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  #1  
Old 01-05-2011, 08:09 AM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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Default Daycare Space Decisions--A Bit Long

I live in a bi-level home. The upstairs is where 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, kitchen, living room are. I currently do daycare upstairs, with one bedroom being the naproom and the living room is the playroom. The only "grown-up" furniture in my playroom is one rocking chair.

The lower level of my house is the laundry/utility room, one bedroom, half bath, and a large family room area that is twice the size of the upstairs living room.

I am strongly, strongly, STRONGLY considering rearranging my home to give the downstairs over to daycare. The extra play space is really intriguing, and the ability to cordon off an area for the babies (my own due in 4 months, one mom just told me she's pg and another is trying) and maybe even space for the youngest toddlers and space for the older kiddos.

The stuff that's down there now (couch, TV, computer, mainly) would come up to the living room. I would still feed them in the kitchen, so we'd be coming up to the living room for a time each day so I could fix lunch. I'd probably put on a DVD or something at that time. The naproom could either stay where it is or move to the downstairs bedroom. The half-bath has space where I could eventually put one of those wall-mounted commercial changing tables. There's even a little built-in refrigerator (the old owners had a bar set-up) where I could keep bottles so i don't have to run upstairs every time a baby needs fed.

My biggest concern is the lack of adult furniture that would be downstairs. I do NOT have money right now to get a second couch, or much of anything, for that matter. It would probably just be this same rocking chair I'm sitting in atm. Maybe a desk and a desk chair. Would this be weird at all? Would the lack of adult furniture bother anyone?

I really want to switch the daycare, for more space, more room to section off littles/bigs, more room to DO stuff. But I worry about the whole having only one grown-up sized thing...now that I write this it sounds really stupid.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:17 AM
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From the sounds of it, you only have the one piece of grown up furniture now in your daycare space, so that wouldn't really be any different if you moved downstairs would it? I do daycare out of a tri-level home. We used to do daycare in the downstairs family room, but I found that I actually spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. So we were constantly coming upstairs. We have since rearranged our home and turned the downstairs family room into our master bedroom and I pretty much do daycare solely on the main level. If you don't really use the downstairs much for your family, it might be a nice switch. If your family stuff was on the upper level, once daycare was done for the day, you wouldn't have all the daycare stuff around if it was on the lower level, big bonus. So, I don't think the furniture is an issue, but you may want to consider how much time you spend prepping and cleaning up meals before you make your final decision.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:25 AM
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Prepping is usually done within a half hour--I usually head into the kitchen at noon and serve lunch somewhere between then and 12:30. Nap is immediately after that, and clean up often gets saved until after they go home in the afternoon. The downstairs would still be used after daycare hours (probably) as most of the toys would be down there and my own DD would want to play. But it would certainly split up work/home a little more.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:37 AM
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if you have a built in fridge already, i would put in a small counter nearby with a microwave, hot plate, or toaster oven. all you would need is a kitchen sink, and you'd be all set. boy, if i had the chance to move everything to a downstairs, i would do it in a heartbeat!!!!! (i dont have a downstairs)you can come upstairs at night and be away from the job. personally though, i wouldnt want to go back and forth throughout the day from upstairs to downstairs. i would put everything i need down there. and btw, i only have one adult seat in my DC area.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:46 AM
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first, I have no adult furniture in my daycare space, unless you count the stool from ikea. I use to live in a bi level house and had the downstairs as my daycare area. The only thing I would suggest is that you make a kitchen downstairs (someone mentioned it) because I found it to be a pita to drag the kids upstairs and then they would run all over the upstairs.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:47 AM
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I like having no furniture for them to wipe their snot on jump off of they can sit on the floor or I have small chairs in my basement for them. I love having my set up downstairs its out of the way and on weekends I don't have to look at the stuff. I do use upstairs for when we eat and my family room in the mornings when everyone is arriving and when they all leave in the pm but other than that we spend time down in the basement they all nap down there as well
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
I live in a bi-level home. The upstairs is where 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, kitchen, living room are. I currently do daycare upstairs, with one bedroom being the naproom and the living room is the playroom. The only "grown-up" furniture in my playroom is one rocking chair.

The lower level of my house is the laundry/utility room, one bedroom, half bath, and a large family room area that is twice the size of the upstairs living room.

I am strongly, strongly, STRONGLY considering rearranging my home to give the downstairs over to daycare. The extra play space is really intriguing, and the ability to cordon off an area for the babies (my own due in 4 months, one mom just told me she's pg and another is trying) and maybe even space for the youngest toddlers and space for the older kiddos.

The stuff that's down there now (couch, TV, computer, mainly) would come up to the living room. I would still feed them in the kitchen, so we'd be coming up to the living room for a time each day so I could fix lunch. I'd probably put on a DVD or something at that time. The naproom could either stay where it is or move to the downstairs bedroom. The half-bath has space where I could eventually put one of those wall-mounted commercial changing tables. There's even a little built-in refrigerator (the old owners had a bar set-up) where I could keep bottles so i don't have to run upstairs every time a baby needs fed.

My biggest concern is the lack of adult furniture that would be downstairs. I do NOT have money right now to get a second couch, or much of anything, for that matter. It would probably just be this same rocking chair I'm sitting in atm. Maybe a desk and a desk chair. Would this be weird at all? Would the lack of adult furniture bother anyone?

