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What You Need to Start a Home Daycare

Updated on April 5, 2012

It may be overwhelming to think about all that you need to start your own home daycare. However, there may not be as much as you think if you have kids of your own. You already have toys and books. Your home is childproofed. What you don't have you can sometimes borrow or buy used. You really don't have much to lose, financially, starting your own home child care. In this hub, I will go over the basics of the equiptment you will need to start your own daycare.


You may be surprised at how little space you actually need to care for children in your home. I know I was. It is more what you do with the space that counts.

You will need an area large enough for the kids to play inside the house. You will also need a space for them to run and play outside. And your yard must be fenced in. You will need a quiet room where the kids can have their naps. Have enough blankets, pillows, cribs, playpens or cots for all of the children in your care. You will need enough spots for all of the kids to eat their meals. Be sure you have a booster seat or high chair for everyone who needs one, and enough plastic cups, plates and cutlery for all.


Outings are fun for everyone. You and the children get some fresh air and exercise. It gives you a chance to socialize with other people. But how will you get there? Strollers come in double, triple and quadruple sizes. You want to make sure everyone is strapped in to a seat for safety reasons, even if they can walk. You never know when one of them will bolt unexpectedly. If you have use of a vehicle, you must have car seats or boosters for all the children.

Toys and Books

When choosing toys for your daycare, think safety first. If you are caring for babies, make sure ALL toys are baby friendly. It is too easy to overlook something like a fallen piece of LEGO. You do not want to risk a choking incident. For your sanity, avoid musical toys. The cute little bunny singing a song isn 't so cute the 47,000th time. And check the toy recall list below if you are buying something used, just in case.

Timeless toys like blocks are best for preschool kids.
Timeless toys like blocks are best for preschool kids. | Source

Toys for educational and imaginative play:

  • blocks
  • dress up clothes, costumes
  • plastic food, play kitchen and cash register
  • puppets, dolls and action figures
  • cars, trucks and train sets
  • board games and cards

Books are an important part of your daycare program. Have a little bookshelf filled just with children's books that the kids can have easy access to. You will need a variety of books on all topics and for all ages, from board books to children's novels.

Art and Craft Supplies

Kids love making stuff, no matter what age they are. Have supplies that the kids can use however they want so they can express themselves and use their imagination. You will need a collection of felts, crayons, and paints. A variety of sizes and colors of paper is nice too, as are scissors and glue. You can just set this stuff out and let them go. You may also want to do more involved crafts with older kids. If you have storage space, save things like egg cartons, empty containers, yarn or scraps of material for special projects.

So there it is in a nutshell. All of the basics you will need for the children you care for.


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