A daycare center requires specific equipment and supplies to provide quality care for the children. Securing these supplies creates the physical environment of the daycare to prepare it for opening day. Quality supplies free of potential dangers are key when stocking your daycare center. Inferior products or used equipment with safety issues leave the children open to injury.
If the daycare center will include baby care, you need several pieces of equipment for those young children. Cribs that meet safety standards provide a secure place for the babies to sleep at the center. A sturdy and secure changing table is needed for diaper changes. If you have a large daycare center, more than one changing station is useful. High chairs secure the babies during feeding time. Baby entertainment toys that support the infant as he sits up and plays provide a stimulating environment. Large strollers that hold multiple babies or toddlers allow the teachers to transport the children to different areas of the center.
Toys and books provide entertainment and educational opportunities for the children at the daycare center. Incorporate a variety of activities into the center, including balls, climbing toys, games, dolls, dress-up clothes and puzzles. Craft supplies also work well in the daycare environment to support creative entertainment options. Outdoor play toys extend the entertainment and learning to outside areas when the weather is acceptable. Low outdoor climbing toys, small slides, playhouses and ride-on toys are common options.
First Aid & Safety
First-aid supplies are essential when caring for young children. Supply each room in the daycare with a fully stocked first-aid kit. This allows an injured child to receive immediate first-aid care. Supplies to keep on hand include bandages, first-aid cream, medical tape, gauze, disposable gloves, cold packs, scissors, tweezers and shields for CPR breathing. Keep a first-aid reference book as well. All staff members need CPR and first-aid training to properly respond to an emergency situation.
Childproofing items such as doorknob covers and locks create a safe environment at the daycare center. Cleaners keep the center in proper condition for the kids, but these materials need to be locked up and away from children to prevent accidents.
A daycare center needs specific furniture pieces to create a functional environment. Storage is a key element at the center. If closets aren't available, purchase freestanding cupboards to house all of the equipment. Locks on cabinets containing potentially harmful materials are essential. Bookshelves and toy storage shelves keep the room organized. Secure these pieces of furniture to the walls or floor to prevent tipping. Desks and chairs for the teachers and cubbies for the kids' items round out the basic furniture list.
Daycare centers typically serve children snacks and at least one meal per day. The kitchen should be stocked with nutritious food. Proper storage units, such as working refrigerators, keep the food safe for the kids. You also need cooking utensils and pans if you prepare the food onsite. Tables and chairs, plates and child-safe eating utensils are also necessary.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.