Before your day:
Consider arranging a time for your team to check in on plans for that particular week.
If you will not be there, arrange for coverage with another member and inform the other caregivers on your day.
Please have your cell phone (if you own one) with you and turned on. Please program the numbers of other Coop members (home and cell) into your cell phone.
Prepare for your specific responsibility for the day (snack, craft, or cleaning):
Purchase and prepare some fresh fruits or vegetables. Be sure to check for any food allergies (e.g. no strawberries). Remember that Coop has a NO NUTS (of any kind) policy.
Cut the food into pieces so that they are not choke hazards. Note that this means cutting many foods lengthwise or in quarters (e.g. carrots, grapes). Remember that many children are just beginning to feed themselves. Bananas can be left in the peel until just before snack time to prevent any discoloration.
Consider trying to match the theme if possible.
Dry snack (e.g. crackers) are bought by the Coop purchaser and kept at the Coop.
Please note that on your day, you should not change diapers before serving snack for hygienic reasons.
Think up/research an activity or craft project that emphasizes the theme. The curriculum coordinator should be able to provide suggestions. Also, reference the curriculum binder for craft ideas from past years. Be sure to think in 3-D (sculpture, decorating boxes) and in a variety of media (watercolor, tempera paints, glue sticks, scissors, taping, etc).
The Coop has many craft supplies. Any craft supply requests can be made to the curriculum coordinator.
Be aware of different skill levels. Perhaps you may want to cut something in advance for the younger children, while the older children do the cutting themselves. Also, you may want to create a craft with stations – glue at this table, color at this table. Consider contacting other caregivers on your day to let them know your plans in advance (particularly if you are trying something “ambitious”.)
Please arrive at Coop prepared. Though many supplies are at the Coop, try to do anything you can in advance. It is difficult for everyone if you try to set up an entire craft during free play or circle time.
Most of your work comes on the day of your duty. But it’s always nice to have someone bringing in tabletop toys from home (bring it home with you at the end of the day). It’s also nice to bring in CD’s and books. A little novelty goes a long way.
The cleaning person is in charge of Circle Time. Please plan in advance: think of songs for circle time, books to read, imaginative play prompts for free play, fingerplay, and other games.
8:30 am – 9:00 am Caregivers set up Please arrive to Coop at 8:30 am.
Discuss the plans for the day with other caregivers: Decide on tabletop activities and any other special activities for the day. Keep the theme in mind. Discuss plan for circle, snack, and craft. If you know a child will be absent, inform the other caregivers. Discuss whether you will be able to go outside or will need to remain inside.
Set up rooms: Turn lights on. Move furniture (e.g. train table, throw rugs, etc). Cover Kesher supplies with sheets. “Open” two story loft. Set up tabletop and fine motor activities. Pull out imaginative play props. (Keep in mind that we do not need to have everything out.) Open bins of play food, dolls, etc.
Prepare for your specific responsibility for the day (snack, craft, or cleaning):
Note: Use the utility sink only for all Kids’ Coop purposes. The other kitchen sink is a kosher sink used only by the Kesher Hebrew Language school staff and families.
Fresh food (except bananas) should already be cut.
Pour water (Brita in Fridge) into cups on a tray or in a bin for easy transportation into the play area at snack time.
Choose a dry snack. Check for open bags to finish first.
Select proper number of plates and napkins. Prepare trays with dry snack, fresh snack, and plates, etc, for easy transport at snack time.
Be aware of any food allergies that any children may have on your day and serve appropriate snacks.
Craft should already be (mostly) prepared. Finish anything necessary.
Help set up rooms.
Check bathroom for cleanliness. Make sure soap dispensers are full.
Move vacuum from bathroom to just outside kitchen to save time later during cleanup.
Check the bleach/water and soap/water solutions used to clean the tables in the classroom. Refill if necessary. Clean tables before kids arrive.
Check by the back door for Purell and tissue supplies for going outside later.
Check changing area to ensure there are sufficient wipes, gloves, paper towels, bleach/water solution, bag in the diaper pail, and Purell.
9:00 am – 10:00 am Free Play in Coop Space Make children your priority and think about “teachable moments” related to interpersonal skills and related information.
Greet children as they come in and check in with parents. Write the child’s name on the appropriate attendance sheet (in 2006-2007, we used a whiteboard).
Throughout the morning, offer older children the opportunity to go to the bathroom and check the diapers of the younger ones. Coop policy is to change diapers only after bowel movements. Note the snack person should not change a diaper before snack is served for hygienic reasons. When changing a diaper, wipe the change table with water/bleach solution. Use gloves while changing a diaper. Put the diaper in a plastic bag and seal / tie it before throwing it away in the diaper pail. After a change, throw the gloves out into the diaper pail. Wipe the change table with water/bleach solution. Then wash your hands with soap and water.
