8 Essential Items For Your Daycare Center
Running a daycare center can be a super fun, meaningful, and sometimes exhausting job! If it’s your passion in life to offer enjoyable education to tiny tots, then this is the article for you. We’ve put together a list of our top essential items for your daycare center so that you can keep the little ones learning whilst loving their surroundings and tools. Read on to find out what to add to your space for a successful early year’s education environment.
- Nap Mats
Some good-quality nap mats for daycare centers are vital for the well-being of your little tots! In between educational play, your toddlers will need some rest and relaxing time to refresh their minds and reset for the next session. Some comfy mats will help them catch their zzzs so they’ll be awake and ready to learn in no time!
2. Craft Tables
Nurturing the children’s creative sides is one of the most important parts of running a daycare. This is where your charges will begin to form hobbies, hopes, and dreams so nourishing that the frontal cortex is helping to set up their brains for life. Have a crafts corner full of tables where the children can paint, write, draw, and create to their heart’s content.
3. Sensory Stuff
Every child needs a little time out, so create a cozy nook full of beanbags and sensory toys for any youngsters who may be feeling slightly overwhelmed. Daycare can be super fun, but it can also be a little bit much for children who enjoy some quiet or alone time. Slime and foam can be soothing for tiny hands to play with, as can fidget toys. If you have a separate sensory room, sensory lighting games can be very calming. It’s also useful to have a weighted blanket or two on hand for any SEN children (or kids who might just need a bit of comfort!) as they are proven to offer feelings of security and stress relief.
4. The Boring Bits
You’ll need to make sure you have all of the health and safety technology required. That means ample smoke alarms and sprinklers, fires extinguishers, first aid kits (plasters will be needed at all times!), carbon monoxide sensors, and security alarms to name but a few! Each state has different regulations so check which laws apply in your state, however, it would be prudent to get any ‘extras’ just to be on the safe side.
You should be employing a proper clean-up team for the end of each day, but you will also need all of the necessary cleaning products to mop up and spills during the day as there will be plenty! This is especially important during the pandemic, as there are now legal requirements for businesses to hold a standard of hygiene to combat the dreaded Covid.
5. A Separate Food Area
The kids have got to eat, so make sure it’s in a managed area to avoid mess spreading across your daycare. Set up tables and chairs that have space between so you and your staff can walk freely around the children whilst supervising them. Wipe clean and fuss-free furniture should be standard in this area as it’s likely to get dirty fast. Keep your lovely wooden furniture elsewhere so they don’t get destroyed by grubby little hands!
Books should be top of the list for any educational daycare. Reading is a fantastic skill to be encouraged, so fill bookshelves to the brim of fun, interesting books that will entertain a variety of children’s tastes. Create a reading corner with cushions so you can read to the group as a whole in comfort, or they can curl up with a book on their own.
7. Building Blocks And Math Games
As well as literacy, numeracy is one of the core skills children must learn. Invest in colorful toys that appeal to their sensory instincts and make learning fun. Run guided math sessions for each age group with targeted worksheets and allow them to be open with their questions. Although you’re not a school, it’s great if you can impart knowledge and educate them where possible.
8. Exercise Equipment
Keeping the kids active is a fun and a necessary part of a daycare. Purchase soft basketballs, foam soccer balls, and other soft equipment that won’t hurt a little one if they get hit in the face. If you have a decent size outdoor area it may be worth investing in a play or climbing frame for an exciting addition to the children’s day that gets them out exploring and playing in the fresh outdoors air.
Are you a daycare owner? Add your must-haves in the comments!