Rev up a New Schedule for a New Year

Typically, the months of November and December are challenging to navigate for nannies and children with so many new opportunities and events to explore. Throughout the holidays, the routines and schedules for daily activities may be completely ignored or modified a great deal.  Children and families may be traveling or hosting guests that have come for a visit.  Special parties and play dates are scheduled into an already jam packed calendar filled with high energy and excitement.  Parents may encourage flexibility and change plans at the last minute to incorporate a new invite or family tradition.  Seasoned nannies survive these changes by putting the focus on the children and their specific needs.  Regardless of the nannies experience, each holiday season is sure to teach a few lessons on time management, effective communication and the family dynamics in stressful situations.

With all of this change, it can be a relief to get back to the routine and schedule after the new year.  As a nanny, this would be a good time to revisit the old schedule and routine to ensure it is developmentally age appropriate with transitions incorporated to help guide behaviors of the charges in positive ways. Let’s reexamine several reasons to develop a schedule and routine for young children. Some of those reasons would include:

  • manage time efficiently and effectively
  • help teach children a sense of time
  • provide a layer of predictability and security for children
  • lessen anxiety in children
  • establish a plan to complete necessary tasks
  • provide parents with consistent details regarding their child’s day
  • develop healthy habits for self-care
  • schedule of mealtimes
  • schedule sleep and rest opportunities

Each component listed below should be used to help create a daily routine that best matches the needs, abilities and ages of your charges. At the start of a new year, carefully re-evaluate your charges growth and abilities. By doing this periodically it helps to personalize a schedule that best meets their current needs. Use the links below to see resources available from credible sources. Nannies and childcare providers should consider the following components when building a schedule:

After completing your research, spend time thoughtfully designing a daily schedule. Be sure to share it with the parents when you have put it into action for a couple of weeks after making any needed adjustments. Include rationales for your choices with specific examples related to the child(ren) as well as your research sources.  This will allow parents the opportunity to engage the child(ren) about their day and make connections to the routines that takes place while they are away.  Parents will also be reminded of your dedication and professionalism to meet the needs of the children.  Creating a positive learning environment and sharing your process will help to pave the way for more open dialogue and continuity of care.


Angela Riggs is the Director of the Early Childhood Education Department at Sullivan University on the Louisville, Kentucky campus. Her focus is on the online studies division and serves as the advisor to all Louisville, Lexington and Online ECE students. Angela is a current INA elected Board of Directors and Education Committee Chair, helping to update the INA Basic Skills Assessment and the INA Credential Exam.

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