Please be conscious of keeping the doors to the Coop rooms closed so that children do not wander unsupervised. Older children are capable of opening the doors.
Keep in mind that we are nurturing children aged 18 months to 3-4 years old – this is a huge developmental spread and presents challenges. One of our most important jobs is to help kids interact positively with one another. The most powerful way to educate children of such a substantial developmental spread is to model the language of sharing and taking turns. Some children may need coaching on how to ask to join in play. Help try to make kids aware of how their words and behavior might make others feel.
Additionally, try to model appropriate listening and speaking with adults. Some kids are not used to talking with adults other than their parents. Help kids to be respectful, to listen to, and to respond appropriately to caregivers.
10:00 am Clean Up Give children a warning, “Almost time for clean up” or “Five minutes until clean up.” Sing a clean-up song and enlist the help of each child. Be specific about what to pick up, where to put it, and thank them when done. Please take care to return items to the proper bins, and stack bins neatly away.
around 10:10 am Wash Hands Have kids line up on the “green line” in the big room and roll up their sleeves to prepare for hand washing. We often sing the “green line” to help children know that it’s time to stand on the green line. Sometimes it’s helpful to play a game like “head, shoulders, knees, and toes” while all the children are getting on the line. Have the kids hold on to the colorful "shape rope" for the walk to and from the bathroom, and while waiting their turn in the bathroom.
Craft and Cleaning
Lead the parade with an adult at the front and back of line while singing a song (e.g. ants go marching or choo choo the train). Using a song helps to slow runners and keeps things under control while walking down the hall to the bathroom.
Consider having all three caregivers assist with hand washing if you are working on a day with a lot of little ones. The kids don’t mind waiting for snack to be set up, and the older kids love to help out.
Ask potty-trained kids if they need to use the restroom. Parents, please keep caregivers informed on the status of your child's potty training.
Wash the hands of the older kids first. The younger kids are more likely to touch the floor or get dirty if they’re done first.
Each child’s hands should be washed by an adult. Be sure to wash hands well – lots of lather, front, back, and thumbs – for approx. 15 to 20 seconds.
As children are finished washing their hands, they should line up against the wall and hold the colorful shape rope.
Sing another song to return in a civilized manner.
Wash the tables with water/bleach solution.
Wash your hands in the utility sink with soap and water.
Bring prepared snack from kitchen to classroom.
At each seat, put a plate, napkin, cup of water, and a small helping of both the fresh and dry snack. (Work quickly - the kids are not gone very long for hand washing.)
Be sure to have extra servings of food and water for when kids ask for more.
Also, be sure to have an empty dish washing bin to collect dirty dishes.
around 10:20 am Snack Be sure each child has a place and is seated comfortably and safely. Try to have some discussion topics or books ready for once the initial silence of eating has subsided.
Refill snacks and water on request.
Remind kids to raise hands and use manners when asking for more and to wait for you to come to their table.
Encourage kids to finish what they have before having seconds.
As children finish snack, ask them to clear their places. Cups and plates should go in a bin (brought in by snack person) and napkins should go in the trash barrel. Any left over fruit or peels need to be put in a plastic bag and sealed/tied off before being thrown in the trash. Children should then go to the other room to look at books with the cleaning person.
around 10:30 am Circle Time Cleaning
Go into other room with children who have finished and cleaned up their snack.
Encourage the children to look at books independently until all kids are done with snack. You will need to be consistent about insisting that kids look on their own for a while (modeling helps here) because they are eager to have someone read to them.
When all are finished, gather books, sit in circle (with mats?), read a story (or two – theme related if possible).
After stories, do circle songs. Have 3 to 5 songs in mind but sometimes there are very definite song requests. Note that songs with finger plays or arm/body movements are popular.
Help with circle time until the snack person joins the circle.
Once the snack person joins circle, go into the other room and set up craft as quickly as possible. Wash the tables with water/bleach solution. Think about how to contain messes and hasten clean up while still letting the kids explore the material. For example, use tubs with glitter, have paper towels handy, maybe a washtub with water for quick hand rinse, etc.
When done with set up, join circle time. When circle time is over, briefly explain the craft to the kids before they return to the other room for craft.
Once the children are done with snack, take the dirty plates and cups to be washed to the kitchen.
Leave snacks on small table in kitchen for cleaning person to clean up later. Return pitcher to fridge if necessary.
around 10:45 am Craft All caregivers should circulate and help children with their craft. Please be sure to label each craft with the child’s name and the date.
If going outside, as children begin to finish up craft, one caregiver should begin to get hats, coats, etc for dressing children. Otherwise, a caregiver can begin bringing toys to the gym.
The crafts can be collected. The cleaning person will put the crafts into each child’s designated folder while the kids are outside or upstairs.
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Free Play outdoors or upstairs depending on weather Take the attendance list with you when you go outdoors or upstairs for free play. It must be returned to the Coop room at the end of each day.
