New Day Care
Provider Checklist

Written by Pamm Clark

I get a lot of email asking for a list of things to get started in daycare. Because the needs of each child care is unique, state licensing requirements are different in various areas, and there's a different set of needs if you have toddlers than if you have 4-yrear-olds, it's impossible to have a "Standard List" that suits everyone. This is a guideline to get you started.

Research Before You Begin

*Keep in constant prayer about your decision and for provision.

*Discuss Daycare with your family. This will mean they will have to share their space AND their Mom (and/or Dad).

*Research your state daycare regulations. You can start with this resource from National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care

*Find other daycare providers in your area and ask them for advice.

*Contact your local Child And Adult Care Food Program.

Caring For Infants & Young Toddlers

changing table
play pen
hi chair
bouncy seat
battery operated baby swing
recharageable batteries & recharger
baby saucer
rattles & chewey toys
stacking & nesting toys
board books
sippy cups

Caring For Toddlers & Twos

changing table
play pen
hi chair
sippy cups
potty chair
potty seat
simple art supplies

Caring for Any Ages

general toys (stick with classic stuff): books, cars, Legos, soft toys, blocks, dolls, dishes, rattles, etc.

out door toys: balls, slides, push toys, trucks, sand/dirt play toys, etc.
wash clothes for little faces
time out spot
child-size plates, forks, spoons, etc.
sleeping mats or cots
blankets, pillows, sheets
gates to keep kids in an area
carpet sweeper & good vacuum
cordless phone and/or cell phone
answering machine or voice mail
small table & chairs

spray bottle filled with white vinegar
(use to clean counters, tables, hi-chairs, etc.)

spray bottle with 25 drops of lavender oil (essential oil at health food store) & water
(use before nap on bedding and in room for calming)

Office Supplies

A file cabinet or a file box
Folders or files
Business Cards: Vista Print
Minute Menu Kids Pro Daycare Software
Handbook, policies, and forms. Samples Here.

I didn't start out with all the equipment at once and I didn't need it all at once, either. It was worth it for me to just find the equipment at the thrift stores and yard sales. Until I got the stuff I needed at a good price, I asked the parents to bring their own play pens, swings, etc. This was nice because I got to try out different brands of stuff and look for what I really liked.

I used to think I needed 2 or 3 exersaucers and bouncy seats. But I found out I don't because I rotate the infants from one thing to the other. I did have 2 of each of these things and it just cluttered up the space, so I sold them and have been very happy since.

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