The importance of sharing children’s care routines
Let’s talk about children’s care routines. A key component of working effectively with children and their families is the exchange of information and communication which is essential for you to truly work in partnership together.
Over time you have no doubt found strategies and ways to share with each other by:
- Sharing learning on Storypark
- Having a key or primary educator system
- Having charts and boards available for parents to view at drop off and pick up times
- Assigning one or two educators to be available to focus on transitions at drop off and pick up times
- Communication notebooks
These are all ways to share vital information. For infants and toddlers, in particular, these conversations are so very important and are needed to ensure there is consistency in children’s routine both at home and at their learning service.
But what happens when you suddenly lose the ability to have those face to face conversations with families?
With the pandemic still raging across the globe, this has become the new reality for many educators. Children have returned to their learning services, excited to be back and jumping straight back into life with their educators and friends. In an effort to reduce the number of people in contact with children, educators and other parents each day, only children and educators are permitted to enter classrooms. This means that families will drop their children to the gate, they will also collect them from the gate at the end of the day. With one or two educators welcoming children and managing the attendance rolls, there is no time or space for the leisurely conversations of yesteryear where important information was shared. Parents are now unable to look on routine charts themselves or inquire how much a child had eaten that day.
In a nutshell, the essential sharing of information about children’s routines is now missing or made much more of a bigger task. Notes and learning stories are still being shared via Storypark, with anecdotal evidence pointing to families being more engaged with their children’s learning than ever before! But, educators and parents both recognise the importance of sharing how many sleeps an infant may have had, what time they woke up, and whether they can expect their child to fall asleep right before dinner tonight. The parents of a toddler showing great interest in toilet learning are eager to know whether their child had any successful hits on the toilet today. Whether their child had a bowel movement, or whether their diaper rash had calmed down compared to how inflamed it was this morning. The parents of a very active 4-year-old would appreciate knowing whether or not their energetic small person has slowed down to eat much today, and whether they had to be reminded several times to come to rolling mealtimes. Knowing this information can make the difference between whether or not the child needs an early dinner to avoid the inevitable meltdowns that can occur when he or she has been “too busy” to eat today.
As you can see, these types of conversations that take place between educators and families, are vital to each child’s wellbeing. Something this pandemic has made more difficult for us.
An easy way to share children’s care routines with families
Storypark’s Daily Routines feature is delivering a much-needed solution to this new challenge faced by educators in 2020. Educators can easily record children’s care routines such as sleep, toileting, sunscreen and meal routines very quickly with Daily Routines. Families are then able to access this information on their Storypark Families App, meaning all of this information is essentially in their pocket!
We caught up with Lisa Belton, Program Coordinator, and Kathy Knight-Robinson, Director of Early Learning and Care, at Andrew Fleck Children’s Services in Ottawa, Canada. They shared just how much they have appreciated using the Storypark Daily Routines feature to support this sharing of vital information with families during this time of physical distancing. Lisa says “Storypark’s Daily Routines feature has been a lifesaver! I honestly think the sharing of routines are some of those pieces that our families are missing. We were struggling as educators, finding a way to still have that connection with the parents, provide them with that information without having a mountain of paperwork, We had actually started writing the routines out, photocopying them and sending a copy home with each child at the end of the day.”
That all changed when one of their learning services had the chance to join the pilot of the routines feature.
“And then we got to use Daily Routines. And it was absolutely amazing! It was so easy to provide that information for the parents and it was literally at their fingertips.” Lisa Belton, Program Coordinator at Andrew Fleck Children’s Services.
Want to find out how you can easily share children’s routines with their families?
Andrew Fleck Children’s Services (AFCS) is one of the oldest and most diversified non-profit, charitable, multi-service early learning, child care and family support organizations in Ottawa, Ontario. It began its operation in 1911 and was incorporated as a charitable organization in 1920.