Full-day program classrooms

Our areas are divided by age to provide developmentally appropriate care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  

A child transitions to the next classroom once they reach a certain age based on State of Minnesota Department of Health and Safety guidelines and when there is space in the next group. These transitions happen year-round and are not dependent on the academic calendar.

Each area is made up of a younger classroom and an older classroom, with two shared spaces that are used in different ways throughout the day. Our enrollment coordinator, area coordinator, and primary teachers determine when to move a child from the younger classroom to the older classroom in the same area based on factors like age and developmental stage.

Infants (ages 3 months to 15 months)

Infants experience rapid physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes in the first months of life. As experts in child development, our teachers ensure that activities and experiences appropriately align with each infant’s developmental stage. 

Daily Schedule

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

A member of our staff will greet you and your child as you arrive, and we will conduct a daily health check. You’ll be asked to record your child’s last feeding, when they woke up, how they slept, and who will be picking them up and at what time. Having this information helps our staff care for your child throughout the day. We offer a variety of materials and activities to children during this time as we continue welcoming infants to the CDLS for the day.

8:30 – 10 a.m.

The group divides into their individual classrooms. We offer breakfast as needed, and check diapers as infants finish eating. In the summer months, we apply sunscreen to infants who will explore activities outdoors. 

10 – 11 a.m.

Teachers provide an environment with developmentally appropriate learning opportunities. Infants continue to explore the environment at their own level of ability. When the weather permits, we take the infants outside. Younger infants often take their first nap of the day at this time. Teaching staff in each room coordinate curriculum and outings whenever possible so that infants in both classrooms may participate and explore.

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lunch time. As infants approach their first year, they begin to eat table food, drink from a sippy cup, and sit in high chairs. From early on, infants enjoy taking an active part in feeding. Positive social interaction between children and staff is as much a part of the mealtime process as the nourishment from food. 

This is also a transition from lunch to nap time for some infants. Activities during this time include singing or reading books. We also change diapers and offer bottles as infants prepare for sleep. Infants are held and usually rocked as they drink. Infants also enjoy rides around the hallway, through the courtyard, or to the Multi-Purpose Room in our four-seat stroller. 

12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

As older infants nap during this part of the day, younger infants get a chance to explore a less-populated classroom and have more time for one-on-one interactions with the staff. We check and change diapers as needed. 

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Afternoon snack and diaper check and change. 

3:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Younger infants often nap for the second time at the end of the day. We offer older infants materials that enable them to further their exploration. They enjoy close one-on-one interactions with the staff. Depending on the weather, we may also take children on a stroller ride outside or in the hallway. 

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

As parents arrive for pick-up, we rejoin the two infant groups. At pick-up, we’ll share details about the day, including your child’s eating and sleeping schedule, as well as what activities they participated in. One of our priorities is ensuring that the transition from home to the CDLS and from the CDLS to home is as comfortable as possible.

Toddlers (ages 16 months to 33 months)

The toddler stage is an exciting period of tremendous growth and change. During this time, children gain mobility and language skills and start to develop a sense of independence. During this transitional period, toddlers experience naturally occurring conflict between the desire for autonomy and the need for adult care and support. Our staff works to provide consistent routines, reasonable boundaries, and adult guidance to support their developing skills and identity.

Daily Schedule

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Staff members greet children and parents in the foyer. Parents and teachers work together to make the transition from home to the Center as comfortable for the child as possible. We often establish rituals for each child to say good-bye to their parent(s), like saying good-bye at a certain window or reading a book with parents before they say good-bye. Staff then help children take part in an activity in the foyer like sensory play, reading books, or choosing a manipulative off the shelf.

8:35 – 9:25 a.m.

Breakfast and health checks. Older and younger toddler groups separate at this time and eat breakfast in their classrooms.

9 – 10:10 a.m.

Diapering, creative expression, self-directed learning, and small group activities. Teachers take children to the bathroom in small groups to be diapered, while other children are involved in various planned activities in the room with the rest of the teaching team (e.g. painting, play dough, music, shelf toys, and dramatic play).

10:10 – 11:24 a.m.

Outdoor time on toddler playground, walks, play at Van Cleve Park


Multi Purpose Room, large motor play

10:30 – 11:25 a.m.

Indoor time that involves a variety of activities, including use of the Bungalow Play Castle and Foyer, extension of free choice activities, and teacher-directed activities. Diaper changes just before lunch. 

11:25 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Lunch. Toddlers sit at low, toddler-sized tables and are served lunch family style. Children learn to eat independently, try new foods, stay at the table, drink from a cup, and bus dishes to a bucket at the end of the meal. Positive social interaction between children and staff is just as important to the mealtime process as is the nourishment provided by the food.

12 – 12:30 p.m.

Quiet play and preparation for napping; toileting as needed.

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

Naptime. Children sleep on low, toddler-sized cots. Staff play soft music and offer back rubs to children who want this done.

1:45 – 3 p.m.

Wake up, diapering/toileting and quiet play. We wake all children up between 3 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.

3 – 3:30 p.m.


4 – 4:45 p.m.

Depending on weather, outdoor play or play in the classrooms/foyer. Teachers plan an activity  like painting, sensory play, or music and movement. Diaper checks and toileting.

4:45 – 5:30 p.m.

