The Complete Daycare Supplies Checklist
1. Safety Items
While there are certainly daycare supplies that you can buy over time, safety items need to be in your classroom from day one. Keeping kids safe while under your care is your top priority and in order to do so effectively, safety items should be easily accessible.
A good place to start is a first aid kit which includes bandages, first-aid cream, disposable gloves, scissors, tweezers, gauze, and shields for CPR breathing. It’s also a good idea to have a first-aid reference book as well.
You’ll also want a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and a fire extinguisher in the case of a fire. When it comes to safety, it’s always better to be over supplied than under, so keep safety supplies top of mind as you develop your supplies budget.
2. Sleeping Supplies
Most little ones still need to nap when they go off to daycare and as a childcare provider you want to make everyone feels comfortable and relaxed. Often, this is the first a child has done nap time in a place other than home, and some will feel anxious. For infants and toddlers, you’ll want to get cribs, and for older children, either mats or cots. Don’t forget quilts and blankets or ask parents to provide them.
Your daycare center will need appropriate-sized furniture to accommodate the little ones who use the play, feeding, and sleep areas. Start with kid-sized tables and chairs for the snack and lunch area as well as for arts and crafts. Stools are also a good idea for the bathroom and the washing hands station.
You’ll also want to think about shelving and storage. Where will you store all of the toys and the extra clothes, diapers, and items children bring? Having an organized daycare center sets everyone up for success so definitely think through your furniture options.
Every great daycare is equipped with age-appropriate and educational toys. Not only do toys and small group activities keep children entertained throughout the day, but they help with developing important social and mental skills which they will carry to kindergarten.
Start with old favorites like blocks, puzzles, and dress up blocks. Arts and crafts supplies will help children explore their creativity and self-expression. And don’t forget about classic board games – Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders never goes out of style.
5. Cleaning Supplies
We love our job, but let’s face it, children sure know how to spread germs. If you are going to run a daycare center an abundance of cleaning supplies is a must. While some toys and areas will need to be cleaned daily, other areas can be cleaned monthly or as needed.
Include wipes, hand sanitizer, carpet cleaner and a vacuum on your list as a start and go from there. When cleaning is a top priority, parents feel better about dropping their children off at the center, there are less illnesses, and attendance improves.
6. Daycare Technology
Technology has trickled its way into almost every facet of life, and your daycare center should be no different. If you want to get a leg up and provide your staff with the tools to succeed, consider automating administrative tasks and implementing record keeping software.
Administrative tasks that were once long and tedious can be considerably cut down with digital payment processing. Young parents on the go can make payments at any time on any device and it also relieves some of the financial stress that comes with running a daycare center. That means less time crunching numbers and more time spent where it matters – the kids.
Go one step further with an activity management software. With a platform that streamline your activities you can schedule play sessions, print out necessary materials, and assign instructors to specific tasks and activities. With everything easily organized and digitized you can feel confident that your activities will be executed according to plan.
Whether you are just starting out with managing a daycare center or it’s your tenth year on the job, we want to thank you for all that you do. Managing a daycare center is no easy task and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by the amount of supplies on your checklist each year. Know that you don’t need to get everything at once.
Depending on your budget, start with the essentials like safety items and cleaning supplies and go from there. And remember – what makes a great daycare is not the expensive toys that fill it, but the teachers and staff at the heart of it.
Learn more about Procare’s daycare solutions, and how they can improve your child care center.