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Tips for Planning a Preschool Calendar for the Entire School Year

Develop a preschool calendar that your staff and families can reference throughout the year to stay organized.

Tips for Planning a Preschool Calendar for the Entire School Year

Tips on Planning a Preschool Calendar for the Entire School Year

Calendars are essential tools for your preschool to operate. To be the most effective, you might have different calendars for different needs. For example, you might create an internal calendar that your teachers use for curriculum and lesson planning, and another calendar with important events and activities that you share with staff and families. 

In this article, we focus on how to create a detailed preschool calendar that your staff and families can use to reference important dates and events at your childcare program, such as staff training days, holiday closures, or back-to-school events. We also include the relevant activities you can consider at different times of the year in order to keep your staff and families prepared. 

Download our free calendar template for early education programs for more  activity ideas!

Young boy uses a blue marker to write on a white board, while his male teacher crouches beside him to observe.


How to make a calendar for preschool

As you create a preschool calendar, focus on what information your families and staff may want or need to know. Families need important information about school closings, holidays, relevant deadlines, enrollment periods, and anything that impacts their children’s care at your facility. You and your staff need information on administrative and business-related events, such as license renewals, taxes, training or professional development activities, or planned vacations. 

Utilize a tool like brightwheel's scheduling feature to create calendars and organize the year’s schedule. There are options for how to set things up in a way that works for your program. You may decide to make one calendar that includes everything, or split them up into different ones for each audience. If you make separate ones for families and staff, make sure they have 24/7 access to an online version and print a physical one to post inside the school. In addition, you can make copies of the physical version for them to take home. 

You can also make a physical calendar for your classroom that is fun for your children to interact with. Use poster board, stickers, cut-out letters, and other craft materials to create a large visual for each month. Post it in three-month sets so your class can see the previous month, current month, and next month. Consider making it interactive, so your children can cross off days as they pass and use stickers or pins to signify special events like their classmates’ birthdays or holidays.

Try to schedule at least one “school improvement day” for you and your staff during each period of the year. It’s important to stop and take the time to let you and your staff regroup or realign on things like childcare philosophies, operational routines, and updates from families. And for families, also consider adding major events that are happening at other schools, such as graduation days or spring break. 

Use the actionable tips below to create a preschool calendar:

Schedule a planning session

Planning helps you stay organized and on track. Dedicate time to planning the year, noting important dates and events like the beginning of the school year, end of the school year, holiday breaks, birthdays, field trips, and national holidays. At this time you can also plan out monthly themes for your classroom like an animal theme in September and a gratitude theme in November.

Make time for community events each month

Plan for fun community events to promote family engagement each month. Examples include family dinner nights, cultural days, game nights, special holiday celebrations like Earth Day, or ice cream socials. You can also incorporate family volunteer opportunities like inviting family members to read aloud to children during story time or assist in a craft activity. 

Involve your staff and families

Get your staff and families to contribute ideas to your calendar. Involving them creates a sense of community and provides a supportive learning experience for the children. For example, when families are involved, their engagement and communication increase. This way you can plan family-related activities on days that most families are typically available.

Create a digital and physical version

Digital calendars are easily accessible, especially for busy families and those that travel for work. You can add or remove events easily and set up reminders. Physical calendars offer quick visual reminders on a desk or wall and come without distractions associated with electronic devices. Creating both digital and physical versions allows staff and families to use what’s most convenient for them.

Customize with colors and pictures

Customize your calendar with pictures, colors, and different fonts to make it attractive and engaging. For example, use blue font to mark national holidays and purple to mark special events. You can also add each child’s photograph to mark their birthday.

Teacher sits at a table with three children, helping them put colorful shapes into a wooden puzzle.


July/August/September preschool calendar

The summer tends to be a very active time for children. There are normally a lot of community events for them to attend, their older siblings may be out of school, and families may take more extended vacations. So, keep the calendar for these months fairly flexible and open since this can be a slower time. Utilize some of the downtime to focus on the business aspect of your preschool. Include all the usual holidays and local happenings and schedule things like software updates, staff training, and deep cleaning days. 

Remember for these months that families will be closing out the summer and preparing for the fall, so this is the time for you to do the same. In August, consider holding an all staff meeting and training session to prepare for the upcoming school year. Invite families to your center and host an orientation day to welcome new families prior to the first day of school. September is the perfect time for a back-to-school night event where you can give families a glimpse into your program and what children will learn during the school year. 

