...but stays up until very late, and parents are dropping with tiredness.
Here's the suggestions I sent to the TCS list
1. It might work to have a bed/mattress in the room where all the fun stuff happens and then when child is sleepy they can just go and lie down without having to leave toys/DVDs etc
2. Having a bed in the activity room also makes it possible for a parent to doze on the bed while child plays.
3. Have low-key activities for 2-year old for late evening where parent can read and book or otherwise relax. For that age, maybe some of those Brainy Baby or Baby Einstein type DVDs with images and music but not narrative (or is it just me who goes into a zoned out trance watching them...? ;-) )
4. Does child still nap during the day? If so, perhaps try parent sleeping at the same time, or else changing activities so child doesn't think of having a nap every so often, then they'll be ready to sleep earlier at night.
5. Make sure child isn't hungry or thirsty. They might also need to defecate, and having a snack will help that happen, and then they won't have a gripy tummy and it'll be easier to sleep.
6. Some children like to be carried in a sling till they fall asleep. For a 2-year old I'd recommend a mei-tei type sling rather than a ring sling. Parent can gently move around the house sorting laundry and loading dishwasher and child is rocked but seeing interesting things - some people sometimes like to fall asleep like that, with activity going on around them.
7. Definitely send one parent to bed in another room so they'll be ready to do the early shift and the other parent can have more sleep in the morning