Are you planning on opening your own Child Care Business? Does the thought of figuring out what supplies you will need leave you feeling a little anxious? If so, no fear, for the handy, dandy, Start-Up Checklist is here! (If you’re a list person like me, it’s really, truly an anxiety buster to have everything organized and written down on paper! )
Try to keep start-up costs low. Establishing your child care business take time and your profits starting out may not be too cushy for a while. Keep this in mind as you make purchases during the planning stages.
You will need to invest in at least one child-sized table and chairs set. Descent second-hand sets can be hard to come by, as they are generally snatched up as soon as they become available. I did a lot of shopping around to find the best prices as I was setting up my space, and I found the LÄTT child’s table and chair set from Ikea. I purchased two sets and am so happy with the price and how well they have held up. One is used in our play kitchen area, the other for puzzles and coloring.
If you plan on using your existing kitchen table for meals, then booster seats are a great option for toddlers in your care. If you will be caring for infants, you will need to purchase a highchair. A set of children’s dishes and cutlery should be on your list. Again, by having shopped around, I can tell you that Ikea has some of the best deals on children’s dishware that are durable and dishwasher safe. You can also ask parents to supply a sippy cup or bottles for their child.
Toys and Toy Storage
Ok, so this is pretty obvious. You’ll need toys and activities for the children attending your child care business. If you plan on a mixed age group of children, you will need to provide age-appropriate toys for each age group. Toys that can be enjoyed by infants through to preschoolers are a must!
For storage? Plastic bins, baskets, fabric containers all help in organizing your child care environment. Low, secure shelving so children are able to help themselves to toys and clean them up again when they have finished playing.
Young children will need a rest time during their day with you. I splurged a little (well, ok a lot) on rest time mats… and I have no regrets. There are a variety of rest time mats available. I ordered mine from Amazon. Some mats fold up, some stack together. While making my decision, I considered storage space when the mats were not in use (mine are easily stored together vertically, since I had closet space for them) and the fact they would be used on a basement floor. I opted for the thicker 3-inch mats, for extra padding and warmth on the floor. However, they are more than sufficient and I could have gotten away with thinner mats. I also saved money by sewing my own sheets to cover our rest time mats.
You will also need to consider whether you will ask parents to provide their child with a blanket, or if you will provide them. My parents bring a rest time blanket, which stays here and I wash them weekly. Having a few spares on hand is a great idea. Accidents do happen 😉
Will you be caring for infants? If so, looking into buying a crib is a good idea. Although older infants (12 months +) may be just as happy on a rest time mat. If you’re short on space, consider a folding crib. They are quickly folded up and on wheels which makes it easy to roll out of the way.
Outside Play Equipment
This is an area I wouldn’t focus on too much in the beginning. If you have a park or walking trail nearby, I would make full use of them. If that’s not an option, keep purchases simple. Balls, chalk, bubble, cars and trucks, etc. are all childhood classics and encourage motor skills and creativity. Keep your eyes open for sales of plastic slides, outdoor table sets, ride-on toys, and even a sandbox to add to your outdoor space down the road.
Feel free to comment or ask questions below.