So you want to start a home daycare, do you? That’s fantastic! There are a lot of perks to working from home as a daycare provider. There are a few items I definitely recommend picking up to have on hand before you start to make your first day on the job a little easier! Read on for more details before you start daycare.
(This post contains affiliate links. All of these items I personally own and recommend!)
The Complete List of What You Need to Start a Daycare
I already did a post about the Top 10 Most Played With Daycare Toys. Unless you have an infant, the toys on that list should definitely work well for entertaining your daycare kids to begin with.
If you do have an infant, you need to read this post.
After some time and profit, you’ll probably ending up splurging on the kids you have come to love and buying them more and more fun things to play with!
Kid plates, silverware, and cups. As I mentioned in my How to Make Practical Meal Plans for Your Daycare post, I love these plates! They are by far my favorite because they stack nicely and clean up wonderfully and are indestructible. I also use the bowls and silverware.
Take & Toss cups are my go-to for cups. Yeah, I know some providers don’t like them because kids learn to pop the lids off. But my kids have never given me trouble with the lids. The big kids have to keep their cups in the kitchen. Young kids get lids and I rarely have any accidents with them.
They’re cheap, they get the job done, and they can go in the dishwasher. Plus, each kid has their own color so their cups don’t get mixed up.
For my nap time secrets, read my post Why Your Kids Need to Nap – And How to Get Them To Do It.
But my must-haves for nap time are Kindermats, (they bring their own blankets and pillows to leave at my house),
and a lullaby CD. The one I use is apparently discontinued, but this one is similar and from the same brand.
I definitely recommend getting an instrumental one because the vocals drive me nuts to hear them over and over again! Remember, for a 2 hour nap time, you’ll probably have to put the disc on repeat. And you’ll use it every. single. day. Which really helps the kids relax and sleep and get into a nap routine, but I just can’t do vocal lullabies that long. Ha!
Obviously, you’ll need materials for cleaning up messes. If you’re working from home, I’m sure you already have the tools you’ll need. Just make sure not to use harsh chemicals. Here’s a post about what I use to clean my home daycare.
Furniture You Need to Start Daycare
Table and Chairs
So, you don’t have to have a kid sized table and chair set to start off. For instance, I used my regular dining room table for years for my daycare kids until I moved to a house with more space for a kid table.
But you will need booster seats or high chairs with that option. And I always use these ones:
They’re affordable, durable, and easy to clean.
When I moved to this new house, I suddenly had a room just for daycare! So I got this table. It’s nice because you can adjust the height! So when we have a family gathering or my mom borrows it for a craft show, it can be regular table height.
And I bought these chairs. They have held up for years and they’re light enough the kids can move them on their own when they use them for play. Plus, I have not had any issues with them because of their folding action.
If you have an infant, you’ll need a high chair before they can use a booster seat. I have an older version of this one.
You can use it at your regular table by strapping it to a chair, or place it on the floor beside a small table. Mine actually sits in the kitchen on the floor so that my infant can chow on some puffs to keep him satisfied while I cook lunch.
If you are limited on space or money, you can skip buying a changing table.
But you do need a changing pad for sanitary reasons. Yeah, yeah, you changed your own kids on the floor or couch or bed or whatever and it was fine. Your licensor isn’t going to go for that.
Also, I’m a fan of the diaper genie. Now, I know some people don’t like that you have to keep buying refill bags. So you can use regular trash bags with it if you want. But it’s important for sanitary reasons to have a hands free trash can for your diapers.
You don’t have to have a kid sized sofa or glide rocker before you start daycare. For example, I’ve used a hand-me-down rocking chair for years and may just order my ideal glide rocker when I get my grant this year! But any adult sized chair will do.
For the kids, you can just get a bean bag or a throw rug and pillows. Just make sure they have somewhere cozy to take a break.
Here’s a list of some stupid paperwork things I’ve come up with, but that you really do need to start daycare as a business.
Clipboard – for parents to sign their children in and out
File box – trust me, you’ll have papers to file
Bins and Boxes – stock up for toy storage, and give each kid their own bin for spare clothes, toys, and blankets for nap time
Printer and computer – if you want to do any printables with your kids you’ll need this! At the minimum, you’ll need to print a contract for your daycare parents and will need a computer and printer for that!
As far as the documents you need to start daycare, there’s a lot!
Here’s some FREE ones you can download from my blog:
- Free Daycare Contract
- Free Boo-Boo Report
- Free Schedule Template
- Free Income and Expense Workbook
- Free Parent Receipt for Taxes
- Free Meal Plan Template
- How to Make a Handbook
Child proofing your home before you start daycare is another post in itself, so I’m not going to cover it here. Stay tuned!
What Else Do You Need to Start Daycare?
Did I forget to mention something you’re wondering about? Comment below or email me and I’ll be happy to let you know what I have learned from my experience!