Help the other caregivers prepare the children to go outside or upstairs.
IF GOING OUTSIDE: In cold weather, please dress children with snowpants, hats, mittens, boots, and everything else parents provide. Parents should provide enough warm clothes to allow their child to play outside for up to 30 minutes in the cold. Have children line up on green line. Craft and snack people should put on their coats also. Craft or snack person should grab the key for the outside door. Check outside to make sure gates are closed and to make sure that there aren’t any other hazards that need to be moved/dealt with before going out. Move some of the outside toys stored upstairs to the outside. Give the OK for the kids to come out. Remember to buzz downstairs to the cleaning person is you need tissues or supplies or if someone needs to go to the bathroom or have a diaper changed.
In warm weather, parents are urged to provide hats and sunglasses as they deem appropriate. Parents should put sunblock on their children prior to drop-off at Coop. (If time permits and parents request it, sunblock may be reapplied before going outside.) Caregivers should bring out small paper cups and filtered water to offer to the kids periodically.
Shoes must be worn at all times.
IF GOING UPSTAIRS: Grab some toys (tent, blocks, parachute, etc) off the trapezoid shaped, wooden shelf in the “way back” of our storage area and gather some ride-on toys from our outside storage area upstairs. Close the doors (to the lounge and the office hall), turn on the lights, gently move the piano to one corner, and shift the chairs if necessary. On Fridays, inform the church custodian around 10:30 am that we would like to use the parish hall (so that they will not mop/clean the hall during this time).
Craft and Snack
Supervise children’s free play outside or upstairs.
Ask the cleaning person to help if you need tissues or supplies or if someone needs to go to the bathroom or have a diaper changed. (There is a buzzer next to the door outside.)
Strongly encourage your child to join the other children for free play- it is difficult to get the cleaning job done with your child with you.
Grab toys that need to be washed from bin in playroom and wash with the dishes.
Start with dishes. Use the utility sink only. The other sink in the kitchen is kept kosher for the Kesher School. (If the dishes are not already soaking in soapy hot water, run the tap on hot and begin other clean up activities. It takes a while for the water to heat up.) Wash all dishes in hot soapy water and rinse clean with water. Next make a very dilute bleach solution in the dishwashing bin. Just a few drops of bleach is enough. Add water to fill the bin. Rinse the dishes in the bleach solution and rinse them again in plain water to prevent any bleach residue on the cups and plates. Leave the cups and plates in the dish racks to dry.
Clean up the rest of snack. Put any extra dry snack into the clear plastic container for snacks that are already opened. Be sure to seal/tie all fruit in a bag first before throwing it in the trash (per orders of Board of Health – fruitfly prevention).
Clean up craft. Put crafts into each child’s designated folder. Put the folding chairs away and wipe the tables down with a water/bleach solution.
Pick up any other Co-op toys that may have been left out earlier and be sure the gate to the climbing structure is closed. Cover Co-op toys (like the kitchen area) and shelves with available sheets. Consider how the rooms will look to the Kesher kids coming in for the afternoon.
Consolidate the trash from each of the playrooms, the kitchen, and the diaper pail into one bag. Take the bag to the barrels outside (this can be done as you leave or go to join the group upstairs).
Clean the floors: sweep first then mop. Finish by vacuuming the rugs.
Return the vacuum to bathroom and check bathroom for cleanliness (throw out any paper towels, flush toilet, if necessary).
If you run into any trouble (e.g. broken vacuum cleaner), find the church custodian for help. Be sure to communicate any issues re. clean up by writing in the Co-op notebook.
Also, remember you are on call to help the craft and snack person with the kids. When you are done, go and join the group outside or upstairs.
One day each week, the member who is the "Cleaner" will take cups and plates home to wash in the dishwasher and return them on the following day. On that day, instead of doing the usual dish washing routine, the cleaning person should gather all the dishes, cups, utensils, etc. for the Cleaner to take home.
Parents arrive to pick up children Parents should arrive no later than 11:50 to pick up their child/ren. This gives parents time to get the details of any outstanding situation/event and to mark their child as picked up on the attendance sheet. If a parent is unable to pick up their child, caregivers must be notified in advance of who will be picking up the child; caregivers should then check that person's ID before releasing the child to that person's care.
Caregivers, be sure to track whose parents have officially taken their child. Sometimes a parent runs in, says hello and leaves their child while they run downstairs to get something. One caregiver should have an attendance list and check off children as they leave.
Clean up. Return outdoor toys to the shelves upstairs. If outside, store small plastic slides, etc under the large wooden slide. Arriving parents are generally willing to help put toys away.
If you notice anything that needs repair or attention, please make a note of it in the Coop. If it required immediate attention, please notify the Repair, Health and Safety coordinator by phone and/or the Board member working on your day.