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Mom and baby playing

Learn More About Exchanging Information about Child and Family Routines

Exchange Information about Child and Family Routines 

What are Routines? Why are they Important? 


Routines are what children and families do throughout the day and are the times and places infants and toddlers practice and learn new skills. Routines are unique to each family and child. As part of exchanging information about child and family routines, service coordinators and providers share information with families about why routines are so meaningful for young children and how they offer repeated learning opportunities. 


On the Florida IFSP, example routines are organized by what happens each day during the morning (for example, get dressed, eat breakfast), throughout the day (for example, outdoor play, nap), and evening (for example, bath, brush teeth). Routines can also be thought of as types of activities that happen throughout the day, such as caregiving, play and learning, chores and community outings, or transitions (Check out the Routines Video). Child and family routines, such as mealtime or diapering, often happen multiple times per day. The things children and families do during these routines offer repeated opportunities for children to practice and learn skills.

Here are some examples of routine categories:


Family shopping with activity list
Child swinging with activity list
Baby eating with activity list
Child playing with activity list

In addition to providing repeated opportunities for infants and toddlers to practice new skills, routines and the things that children and families do in them are also the times and places for learning because they are  

  • Predictable (i.e., children and caregivers generally know what will happen, what activities are part of their routines, and who is with the child during the routine) 

  • Functional and logical (i.e., routines are where children use the skills they are learning, and families do routines as part of their everyday lives) 

  • Adaptable (i.e., caregivers can change them to include opportunities to practice child skills based on their priorities and preferences). 


Linking Information about Routines with FL-EPIC 


"Embedded intervention" is the term used to describe caregivers' use of strategies to help their child practice skills or learn new skills during everyday routines. Collaborative conversations with families about their regular routines and what they and their child do in them as part of the IFSP help families begin to think about the connection between what skills they want their child to learn and in which routines they want the child to practice. To help caregivers think about and share their routines, service coordinators may ask questions such as: 

  • What are some things you do in the morning to get ready for the day? 

  • What things do you and your child regularly do together throughout the day? 

  • What activities does your family like to do together in the community? 

  • What happens in the evenings to help everyone get ready for bed? 


Providers use caregiver coaching practices from Florida Embedded Practices and Intervention with Caregivers (FL-EPIC) to enhance the confidence and competence of caregivers to embed intervention during caregiver-identified child and family routines and support their child's learning. 


Exchanging information with families about their everyday routines also helps inform the development of child and family IFSP outcomes, 3- and 6-month progress indicators, priority skills that caregivers will embed during routines, and embedded strategies that providers will coach caregivers to use. Information about routines also helps providers as they meet with caregivers to identify "WHEN/WHERE/WHO" in the FL-EPIC 5 Question (5Q) Framework. Service coordinators and providers continue to exchange information with caregivers about their preferred routines for embedding strategies that support the child to practice or learn skills throughout the child’s and family's participation in Early Steps. These information exchanges help identify new or different routines, skills, and embedded strategies as priorities or preferences change. 

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