Naptime occurs after lunch. Some younger children may also need a morning nap.
All children must bring a sheet and a small blanket to the Center. Following the nap, these blankets and sheets are to be folded and placed on each child’s cot before the cots are stacked or put away. These will be sent home weekly on Fridays, or as needed, for laundering.
Sleeping away from home is a new experience for many children. The atmosphere at the Center must be quiet and loving. Cots must be positioned so there is at least 3 feet from one child’s head to another child’s head, unless there is no solid barrier between children.
Young children need to know staff members care about them and are willing to give them personal attention. At nap time:
- Play soft, soothing music.
- Rub or pat backs of children who are having difficulty sleeping.
If staff members are on break during nap time, they should take a break away from resting children. One staff person in each group (or a substituting student aide) is on duty during nap time. The staff member on duty must be with their children. Staff will perform Center clean-up duties, planning, or have meetings during nap time on a rotating schedule. Toddlers and twos (Busy Bees) MUST be supervised by sight and sound. Staff members must be aware of and positioned so they can hear and see any sleeping children for whom they are responsible, especially when actively engaged with children who are awake. For the preschool classroom only, supervision for short intervals by only sound is permissible as long as teachers check frequently on children who are out of sight (e.g. those who can use the toilet independently, or who are napping). Staff members MUST stay awake during this time. Sleeping while on duty is prohibited.
Naptime is usually two hours long. When children are ready to wake up, go first to the children who are already waking up. Turn half of the lights on by 3:05 pm in order to gently encourage children to awaken. The remaining lights should be turned on by 3:30. As children wake up, they should go to the bathroom or have their diapers changed, and then be asked to do quiet activities until everyone is awake. Parents should be informed of any unusual naptime behavior.
Children who do not actually sleep should rest quietly on their cots for no more than one hour. Children can then be offered books or quiet games to play until the end of nap time.