Departure time. Both younger and older toddler groups merge in the foyer or outside. Children take part in self-directed learning and departure rituals.

Scheduling notes

  • Multi-purpose room and outdoor schedules may change from season to season.
  • Time is allowed for transitions between activities.
  • Times may vary slightly due to the toddlers’ needs.

Younger Pre-K (33 months to 45 months)

During this phase, children are working to master things such as language, motor development, toilet training, and getting dressed. While your toddler’s identity is being formed, we want to support them in developing a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Daily Schedule 

7:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Foyer play: Arriving children and parents wash hands, and then enter free play in the foyer. 

8:45 – 9:15 a.m.

Breakfast service: Children clean up from foyer play, wash hands, and have breakfast. Children bus their dishes and go to the bathroom. 

9:15 – 9:30 a.m.

Bathroom and quiet reading: All children have a bathroom try, wash their hands, and then choose a book or puzzle to do quietly before large group time. 

9:30 – 9:40 a.m.

Morning meeting: We gather as a large group, welcome each other, and discuss “the Menu of Activities”, curricular topics, and chores. The multi-purpose room is available to this bungalow from 9:30–9:50 a.m. In the case of rain/heat or poor air quality, we will use our multi-purpose room time after breakfast and conduct our morning meeting when we return to the classroom. 

9:40 – 10:45 a.m.

Free play in the classroom/foyer/play castle: Children are given the opportunity to engage in self-directed free play at our various learning centers or to engage in small group activities. This time allows children to learn and practice valuable social skills as well as many other skills. 

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.

Outdoor play (weather permitting) or continued indoor free play

11:30 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.

Transition indoors: Children change clothes if necessary, try to use the bathroom (optional), dump shoe sand, and wash hands. 

11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lunch: We stagger lunch to help organize the transition. First lunchers begin at 11:40 a.m.; second lunchers begin at 11:50 a.m. 

12:30 – 12:50 p.m.

Bathroom tries, hand washing, nap time stories in foyer 

12:50 – 3 p.m.

Rest time: MN Rule 3 Licensing requires children to rest on their cots for 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes your child is unable to fall asleep, they will be allowed to get up for quiet activities in the foyer. Sleeping children can stay on their cots until 3 p.m. As children wake up, they will have a bathroom try before heading to the foyer. 

3 – 3:15 p.m.

Large group gathering in the foyer: Children listen to stories or sing songs as classmates wake up and use the bathroom. 

3:15 – 3:35 p.m.

Snack, hand washing, and group time: As children finish snack, they transition to their carpet seats for books and puzzles. When everyone is finished with snack, teachers conduct a brief afternoon check-in. 

3:35 – 5:30 p.m.

Indoor and outdoor free play/pick-up

5:30 – 5:45 p.m.

CDLS closes at 5:30 p.m. No child or parent should be in the classrooms or building.

Older Pre-K (45 months to kindergarten)

During this phase, children are working to master things such as language, motor development, toilet training, and getting dressed. While your toddler’s identity is being formed, we want to support them in developing a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Daily Schedule

7:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Foyer play: Arriving children and parents wash hands, and then enter free play in the foyer. 

8:45 – 9:15 a.m.

Breakfast service: Children clean up from foyer play, wash hands, and have breakfast. Children bus their dishes, go to the bathroom, and transition to group time area. 

9:15 – 9:20 a.m.

Books/journal time: Children enjoy calm reading/journaling/conversation as others finish eating, bus, and join the group. 

9:20 – 9:30 a.m.

Morning check-in: We briefly discuss today’s calendar and our plans for the morning.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Morning free play: Children choose from materials and activities in all learning centers. The morning may include a teacher-directed small group activity. 

10:30 – 10:35 a.m.

Clean up and transition to large group time.

10:35 – 10:55 a.m.

Large group time: We gather for teacher-led songs, games, books, and discussion 

10:55 – 11:45 a.m./12:05 p.m.

Outdoor play: It’s important for children to exercise their large muscles and get fresh air, so we go out every day unless it is raining or the wind-chill is below zero. Children also learn important self-help skills like dressing and undressing for the outdoors. If weather does not permit us to go outdoors, large muscle activities are made available. 

11:45 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Lunch and transition to rest time: “First lunchers” begin about 11:45 a.m., “second lunchers” begin at 12:05 p.m. The groups alternate eating first each week. Bathroom tries occur after lunch. 

12:50 – 1:10 p.m.

Rest time: Staff read aloud from our current chapter book.

1:10 – 3 p.m.

Rest time and foyer play: Non-nappers come to the foyer at 1:40 p.m. for quiet play with books, art, puzzles, and small toys. At 2:15 p.m., eight children may use the multi-purpose room for active play. Bathroom tries as needed. 

3 – 3:10 p.m.

Transition reading: We gather in the foyer to read a brief selection from a fun chapter book, such as The Magic Treehouse Series. 

3:10 – 3:30 p.m.

Snack and quiet reading: Children enjoy afternoon snack, then choose a book for 5 minutes of solo reading. 

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Afternoon check-in: We briefly discuss this afternoon’s activities and plan.

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.

Afternoon free play, bathroom tries as needed.

4:45 – 5:30 p.m.

Outdoor play

5:30 – 5:45 p.m.

CDLS closes at 5:30 p.m. No child or parent should be in the classrooms or building.