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If you want to start running a home daycare, you’ll need a safe and nurturing environment to work in both inside and outside. Check out these home daycare room ideas and playground ideas for inspiration!
If you are considering opening a home daycare, one of the most important things you will need to do is create a safe and nurturing environment for the children in your care.
The best way to do this is to create a dedicated space for your daycare, is even harder if your home is small. You can use a room for more than one purpose. I have a very small home and our playroom is also the napping room. Our art table is also our eating table where even my family eats all of our meals.
You can create a theme for your space, but remember that storage and organization are key for a good functioning space. Whether your space is big or small, you need that in your room ideas.
Look around your space for sharp edges on furniture, cords that are hanging down, electrical outlets that need to be covered. You won’t be able to use candles. You’ll need to have your cleaning supplies stored up high and out of reach.
If you’re looking for some amazing resources to help you run the business side of your daycare or plan activities with your kids, check these supports out:
- Home daycare printable forms and activities to help with your business
- Daycare Time Solutions to make your business run smoother
- Tools to help you run a Thriving Childcare and keep you organized!
And you’ll need plenty of space and well planned array of toys. Remember, less is more on supplies. A few well placed items function far better than a million chaotic things for kids to use.
And think about where the kids are going to nap. There needs to be floor space enough for the number of children you’re going to keep. Proper baby beds of some kind for kids under one, and mats or cots for kids over one.
Here’s an idea of what finances you’ll need in this home daycare business plan worksheet. You can download it, print it, and see if there are room idea areas you haven’t thought of.
Here are some ideas of what not to do when starting a home daycare.
Having a schedule is one of the most important things for running a home daycare. And equally important is having clear rules for your daycare. Such as how you will handle kids bringing toys from home to daycare. You’ll need to set up a contract and policies for parents to sign. You may think it’s not necessary, but after decades in the business, I promise you, it is.
Daycare room setup ideas
Now for the room ideas on arrangement. You can start with a theme. Some ideas are:
- Sock Monkeys
- Disney (Mickey and Minnie, Jungle Book, Moana, Etc)
Daycare room arrangement
You’ll need space for toys, books, art supplies, paperwork, filing, meals, diaper and potty supplies, a change of clothes for each child, jackets, papers, a sturdy bathroom area, and plenty of room inside and outside to MOVE!
You’ll need storage for toys and supplies that are put away and open shelving for those that are available to use. If you put up most of your materials and rotate a few out each week or two, the kids will be more engaged with what is available and less boredom aka behavior problems will occur. Take it from me, it works!
Toy boxes and baskets encourage kids to dump everything out, so have clearly visible low shelving where they can see their choices.
Make sure there are spaces to be active and spaces to be quiet. If you have block play in the walk-through area, it will create a lot of frustration for kids trying to build. Let them have a quiet corner to create.
Make sure you have different surfaces, some hard, some soft. Have homey places of comfort like a tent with pillows or a comfy couch. Bean bag chairs are nice and cozy too.
You’ll need a good area for toileting and diapering. It needs to be close to a sink for handwashing and have room for supplies to be kept. And don’t forget room to store paperwork! There will be plenty of it.
If you want to see some home daycare set ups, check these out to get inspired.
And you’ll need a good washable place for art and eating. We do ours at the same place since they both need to be able to get wiped down. We have most of our activities at the kitchen table and of course all meals there too.
Daycare outdoor play area ideas
You’ll need to provide the best playground set up you can for all ages of kids. Outdoor play enriches learning exponentially. To get our first set up, we did a fundraiser to create the space we wanted. That might work for you as well.
You need sensory and motor development opportunities. Space for climbing, running, and sensory input is vital. Grass, rocks, dirt, mud, flowers, plants, etc can all give kids sensory input. The garden is a great place for kids to learn! Kids should also have opportunities for communication and teamwork in the outdoor space.
Don’t forget to have some places for rest and plenty of shade. If you live where it’s hot for 8 months of the year like we do, you’ll need shady rest spaces.
Outdoor play equipment
What are some outdoor playground ideas?
The possibilities are endless, but hopefully this will give you some inspiration to get started.