Educational Services Division
Migrant Head Start: Video
Video: Playing Together
Creating a Learning Environment in Family Child Care Homes
The Migrant Head Start helps Family Child Care Homes establish a safe environment for children to play and learn during the most important years of their development. Family Child Care Homes offer a friendly environment with the advantage of hosting a limited number of children.
Often, family members participate in the work, crating a familiar and friendly environment for children. This video presents four Family Child Care Homes, which are Migrant Head Start providers in Watsonville, California. These programs provide children growth opportunities through individualized experiences, in small groups and with large groups.
Children perform several activities by themselves and others directed by adults. The goal of these activities is to encourage their physical and cognitive development. These Family Child Care Homes have developed effective practices by creating positive learning environments.
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One of the biggest challenges for child care providers is to keep children of different ages interested and involved. Songs, rhymes, readings and games are the favorite activities for increasing child communication skills. Activities are constantly changed to keep the children’s interest.
Sand and Water Games
Playing with sand and water is a natural learning activity. Children enjoy talking while they measure, pour and play with sand and water. Child care providers encourage children to explore by using language and math.
Children must use sunscreen lotion when they do outdoor activities. Often, skin cancer is caused by exposure to the sun during childhood. By using daily health and safety routines, children learn new concepts and expand their vocabulary.
Children like the role play area, where they can interact by assuming the roles of what they see in the world around them. These areas have costumes and household tools, and they are effective when children have the opportunity to play independently and with adult participation.
Using Home Space
The space in and out the house is used for different areas and centers. These learning areas have appropriate materials, which are accessible to children. The use of signs or stickers to identify the different areas is useful, so children can start becoming familiar with the written word.
Games and Body Movements
Children love to run, jump and participate in physical games. Races, outdoor activities and fitness exercises promote social interaction and physical well being.
Family Child Care Homes offer children a wide range of positive learning experiences. They also promote language and knowledge development, social interaction and physical skills. These programs are helping to prepare children for success in school, in the community and throughout their lives.