A Day in the Life of an Early Childhood Educator

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Children with teacher draw paints in play room. Child care.

An early childhood education career offers you the opportunity to assist in the high quality care of young children. You will be providing activities for the children as well as healthy lunches and snacks. You’ll also try to ensure that all this gets done in a safe and healthy environment.

You might be wondering what a typical day in the life of an early childhood educator looks like. Whether working in a daycare center or a preschool, structure for the little ones is important – here’s a look at what a typical day might entail.

Drop-off

First thing in the morning, the children get dropped off by their parents and guardians. Early childhood education training helps you to ensure that this is a smooth transition for everyone involved. For some children, leaving their home setting and mingling with their peers is quite easy, for others, it can be the source of a tantrum.

Making sure that everyone gets the same amount of time and attention it takes to settle-in is usually the day’s first priority.

Morning Activities

Once all the children have arrived and are starting to settle in, there are several activities conducive to staring the day. Some of these may include:

  • An exercise warm-up: Some light exercise such as jumping jacks or basic stretches can get children’s minds and bodies ready for a fun-filled day.
  • A morning song: Singing a “good morning” song or even the alphabet can help teach children to perform in unison and set a cooperative pace for the day.
  • A sharing circle: Having everyone sit in a circle and share one-by-one something about a movie they watched or an activity they did the night before, gives everyone the chance to participate actively.

Snack Time

After a morning activity, snack time is sometimes the next step. Foods that provide healthy energy such as fruits and vegetables, granola or yogurt can give children the fuel they need for the day ahead.

Mother and two babies are playing together  on the playground.

Play Time

Now that everyone’s settled in and had a snack, it’s time to go outside! No matter what the season, there are tons of activities that promote creativity and team-building that you will learn while earning your early childhood education diploma. If weather permits, outdoor activities can include:

  • Maintaining a communal garden
  • A scavenger hunt
  • Drawing chalk letters and shapes
  • Building a snow fort

Lunch

By this point, the children have been playing for a while and are starting to get hungry. Whether your workplace provides lunch or the kids bring their own from home, it is up to the early childhood educator to ensure that everyone is rounded up to come inside and is all washed-up and seated.

It’s a fun and social time of day and usually a good time for the children to reflect on the activities they took part in earlier.

Quiet/Nap Time

Usually after some running around outside followed by a meal, it’s time for some rest. This can mean nap time, or a quiet activity such as coloring. Depending on the age group you’re working with, this time could be a combination of some children going down for a nap and some divided-off for quiet activities.

Afternoon Activities

Usually after a nap or some quiet time, it’s time to go back outside or start up a group art project. The children will be a revitalized at this point and it’s time to give them something fun to do before the day wraps-up!

What fun and engaging activities do you look forward to while working as an early childhood educator?

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