2 girls are painting in their childcare center

The School Day: Why 7 Hours a Day is Optimal for Children Under 5

As parents, educators, and caregivers, we’re all dedicated to providing the best environment for our young learners. One key aspect that often raises questions is the length of the school day for children under 5. With the psychology behind the 8-hour workday for adults as a reference, let’s delve into why a 7-hour school (or childcare) day is an optimal choice for our little ones. From understanding their natural rhythms to maximizing precious family time, this blog will shed light on the rationale behind this important decision.

Why 7 Hours in School or Childcare?

The 8-Hour Workday Connection: We often hear about the efficiency of an 8-hour workday for adults, but what about children? If adults thrive in an 8-hour work window, logic follows that children would too. After all, both groups experience the same natural energy fluctuations. Much like how adults tend to feel “done” after 8 hours, children also reach their limit. A 7-hour day at school or childcare, mirroring this rhythm, ensures that they are engaged and receptive during their learning hours.

Morning Alertness Matters: Mornings are often hailed as the most productive time of the day for both adults and children. In the early hours, our minds are fresh, alert, and ready to tackle challenges. This rings especially true for young learners. The start of the day is when their minds are like sponges, ready to soak up new information and engage actively. Opting for a 7-hour school day capitalizes on this prime time, enhancing their ability to grasp concepts and fostering positive learning experiences.

Balancing Learning and Family Time: Just as adults yearn for the comfort of their homes after a workday, children too desire the familiarity of their own space. A 7-hour school day takes into account their need for rest and quality family time. With the average child sleeping 10-12 hours a night and spending 1-2 hours commuting, the time left for bonding with family is limited. Prioritizing a balanced school schedule ensures that children have ample time to recharge and engage with their loved ones.

Supporting Parents in a Working World:

Navigating a world where parents often work 8-hour days requires thoughtful solutions. Here’s where creative strategies come into play:

  1. Staggered Work Schedules: Coordinate with your partner to ensure one parent can drop off at school and the other can pick up, ensuring a smooth transition for your child.
  2. Leverage Family and Friends: Involve grandparents, aunts, uncles, or friends to help with drop-offs or pick-ups, creating a supportive network.
  3. Extend Support to Childcare Centers: Embrace the extended hours offered by schools or childcare centers that operate from 9 to 11 hours a day, recognizing the needs of both parents and staff.
  4. Balancing Efficiency and Well-Being: Acknowledge that after 7-9 hours in school, children, like adults, want to unwind at home. This mindful consideration can help them avoid reaching a state of reduced productivity.
  5. Maximize Family Time: Aim for a 7-hour school day, with a maximum of 9 hours if necessary. Consider dropping off slightly before work and picking up just after, ensuring that you make the most of your precious family moments.

Working Together for the Future: At I’m Just a Kid, we acknowledge the dedication of parents and educators alike. Together, we can create an environment that values both education and family. By fostering open communication, exploring creative solutions, and striving for a balanced approach, we can provide our children with the best of both worlds. As we navigate the rewarding journey of raising children, let’s work hand in hand to nurture their growth, learning, and well-being.

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We visited I’m Just a Kid after visiting 6 other early childhood centers and crying at the thought of leaving our first born after our leave was over! To say we breathed a sigh of relief at finding, I’m Just a Kid is an understatement! We have been a part of the family for 6 years, with our first now in kindergarten and our second child still at I’m Just a Kid. We felt so prepared for kinder and the transition was a breeze thanks to I’m Just a Kid. No matter if your child is succeeding or needing some extra love and attention, the I’m Just a Kid family is there to help your family along the way. I’m Just a Kid really is more than “just” a daycare!
Tara Karns-Wright
I’m just a kid not only taught my daughter, they cared for her like a family member. As an educator, I was seeking a daycare that could meet my needs. We found more than a daycare. We found a place that cared deeply for the social, emotional, academic, and cultural needs of our daughter. Now that she is in fourth grade, we still talk about I’m just a kid and the amazing staff that cared so deeply for her. Thank you I’m just a kid for laying the foundation and helping create a better world through education.
Bradley Tarrance
I’m Just a Kid is a wonderful place for my child, for any child, to learn, to play, and to grow. Mrs. Vicki and her wonderful team of teachers truly create an environment that is safe and loving. My son was having a difficult time at his previous school. We reached out to Mrs. Vicki and through her guidance and support he’s happy again! His teachers are passionate about seeing him succeed and they bring out the best in him. Our family is so grateful for our I’m Just A Kid Family.
Laura Riebesehl
We had our two children at I’m Just a Kid for multiple years ranging from six months to four years old and we were so happy to have them there. They learned, played, and grew every day. The school always had the kids’ best interest at heart, and we always felt they were being well cared for while also learning and growing every day. We are so happy with how well I’m Just a Kid prepared our children for kindergarten.
Kirk M. Tracy

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