My house is very small, at 1100 square feet. And I have run a successful home daycare in it since 1999. See how we learn in a small home daycare layout.

Small Home Daycare Layout

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My house is very small, at 1100 square feet. And I have run a successful home daycare in it since 1999. See how we learn in a small home daycare layout.

small home daycare set up pictures inside and outside.

You have come to the right place if you want solutions for starting a home daycare or ideas to help improve what you’ve already been doing. You don’t have to have a big fancy house to make room for home daycare. You can turn your home into a nurturing and enriching environment with just a few changes. Remember, part of the draw of home daycare is that it is home. It looks like home and it feels like home.

We don’t have a large budget, so our house is nothing fancy. It’s modest, but it works for us. It’s cozy. It’s not as much to clean. And it’s full of laughter and love.

My super tiny kitchen poses difficulty with turning out food for 9 people daily, but we make it work. Click on the highlighted text to see how.

Small home daycare layout

I don’t have a closed-in garage or a large space for my small home daycare layout. I do have an 8 x 8 bedroom that we use for a playroom and all 7 kids sleep in there as well. It’s been working for me all these years. I don’t think your home has to be huge to be full of love for kids.

Decide what area of your home you will use for your home daycare. We use the playroom, the living room, and the dining room as well as the yard for the kid’s areas. We also use the other bedroom and the garage to store equipment and supplies for the daycare.

Do you have a living room with space for daycare toys? Can you close in your garage? Do you have an extra bedroom?

Check out all of our wonderful helps for home daycare providers on etsy here.

Here are a ton more helpful printables you can get to make your business easier!

And more helpful tools for providers here. I wish I would have had access to these years ago, they are such a blessing!

Small home daycare setup

I had a fellow home daycare provider friend once whose house was much smaller than ours and she had three kids, so all three tiny bedrooms had people living in them. She used the room her two sons shared and her living room as her main daycare spaces. Her sons had bunk beds and that left half of the room for open play space. She made it work and so can you.

Take the space you want to use for the home daycare and draw an outline of it on a piece of paper or mark it off on the floor with masking tape. Make areas for dramatic play, toy storage, books, etc. Then you can change it around without doing a whole lot of work. You’ll need places for the kids to eat and sleep and you’ll need places for art, dancing, building, science, dress up, driving cars, play cooking, and reading.

Home based daycare

Remember the appeal of home daycare is the hominess of it, so don’t lose that and make it too much like a cold classroom. You need soft spaces. You need a comfortable place for you to sit and read to the kids or interact with them and watch them.

You’ll need a space that promotes social interaction and safety and is calming and comforting. And you’ll need to remember to think of a lot of space-saving ideas since this is in your home. You don’t want your whole home to be daycare only. Your family still needs to feel at home there.

So, let’s think about the day and what it entails at home daycare. We can start with arrival time. Do you have places for parents to park for pick up and drop off? Is your street busy or quieter? Do you have plans in place for ice in the winter?

Daycare setup ideas

Do you have a front entrance area that will allow parents to enter and the other kids to remain safe? I go to the door and unlock it for each drop off to ensure kids don’t get their fingers in the door or get out the door without me seeing. I have a small square of vinyl flooring so if they have muddy shoes, they can remove them before they get on the carpet. Do you have a space to welcome your guests each day?

Arts and crafts areas with washable surfaces, storage, and a place to dry their art. Shelves for storing activity supplies, books, sensory bins, games, puzzles, lacing cards, etc.

garage storage of arts and crafts supplies in small home daycare layout

If you will have children in diapers, you’ll need a changing area/table, storage for lots of clothes, diapers, and supplies, and a potty and sink that’s accessible for those who aren’t or who are potty training as part of your small home daycare layout.

changing table in small home daycare
potty training area in small home daycare
soap and paper towel dispenser for daycare

Daycare furniture

You’ll need an eating space in your small home daycare layout that is accessible to children. You can use child-sized furniture or regular-sized and add boosters and high chairs. I only keep kids over two years, so use my regular table, but I have a large bench around it so many kids can fit there together when needed. You’ll also need cups, plates, and eating utensils for kids to use.

small home daycare layout dining table for eating and crafts and activities
Arts and crafts materials next to table

You’ll need a fenced-in outdoor play area. A place to run and something to play on like a climber would be great. We have a swing set, a climber, a small slide, and a garden for the kids to grow their own food. few also have pea gravel in the play area and a large grass area to run in surrounding that. It would be great to have a fenced area to ride trikes or other ride-on toys.

outside play area in small home daycare
grassy area to run in small home daycare
preschool garden in small home daycare

Daycare room setup

Also, think about napping. Do you need pack and plays or cribs for infants to nap in? Do you prefer cots or mats for the older kids? In Oklahoma, we are required to have surfaces that are non-porous, so couches are not allowed for sleeping unless you have a plastic cover for them and kids are over one year of age.

small play room and sleeping room in home daycare
small home daycare playroom
playroom in small home daycare

Think about what areas you want to be accessible to the home daycare and what areas you want to remain private or off-limits.

Also, think about having a storage area for kid’s belongings. We have paper holders for artwork with a slot for each child and hooks with their pictures for jackets and things. We don’t allow bags or backpacks, but you could hang those there if you plan on doing bags.

welcome area and jacket and paper storage in small home daycare setup

Home daycare pictures

The pictures shown are of my space to give you an idea of how to use a very small space. Here are a few more “home tours” that you can get ideas from for your set up. Because planning your space is very important for success in your home daycare. For even more set up ideas for all sizes of facilities, check out home daycare setups that will inspire you here. And check out the home daycare regulations that everyone needs to start with here.

Be sure to post your comments and questions too. I’d love to hear from you.

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    1. Hi Melisa,
      It depends on where you live. In Oklahoma it’s a requirement to have a 4 foot fence enclosing all play areas that doesn’t have any holes or spaces over 4 inches. If you live somewhere else, I don’t know what the rules would be. Check with your licensing agency. Thanks for checking out the post and reading.