What Is the Importance of Routines in Child Care?

Establishing routines in child care allows children to feel safe and secure in their environment. Maintaining a regular schedule for children reduces anxiety because they are always aware of what activity is next. According to Extension, a research-based learning network, a consistent routine encourages positive behavior in children of all ages.

Extensions states that child care settings should maintain a regular schedule to keep children happy and avoid an unorganized environment. Child care settings should consider routines for specific age groups, since younger children required an individualized schedule and toddlers can adjust to a group schedule. Child care settings should also set consistent times for breakfast, circle time, snack, outdoor time, lunch, nap and free play. Developing a routine for each step helps children learn the patterns of the day. For example, if a teacher says lunchtime, then the children know to clean up and meet at the table to eat.

According to PBS, routines are important because children thrive on order. While it is acceptable to allow time for spontaneous activities, child care settings need to maintain a balance between spontaneity and order. Daily routines allow teachers and child care providers to keep the whole group happy while addressing each child’s basic needs.