I really want to switch the daycare, for more space, more room to section off littles/bigs, more room to DO stuff. But I worry about the whole having only one grown-up sized thing...now that I write this it sounds really stupid.
My house is set up with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on one side of my house and I use both bedrooms for my daycare rooms. I have NO furniture in either room. I have a sturdy bigger child size wooden chair that I use to sit in at the tables with the children.
But I see what you are talking about. I know money is tight for you, so have you thought about your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. There are 4 of them close to me and they get some really nice furniture in all 4 stores at really reasonable prices. Maybey you could find a really cute loveseat and maybe a small couple of side tables.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:17 AM
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Do it!

The only 'adult sized' furniture that I have in my dc area is my desk and chair and the dining room table and benches. Everything else is kid sized.

I started my daycare in a split entry; after about a year we quickly finished the basement and moved all the daycare stuff downstairs. I had two bedrooms, a 3/4 bath, the laundry room and a family room that had a bar-type area that I used as a kitchen area. We still ate meals in the kitchen/dining upstairs, but snacks were eaten in the daycare area.

I know that it will be alot of work to move things around, but I don't think that you will regret it. Certainly don't let the lack of adult sized furniture bother stop you.

Good Luck!
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2011, 11:15 AM
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I did kind of the opposite thing. We have a HUGE basement/living room area (picture a large L shape) that I was using for daycare when both my daughter and my daycare boy were infants. The big part of the area was their play area with all their toys and my desk. We just had one couch and TV in the smaller part of the area. They both napped in my daughter's room down the hall.

Once they started crawling, I found it incredibly hard to come up with a proper gating solution to keep them where I wanted them to play without having to add tons of gates to the downstairs...it's an awkward shape. Also, I had to carry 2 babies upstairs every time I was going to feed them and back downstairs and upstairs for naps twice a day. Not impossible, but definitely annoying.

We have a nice large room right off the kitchen upstairs that was our "den/tv room". We since moved all of the furniture out of that to the downstairs and now have a big rec room/tv room downstairs. The old den is now the playroom with an easy gate at the doorway. It has been so much better to have them right off the kitchen. I turned one of the upstairs bedrooms (my step son's) into nap room during the week. Now, I never have to go downstairs during daycare times and at the end of the day, that is where we relax. It's great because I don't feel like I'm still at work at the end of the night. My daughter has her some of her toys downstairs that she doesn't have access to during the day, so it's special for her at the end of the day, too.

With that said, now that my kids are both walking, I could do daycare downstairs pretty easily. But I'm not changing it around again!

The only thing I would consider heavily is how much it means to you, currently, having the kitchen on the same level as the kids. That has been the biggest benefit to me in switching my areas around is having the kitchen on the same level as where the kids. Kids are eating? Great, I can do a load of dishes. One kid is done eating and the other isn't? Doesn't matter because I can let the other one finish eating and the other one can go play. I couldn't do this if I still had my playroom downstairs and we had to go upstairs for meals.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:25 AM
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My daycare is entirely downstairs, and I love it. I love that, if you were to walk into my house, you would have no idea that I had a daycare in my home! I am also fortunate enough to have a door between the lower level and the main level, so I just shut the door and I'm away from work. My kids have toys in their rooms and a few things in a cupboard in the family room (upstairs), and they don't even ask to go downstairs during non-daycare hours. The one pain is the kitchen, but I usually make meals in the morning before the kids come and just close the gate and run upstairs to quickly heat something up, etc. We have a small room (was an office prior) downstairs with tile floor and I have a kid size table and chairs/highchairs in there, which is where I feed the kids. I also have a fridge in there. In the main daycare room area I have a kitchen sink with a small counter. I do dishes there. I keep plates, cups, silverware, etc. downstairs. I just bring the food down and feed them downstairs, wash the dishes downstairs, and keep everything in a cupboard/drawers. It's a great set up! Oh, and by the way, I only have one adult size rocking chair down there, too.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:24 AM
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Thank you everyone!

I have decided that I am definitely moving daycare downstairs, and the sooner, the better, lol. It solves so many problems so neatly...I'm excited! It means my house is going to be in "transition chaos" for awhile while we get things switched and situated, but I am so fed up with the current set-up that I can't imagine doing even one more week with things the way they are atm. Such a big gap has formed between my "bigs" (2, 2.5, 3) and my "littles" (14 mo, 14 mo, and 20 mo) that I can't have them all playing together right now...not without lots of arguing and yelling anyway.

Having the littles in a separate space will give me the ability to have crafts and activities out for the bigs that I don't want the littles into (sensory box with rice/water/sand, playdough, even just crayons/scissors/glue) and the toys for the littles separate from the bigs, so that the littles are better able to play without big kid interference!

I love some of the suggestions (that I can't implement yet, but will work/save toward) like putting in a kitchen sink and a counter with microwave. I already have a nice big 8-seater picnic table.

Even though the downstairs won't be off-limits during non-daycare hours since it will have the majority of the toys in the house, it will be nice to have it separate. omg, I can't wait!
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:06 AM
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be sure to post pics!!!!!!!
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