High Quality Child Care - What is a Mixed-Aged Group?
Licensed family child care homes and family, friend, and neighbor caregivers can provide care for children of different ages together in a group. This is called a mixed-age group. Children build a sense of community that includes interactions with other children at various stages of development, with different interests and skills. Children can develop their self-esteem, and learn empathy and patience, while helping and learning from others. This type of child care environment is an option if families are looking for a child care setting where siblings stay together during the day.
What to look for in a high quality program for mixed age groups:
• Enough space so each age group has room to play
• Effective barriers to separate babies from rough and tumble play
• Different types of activities to meet the needs of each age group
• Inclusion of infants or toddlers in the group whenever possible.
• Caregivers who engage the children in open-ended activities like blocks that are interesting and appropriate for a variety of ages.
Explore our High Quality Child Care Guide and other publications at https://wp.childaction.org/bookletshandoutsparents/