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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>What Material Items Do I Need?
3kidzmama 10:46 AM 02-07-2011
I am planning to open a daycare center in June. I have found a couple of prospective buildings and have had them approved by the childcare licensing, now just to choose which one I want to work out of.
My question is about material items needed. I know I need small tables and chairs, and toys... educational material... but this is where I'm stumped. I know I need more but can't seem to compile a list.
I have so far:

educational material
changing table/pad

Not sure if I will accept infants or not, so not sure if I need cribs. If I do, can I use a pack and play instead, or must it be an actual crib?

Thanks in advance for any help!!

DCMomOf3 10:47 AM 02-07-2011
Welcome Tammy!
Little People 10:50 AM 02-07-2011
Welcome! You will find some great answers here!!
Michael 06:34 PM 02-07-2011
Welcome to the forum. I see you've gotten welcomes but not the information you requested. This forum is busier earlier in the day. I will push it up for tomorrow.
Michelle 06:51 PM 02-07-2011
cots, books, craft supplies , cubbies, outside equipment,big learning carpet,bulletin boards,have a banner made with your info to hang out front listing ages and hours etc., water table, easels, sign in and out sheets,
and as far as cribs go, I think licensing for centers really frown on pac n plays , they want to see those nice wooden ones ...not sure just check with your state, good luck and welcome
Abigail 07:13 PM 02-07-2011
I agree with Michelle, she has a nice list going for you. Cubbies is a big deal (don't forget!) which you need a place to store diapers and extra clothes, but also their personal belongings they bring daily like a jacket, back pack, or lunch pail. Do you currently do daycare or is this a whole new experience for you?

I like to see cribs also, in all the center's I've visited they all had cribs. They look so much nicer too. If you take infants, make sure you have infant toys that will last through chewing and slobber and slamming. LOL

Don't forget about the cleaning supplies! You'll definitely need that. How about a bathroom break chart to keep track of when each child took a bathroom break? It can hang on or near the door. Remember paper towels to drying hands and to have two separate sinks: one in the bathroom area and another in the kitchen area. The bathroom is a good place to store the diapers and extra clothing is you have your changing station in the bathroom as well...just depends on the size. Make sure to have step stools or child-sized toilets and sinks. Don't forget about safety measures also. The child locks on cupboards, outlet covers, latches on outside gates and interior door handles to prevent the kids from running wild throughout the building unsupervised.

Hmmm, How about a play kitchen area, a child sized table for the dramatic play and a basket for all the dress up clothes, hooks on the wall for the fireman hat, and a mirror to view one's self? Also adding a rug or placing the furniture strategically to section off parts of the rooms into centers. Create a nice reading zone with at least 2 books per child enrolled to give them lots of options. Hang realistic pictures of children on the wall so they can learn about others and also the traditional Abc's, 123's, colors, shapes and weather.

Besides keeping in mind what you have and need, look around at what these places offer you. Do you have ample light from outside? Is the light shining straight in between noon and 3 when naps normally take place? Many moods can be changed with some happy sunlight, I could use some now in our harsh winter! Do any of the places have tall or low ceilings? You don't want to feel cramped if it has a low ceiling. Do either of the places have great outdoor access and room to run? Are they located in a quiet and calm or loud and busy neighborhoods? Lots to look at. Make sure you have room for adult sized furniture too! Don't forget that, you'll be hurting if all you have to sit on is a 10 inch high chair or a toy shelf that you continually tell the kids to stay off of but it's for you to sit. LOL
jessrlee 07:18 PM 02-07-2011
IF I were you to START I would get:

Toys (blocks, play food, cars, dolls) Personally what I did was I went to several garage sales and bought that huge tub of toys they usually have marked at .10 to .25 each. I just offered up $5 and every time they took it. Half of the toys were junk but I got a ton of cars and little people that way!

Do your interviews with just a small tub of toys available in the living room by the couch. Tell the parents that you are just starting out, and you want to see what ages you enroll so your materials with def. work for the kiddos.

When I first started I did a hard sell on "I reinvest 20% of my income directly back into the daycare. Meaning your child will directly benefit from new toys, art supplies, and equipment" This got me a ton of clients! Cheerfully acknowledge that you don't have much equipment yet, BUT that you will soon.

You usually have a 1-2 week grace period before kiddos start. I always wait for the paperwork drop off to purchase new equipment if I need it. If worse comes to worse you can bungle through a week or so till you have everything you want.

The biggies are
1. anything you need for licensing. safety stuff, etc.
2. sleeping- you can get mats at discount school supply for $10. They are a nice quality. Cots are better and look more professional. Check with your licensing dept. on the PNP thing. Mine discourages it, but they are not outlawed yet.
3. Toys- start with the basics and build your stash. Garage sales are my best friend! I have a few big items that I bought full retail(Gigantic step 2 kitchen, train table, storage bin shelf, art supplies, tangrams, white boards), everything else is garage sale, or re purposed from my kiddos as they grow out of them.
4. then work your way into child sized equipment. tables and chairs (I got 3 sets at target for $35 each. they are card tables and chairs but a much nicer quality than I thought they would be)

Put the work out on freecycle, and to family and friends that you want their old baby equipment, toys etc. I got a ton of stuff that way!

Here is an album of my daycare pics:
jessrlee 07:21 PM 02-07-2011
Yup, totally just read your question, please ignore everything I just said...
Abigail 07:40 PM 02-07-2011
Jessrlee, I love how you did the "creativity" wall hanging above your child-sized tables. They have those tables at Fleet Farm too and they go on sale every once inawhile as well. You just gave me an idea to print off on colored construction paper big letters and cut them out in shapes and hang them up. LOL, thanks for sharing your pictures!
jessrlee 03:06 AM 02-08-2011
Abigail, I use my Cricut machine all the time for the daycare! Sometimes you can find them for around $50 for the small one.
3kidzmama 04:25 AM 02-08-2011
Thanks for the welcomes and great advice!! I am currently an elementary school teacher, and before I got my degree I worked as a daycare teacher in a local center. I have always wanted to do this and I'm finally taking the plunge!!!
Abigail 04:27 AM 02-08-2011
Originally Posted by jessrlee:
Abigail, I use my Cricut machine all the time for the daycare! Sometimes you can find them for around $50 for the small one.
I don't know anything about Cricut machines. I use to work at a hobby store so I should since we sold them! LOL. Anything I buy has to be multi-purpose and functional. I probably wouldn't use it too much so I resort to printing and cutting by hand. I did some stuff today and it worked well! I was thinking about printing out letters in a large font on construction paper and then tracing a triangle and cutting them out and stringing them together. That is my frugal alternative. It *should work.
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