Daily Instruction in Infant/Toddler Classrooms


  • A schedule is a predictable sequence of events that enables a sense of order.
  • Your daily schedule and plans need to be flexible, but still give a direction for your work with children.
  • Caregivers must take advantage of the learning opportunities that emerge continually every day.
  • In general, the younger the children, the more flexible and individualized the schedule must be.
  • Responsive caregiving respects children’s biological rhythms and interests, but still has a schedule that is somewhat consistent.

Characteristics of an Appropriate Schedule

  • The schedule is flexible and adaptable. It is changed to meet individual needs.
  • Sets an unhurried, child-directed pace for the routines and experiences of the day.
  • There is sufficient time for routines, play experiences, and transitions.
  • There is a balance between active and quiet times.
  • Children have the opportunities to be alone (although supervised) or with a familiar teacher.
  • Children have opportunities to spend time in small groups of 2-3 children.
  • Children go outdoors daily.

Parts of the Daily Schedule

Allow adequate time for these routines:

  • Hellos and good-byes
  • Diapering and toileting
  • Eating and mealtimes
  • Sleeping and nap time
  • Dressing

Plan experiences that promote children’s development and learning, including:

  • Playing with toys
  • Imitating and pretending
  • Enjoying stories and books
  • Connecting with music and movement
  • Creating with art
  • Tasting and preparing food
  • Exploring sand and water
  • Exploring outdoors