Sample calendar


  • Independence Day (holiday and center closure)
  • Summer session starts
  • Family ice cream social (community event)
  • Deep cleaning day
  • New staff orientation


  • All staff meeting and training
  • New family orientation day
  • Welcome picnic (community event)
  • First day of school


  • Labor Day (holiday and center closure)
  • Back-to-school night event
  • Family game night (community event)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month starts

October/November/December preschool calendar

These months bring the holiday season which is often a hectic season for schools and families, so this part of the calendar is especially important. Include all the major holidays and any school closures, plus the end of Daylight Savings Time in November. For your preschool business, consider what you have to wrap up for the end of the year. This means scheduling tax prep days for filing receipts, starting W-2 and 1099 forms, and updating expense records. 

Be sure to identify what day is considered the end of the fiscal year for your preschool, even if it aligns with the end of the calendar year. Set aside some time to compare the proposed budget for the year with the actual spending, and then use that information to develop a budget for the next year. As you develop this part of the calendar, focus on end-of-the-year and start-of-the-year business tasks and anything associated with the holiday season. 

Sample calendar


  • Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Staff professional development day
  • Tax preparation
  • Halloween celebration 
  • Fall festival (community event)


  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving (holiday and center closure)
  • Native American Heritage Month
  • Daylight saving time ends
  • Family-teacher conferences
  • Family community service day (community event)


  • Winter holiday (center closure)
  • New Year's Eve (holiday and center closure)
  • Family winter festival (community event)
  • Budget preparation and fiscal year end

January/February/March preschool calendar

Put New Year’s Day on your calendar and the first day of spring at the end of March. If your preschool has a spring break in March, also add those dates. Note Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President’s Day as major holidays. And don’t forget about the start of Daylight Savings Time in March. In these slower months after the holidays but before summer, you may want to plan a fundraiser for your preschool to get a head start on preparing for the next fall. 

During this time of year, tax season is in full swing. Consider all of the necessary tasks and deadlines and add them to the calendar to stay on track. The new year is also a great time to schedule performance evaluations for your staff and another deep cleaning of your facility. Having events or tasks that focus on improving your preschool can help set a great tone for the year. 

Sample calendar


  • New Year's Day (holiday and center closure)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (holiday and center closure)
  • Fundraiser planning
  • Family sing-along (community event)
  • Staff performance evaluations


  • Presidents' Day (holiday and center closure)
  • Black History Month
  • Staff professional development
  • Tax preparation
  • Friendship event (community event)
  • Deep cleaning day


  • Women's History Month
  • Spring break (center closure)
  • Daylight saving time begins
  • Spring fundraiser
  • Family dinner event (community event)

April/May/June preschool calendar

These springtime months are often very busy as you approach the end of the regular school year. So, as you’re drafting information for this part of the calendar, think about anything you need to do to close out the year and prepare for the next. This means more than just the usual holidays like Memorial Day, spring break holidays, and Juneteenth, but include those dates as well. Plan out potential end-of-the-year field trips, graduation events, or class parties. Also, include important business-related deadlines like tax day in April. 

Prepping for the next school year means setting up your childcare business for success. Sometime after the last day of class for your children, schedule follow-up meetings with families and plan a professional development day for you and your staff to reflect and discuss improvements for the next period. Also, many families may utilize summer camps and just be looking to connect with a preschool for the fall, so you could schedule a preschool open house and invest in marketing to continue growing your business.

If your preschool continues operation through the summer, plan some end-of-the-year activities since some of your children may not be returning. Take a few staff-only days to prepare for the summer and search for local community events you can add to your calendar. 

Sample calendar


  • Earth Day celebration (community event)
  • Family-teacher conferences
  • Staff professional development day
  • Tax day


  • Memorial Day (holiday and school closure)
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  • Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Open house event
  • Family day (more inclusive option to Mother's Day)


  • Juneteenth (holiday and school closure)
  • Pride Month celebration (community event)
  • Graduation
  • Family day (more inclusive option to Father's Day)
  • Last day of school

Use your preschool calendar as a resource

The preschool calendar you create is an important tool for efficiently operating your childcare business. It’s there to serve as an outline of the year that you, your staff, children, and families can all follow. Developing a calendar is an opportunity to intentionally set time for improving your preschool to provide the best possible care.

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