Whether you’re a small in-home daycare or a big center with multiple locations, one thing’s for sure: You need a lot of supplies to make it through the day! From diapers to toys to the all-important hand sanitizer, here’s our list of must-have daycare supplies for your center. But be sure to check your state’s legal requirements for your center type and size, so that you are compliant with the regulations in your area. And also check out the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s program standards.
Keeping your kiddos safe is your top priority. You’ll need first aid kits, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, an emergency preparedness kit, and an emergency plan, among other things. Be sure to check with your local government on guidelines, so you can be sure you meet all of the legal requirements.
You love your little ones for sure, but let’s face it: They are messy germ factories! You’ll need cleaning supplies, bathroom supplies, hand sanitizer, and a plan for regularly sanitizing both toys and furniture. Some toys/areas will be cleaned daily, but others only need to be cleaned once a month or as needed. Again, check your state’s guidelines so you can be sure you’re compliant with any regulations.
Depending on your age group(s), you’ll need appropriately-sized furniture for both play, feeding, and sleeping areas. You’ll need tables and chairs for older kiddos, and highchairs or boosters for the little ones. Nap mats or cribs are essential, of course, as are step stools for the bathroom. For your play area you’ll need shelves or a storage system to hold your materials.
Gotta keep them entertained! You’ll want to offer a range of age-appropriate and safe toys that can be easily cleaned. Pick a variety of gross/fine motor activities and cooperative play toys such as blocks. Most centers also have a dramatic play area, and a reading nook/library. You’ll need age-appropriate educational materials, as well as craft and art supplies for projects. If you have an outdoor area, you’ll need some outdoor play equipment such as a sandbox or water table, and riding toys are always a big hit.
As the owner of a daycare center, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of administrative tasks you’ll be juggling. From tracking attendance to billing your families, you’ll want to put some smart systems in place to keep things running smoothly. Enter brightwheel, an easy-to-use, totally free mobile software app that will help you manage your daycare and stay in touch with families. You’ll use it for recording and tracking daily events and activities like naps, bottles, and diaper changes, and parents get real-time updates delivered to their mobile device throughout the day. This powerful app also offers secure, digital check-in/check-out, and an automated paperless billing system. This is a great way to keep your families looped in on daily activities. This tool will keep your parents happy and simplify your management tasks.