Why There is Value in a Daily Planner for Your Early Learning Program

Scheduling and planning help your school day run more smoothly so you can focus your time on engaging with the kids. An important part of the planning process is documentation. Keep track of activities, and document results, with a daily planner. 

The value of a daily planner for your early learning program - Preschool Toolkit

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This is the third post in a four-part series: Developing an Early Learning Program.

This post discusses the value of a daily planner.

While licensed child care centers may document lesson plans to meet licensing requirements, any teacher or homeschooling parent can benefit from the preparedness that comes with maintaining a daily planner.

How the daily planner benefits your early learning program - Preschool Toolkit

What is included in a daily planner?

A daily planner documents the activities (stories, art projects, games and songs) teachers and homeschooling parents prepare to support the curriculum. The planner records the stories you read and songs you sing at circle time, games played during gross motor time, and materials provided for an art project. You can purchase planners online, download free offers, or use a scribbler or 3-ring binder.

At home or in the classroom, efforts to be organized and prepared result in less stress for you, and more time to engage and interact with the children. Follow along with Teaching Mama blog as a daily planner is filled in for the week ahead.

Recognizing the value of a daily planner

How can I benefit from maintaining a daily planner?

  • A daily planner connects parents to the child care facility by allowing them to read up on the events and activities in which their children are engaged day-to-day. Some centers may also provide an online service to families, where posts related to school activities and events are shared.
  • A record of activities becomes available for review purposes. Were the children engaged? How would I alter the activity? What was accomplished?)
  • Documented activities identify how developmental skills are nurtured throughout the day (cognitive, social, emotional, language, fine motor, gross motor).
  • Activities are planned in advance. This allows time for teachers to gather materials, book field trip locations, contact guest readers, and extend themes or favorable topics.
  • A daily planner allows for the anticipated, as well as spontaneous, learning opportunities. Alternate activities can be included to support or replace the planned activities. Will the weather alter our plans? Is the activity frustrating or difficult? Are the children engaged in another topic or play area that we can pursue instead of the planned activity?

A program planner works in conjunction with the daily schedule which provides time slots throughout the day for each activity. But teachers can be flexible with both the schedule and the planned activities. They have the option to extend an activity that is fun and engaging, or cut short an activity that is unproductive. The goal is to engage the children in hands-on experiences while having lots of fun!

A daily planner can be just as effective for organizing your early learning program as a phone app or wall calendar can be for your personal time. Maintaining a daily planner will bring huge benefits in time management and stress free delivery of your program.


Program planners from other kid-friendly bloggers:


In the fourth and last post in this series, I will discuss opportunities for choosing and implementing activities for your early learning program.

Here are the links for the posts included in this four-part series:

Part 1: Determining the Basic Principles of your Early Learning Program 

Part 2: Establishing a Daily Schedule for Your Early Learning Program 

Part 3: Why There is Value in a Daily Planner for Your Early Learning Program (found here)

Part 4: Planning Quality Content for Your Early Learning Program


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