I think it is important to establishing a community environment at a centre.  Why?  It makes the daycare more inviting.  It makes it warm and welcoming for the children and the staff.

Everyone belongs in a community.  They all contribute something…whether that’s a smile, a helping hand, or a sense of excitement.  They are connected, to the staff, to the other children, to the environment.

Being part of a community is not a physical thing.  It is emotional.  It is a feeling.  It starts with the staff establishing guidelines for everyone.  It starts with routine; a structure to make it through the day.  A schedule of activities, if you will, so that children know what will happen next.

It continues with trust.  Children must be able to trust their caregivers and feel safe.  This can be as simple as connecting with children on their level.

It can’t be forced. Children know when something is bugging you.  They pick up on emotions whether you want them to or not.

Everyone belongs.  Everyone works together and is connected.  Cooperative play.  This can be structured or unstructured but it needs to be something that engages everyone.

Rules, guidelines, and/or expectations are a must.  Ask the children.  See what they think is important and make a list.

Learn to breath and teach the children the same thing.  Stop and reflect on your day.  Appreciate the moment.  Be mindful.

By promoting community within the daycare setting, you will, inadvertently promote it within life.  And that’s a good thing.

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