explain to families how on a daily basis you promote language development and thinking skills in a natural home setting by talking with children, preparing their meals, and playing with them .
- Communicate with parents and other family members and learn how to involve them in home based learning and care activities.
Working as a home based child care provider is a demanding job. Whether you are a licensed family child care provider or an exempt provider, you may wish you had more interaction with other providers and other adults help with business practices, and additional training or education.
Babies and children not only grow bigger in size but also usually go through what are known as stages of development from birth, how babies look and what they can do change enormously.
Growth is about the body growing and getting bigger in size and weight; for example, children grow taller and their feet get bigger. Growth happens naturally if children are healthy and well cared for.
Development is about learning new skills, such as children learning to kick a ball or hop on one foot. Children need lots of different activities and the support of adults to develop new skills.
Babies from birth to three months.
Physical development -sleeps for around 18 hours each day, feeds every two to three hours during the day and will need to be fed less often during the night.
Intellectual D -begins to use senses to hear, smell and see what is going on around.
Language D – at first a baby is only able to cry, but quickly learns to make cooing and gurgling sounds.
Emotional D -a baby will cry when in pain, hungry or uncomfortable, such as when they have a wet nappy or feel too hot or cold.
Social D -a new baby will try and look at faces, especially when they are being fed, by the age of three months a baby may copy an adults smile.
Three to six months
Physical D – feeds three to five times every day, the baby can control head and arm movements, such as grasping a toy or rolling over on a play mat.
Intellectual D -greater development of senses, a baby will turn towards a sound, and learn who different people are by listening to their voice or looking at their face.
Language D -a baby at this age will make many different sounds such as babbling and cooing when they are enjoying a bath, or grunting and crying when they are unhappy or tired.
Emotional D – enjoys being cuddled and rocked.
Social development- knows the difference between family members, usually enjoys contact with family members, such as when feedind and being bathed.
Six to 12 months
Physical D –eats three meals and two snacks every day, sleeps for around 12 hours every night and may have two naps every day. Begins to control the body and hands by moving objects or pulling things towards them. At around eight months, a baby will begin to sit without support and may start to crawl.
Intellectual D – enjoys playing moves toys and objects from one place to another so that by the time the bady is 12 months old, they are able to stack one brick onto another. Babies enjoy looking at bright colours.
Emotional D – babies may become clingy to family members because they are now more aware of strangers.
Social D – gives and takes objects or toys, may wave bye-bye by 12 month babies have learned to look when someone calls their name. and might understand some simple requests.
One to two years
Physical D – stands without support and begins to walk, can climb up stairs so needs to be watched, by the age of two years a child can run, throw and kick a ball.
Intellectual D- begins to make lines on paper with crayons or paints. By the age of two years a child may enjoy building a tower of two bricks and pushing them over.
Language D – children begin to repeat a few words and understand some instructions such as coat on come here understands about 50 words at two years of age.
Emotional D – a child may be interested in looking at themselves in the mirror such as when clapping or pulling faces.
Social D – enjoys simple clapping games such as pat a cake enjoys feeding themselves.
Two to three years
Physical D – learns to jump off a low step and may ride a tricycle, uses a spoon and fork properly when feeding themselves. May take an interest in using the toilet or potty.
Intellectual D – user crayons to draw in circular movements and make simple shapes, children may enjoy dough and messy activities.
Language D – a child will put three or four more words together to make sentences for example me do that mummy or little dog barking. Children will learn lots of new words and enjoy looking at picture books and listening to stories.
Emotional D – a child may be worried when family members leave them the child may cry when starting nursery or if the parent goes out for the evening leaving the child with a babysitter.
Social D – uses I , me , and, you
, copies actions such as when singing rhymes at nursery, copies adult, actions by pretending to clean the car or stir food in a pan. Can dislike sharing with others children at this age may enjoy playing next to other children but may not play with them.
Three to four years
Physical D – stands on one leg jumps up and down, enjoys climbing and cam change direction quickly when running in the play area. may now be able to take responsibility for their own toileting.
Intellectual D – draws circles with more control and may add lines for arms and legs or dots for eyes. Can count up to ten and begins to learn the names of colours and shapes.
Language D – understands over 1,000 words and makes sentences of four or five words, children now enjoy listening to longer stories and will often choose the same story over and over again.
Emotional D – shows a sense of humour may tell jokes and make funny faces or do silly walks. Likes to spend time playing alone but also enjoys playing with other children. May enjoy hugs and cuddles with family and friends.
Social D – gives orders enjoys playing with children and will leave the main carer more easily such as when going to nursery.
Four to five years
Physical D- can open and close fastenings can dress and undress for a PE lesson. Can use scissors to cut out shapes and pictures, skips with a rope, runs quickly and safely around the playground without bumping into other children.
Intellectual D- can copy letters and numbers and can write their own name, draws pictures of trees, houses, people and animals.
Language D – children at this age know up to 2,000 words and use proper sentences, children often talk clearly and will enjoy telling stories about themselves.
Emotional D- enjoys caring for pets, shows concern when a friend is hurt, children will like to make choices for themselves, such as deciding which clothes to wear or what book to look at.
Social D – children are more able to do things for themselves such as wiping up spilled juice, they may also like to help other children, such as helping a younger child to complete a jigsaw.
Children are curious and love to investigate. This can lead to all kinds of situations that could result in accidents occurring. As an early years practitioner, you need to have a thorough understanding of child development and children’s capabilities. You need to be able to select equipment, toys and play materials that are suitable for children’s age and stage of development.
A wide range of safety equipment and other resources are available to help practitioners to keep children safe indoors, outdoors and on outings away from setting. The choice of safety equipment used will depend on a variety of factors, including the age and stage od development of the children . the type of setting and the nature of the potential risks involved. For example, safety gate, socket covers and fireguards make the home environment safer for toddlers, while playground surfaces, secure fencing and CCTV cameras help to maintain a safer environment for children in group care.
All equipment used with babies and children, such as toys and play materials, electrical items and outdoor equipment, needs to meet the relevant health and safety standards.
These items should display a product safety logo, such as the CE mark to show that they meet European health and safety standards.
- Trips and outings should support the development and learning that takes place within the centre. Outings provide important opportunities for learning and are an essential part of a child’s experience.
When taking the children out of the centre ground staff must ensure their safety at all the times. It is the head of centres responsibility to give permission for outings to take place, having first checked all arrangements and completed formal risk assessment forms. The day care coordinator can give permission for local outings to take place.
- practitioner must be sensitive to children’s religious beliefs in selecting places to visit.
- any volunteers or staff that are not police checked must remain with a permanent member of staff
- a first aid kit must be taken
- a mobile phone must be taken and the number left at the centre for ease of contact in an emergency
- a register must be taken on the trip this must include all emergency contact details and details of any allergies medical conditions and dietary requirements and name and number of child s doctor
- a level 3 qualified member of staff must always accompany the children on outings
- extra items that might be needed for outings toilet rolls, tissues, sick bags, refuse sacks, disposable gloves, sun cream and hats, refreshments
- practitioners must always accompany a child into public toilets
all children must have badges attached to them giving the centres name and telephone number. For reasons of safety a child s name must never be displayed on the badge. The head of centre is responsible for knowing the whereabouts of every child and all staff involved in the trip. Clear arrangements must be in place should any child become separated from the group. The practitioner must take responsibility for specific children, preferably for those for whom they are the key worker. Changes to this must be explicitly acknowledged by the staff concerned. The practitioner must refer to the child registration forms to ensure that parents cares have.