Unit 9.3 Child care responsibilities around play

  1. Provide a safe and secure environment for all of the children in care. It is especially important to consider the range of ages in your group. Planning and organizing play for children 5 years old and 12 years old who are in the same group and same environment, or even planning and organizing play for toddlers and 8 year olds who are in the same group and same environment, requires considerable thought and ongoing evaluation.
  2. Learn as much as you can about children and their development and further your understanding of how it relates to play. Read, take courses, and talk to other child care providers about child development.
  3. Provide a variety of toys/play materials for the range of ages and stages of children in your care. If children only have access to toys which are meant for a different age they will become bored or frustrated.
  4. Evaluate your environment, activities and toys on a regular basis to assess whether you adequately meet all of the children’s developmental needs. You may find that you have many activities which support one kind of development, for example cognitive, but need to provide more activities/play materials that encourage physical development. What are some of the ways in which you could add or improve the environment?
  5. Provide a variety of individual-appropriate activities based on observation of individual children’s interests, strengths, and needs. Observe the children at play. Talk to them about what they are doing and what they are interested in. Plan for and provide materials and activities around their indicated interests. If the children are playing dinosaurs in dramatic play, extend their enjoyment and learning by providing dinosaur information, books, activities and outings (museum, etc.).
  6. Give the children ample free time and space to pursue their interests and provide opportunities for children to play on their own, as well as with others. Good play takes time. Find an area where the children can build on and develop their play ideas without having to tidy up after an hour or two. If their play is full of enthusiasm and involvement, let it be.

Most of all have fun! Let the children know that they are worthwhile and lovable and that you enjoy being with them.