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Your home daycare setup is the key to success. The environment is a huge part of behavior with kids. Find inspiration and examples here for running a home daycare in your home.
Do you wonder how the best way to set up your daycare space is? Or are you wondering how to start your own home daycare? And check out the home daycare regulations that everyone needs to start with here.
Click here for tips for daycare providers.
Daycare room setup ideas
There could be hundreds of variations that would work great and inspire daycare in the space you have. You just have to be creative in how you set it up. People are always asking me to see my daycare spaces, so I thought I would do a blog post about it and share mine.
I also asked a bunch of home daycare provider friends to share links to pictures of their spaces that inspire daycare so you can check them out as well. There are a ton of great ideas in here!
When I first started daycare in my home 25 years ago, I thought I needed every cool toy and gadget. I spent all my time and money trying to get the best toys and everything else. Over time I have realized, less is more.
I have a super tiny house and storing a ton of extra stuff is not feasible in here. When I put out a ton of toys for the kids, they actually just throw them all around and act up. When I just keep out a few things, they are creative and get along well.
And check out these room and playground ideas too.
It’s important to present them with “new” things, so I packed all of my toys that were in sets into big plastic totes and put them up on these shelves. Every week, whoever is chosen as the “star of the day” on Monday gets to choose the “special toy” for the week. I set the tote out and the kids can use it each day to inspire daycare play. Then on Friday, we put it up and the next Monday a different star chooses a different “special toy”. It works really well for us.
I pared down some of the clutter and kept things that were more meaningful in play for the kids. Dress up clothes, playhouses, dishes and food for the kitchen and other basic toys are mostly what we have.
We have blocks, dolls, a tool bench, trucks and cars, and of course superhero costumes. I buy a few new things a year to replace what breaks over time and my kids are super de duper de happy playing here. We providers inspire daycare play in so many ways, environment is just one of them.
Little Sprouts home daycare space layout
Our potty area is in my bedroom. Remember I have a super small house, it’s less than 1,200 square feet. I have a changing area against the wall outside of my kid’s bathroom.
I use the master bath for the kids simply because they are really messy and I don’t want my guests to have to use their bathroom. This one is in the back of the house safely tucked away. That’s what works for me. You can decide if you like that for yourself or not.
In the changing area, there are drawers that hold boxes for each child with a change of clothes. I love the drawers on my new changing table. My old one was open and it was a pain to always have to dust everything on the shelves. Now they don’t get dusty inside the drawers. We keep our supplies in there as well.
The small boxes next to the changing table hold the extra diapers and wipes so I can refill the changing area. The stepladder on the right is for the kids to climb up.
Home daycare setup
I saw those great changing tables with stairs, but they were way out of my price range, so I made my own. Lifting them from the top step is much easier on my back than lifting them from the floor. I don’t keep infants, so only toddlers use this table. They can break your back quickly.
Our third bedroom is a kitchen pantry storage area. It also has a guest bed. When you see my kitchen, you’ll see why I need more pantry space. There is a small tote of musical instruments in my room as well. The kids can come and get them for music time and put them back on their own.
The first bedroom off of the living room is the playroom. It and the living room are the main inside places the kids play. They also nap in that room. This day, we had one child who was absent, so when he’s here, there are 7 mats in this room. They almost touch each other. It works well for us. We have a routine and we stick to it, but it is an art.
The shelves in this room are what hold the special toy totes, puzzles, lacing cards, and other things. We keep the dress-up center, kitchen, and tool bench out all the time. We also have the toys on the small shelves out. There is plenty to inspire daycare play.
The mats are stored in the closet with the games. The kids make their own beds and put their own beds away. My super talented Mom sewed the covers for our mats and pillows for me. I’ve had them for 20 years. She made me two sets and they’ve held up so great. My mother-in-law sewed quilts in each color just a few years ago.
In the living room, we have our check-in area where kids get their foot from the bye-bye spot and put it in one of the 7 envelopes. This helps with name recognition along with other social lessons. The feet are color-coded the same as the rest mats and the child’s cup. They all know their color and they don’t get them mixed up.
The cubbies for their papers are also in the living room. On this bench, we keep the special toy and there are also hooks for their jackets with their names on them.
In the dining room, we have our book rack, my notebook for all my paperwork, my personal reference books, our everyday art supplies, my DHS paperwork, compliance file, and other things necessary for licensing the bulletin board with license, menu, emergency contact, schedule, and every other required posting, and the table we eat at and use for art, etc.
My tiny kitchen is on the other side of that wall. I cook a ton of scratch meals for the kids in there. Click here to see how I make my tiny kitchen work.
Small daycare layout
Off of the kitchen, I have a tiny laundry room and then my garage. In the garage, I store extra art supplies and science stuff. There are actually all kinds of supplies in there, but I keep them to a minimum and as organized as possible. I also have a puppet stage, ball toss, ring toss, and fold-up tent out there. For more about how to organize your daycare, click here.
Then our outside area consists of our playground with pea gravel, a grassy area, and the kid’s gardens. Gardening is a big part of our curriculum. The kids plant and harvest and we try to grow as much of their food as possible.
Below I have links to a bunch of other provider’s home daycare setups. Click on the links to visit different websites and Facebook pages for pictures of what they have going on. There are some pretty cool providers in this business.
Check out what home daycare essentials you really need here.
Home daycare ideas
For more inspiration and home daycare pictures including daycare infant room setups and home daycare ideas, check these out.
- Mrs. Lissa’s Tot Spot
- Mrs. Tammy’s Daycare Home
- Cribs 2 Crayons Childcare
- Miss Kristle’s Family Childcare Home
- Dani’s Learn and Play
- Little Red Wagon Family Daycare
- Sketti-O’s Daycare
- G-Ma’s Learning Center
Tell us about your daycare space setup, we’d love to hear all about it.
For productive solutions for daycare providers, check this printable pack on etsy.