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  1. #1
    Administrator Starting to feel at home... admin's Avatar
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    What is essential and what is a waste of money when starting a daycare ?

    Hi !

    I was wondering, when you first started your daycare, what piece of equipment or furniture you wouldn't have been able to go without ? And what do you consider to be a waste of money ?

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    If I was only allowed to keep a few items it would be blocks and books and a doll for toys and for equipment what is needed for eating and sleeping. Everything else you can work around, create from recyclables or adapt your regular things. I think some people are their own worst enemy when they start out thinking they need to have daycare specific items and end up spending way too much. A bookshelf with plastic bins works for cubbies. A laundry basket holds blocks. Dollar store finds are wonderful. It is more important how the caregiver interacts with the children than how wonderful the playroom looks.

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  4. #3
    Starting to feel at home...
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    The dollar store has been wonderful for little things! Plastic bins make cubbies, clear shelf paper is do-it-yourself laminate, alphabet banners for the walls, ect.

    I also could not do without a means of transportation, as I do the school walk twice a day.

    We have playpens and crib mattresses for naps. Our biggest hit toy is a large, plastic playskool dollhouse and all the dolls/furniture it came with.
    ~ Mama to 4, Dayhome provider ~

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  6. #4
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I really went crazy designing my daycare, I'm completely happy with the choice because when I walk into my "office" everyday I'm proud of it. I purchased a closing down daycare from craiglist. Everything from Ikea shelving to paper cut outs, toys, books the works. I really recommend this route, by used and look for daycares closing down! I use the dollarstore for art, wall decor, little items like stickers, but not usually toys cause they break easy. The only thing I regret buy is tons of toys. Granted I purchased used and had people even donate so I don't feel I lost money, I just feel they loose interest cause there is so many! I now rotate toys every season. 4-5 boxes go in shed 4-5 come out type thing.

  7. #5
    Expansive... Play and Learn's Avatar
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    I've worked at different child care centres (or now what they call early learning centers) and have seen what each age group generally played with and what they left behind.

    Before I opened, my sister, mom and I went to garage sales (I had a list with price caps), and looked on usedottawa.com and Kijiji.ca for items priced less and still in good condition. I always research how much the item was at a store (online) and then what I would buy for it second-hand. Lucky for me I received my double jogging stroller, 1 booster seat, 2 exersaucers, an activity mat, 2 bouncy chairs, an activity gym, construction set, and bibs, utensils, sippy cups and a little bit more for free!!! Thanks to having older siblings with children, and their friends!

    I have the parents provide the playpens (because I don't want to be buying 3 playpens), I bought another booster seat in the states as it's cheaper than over here (we're 30 min to the border)! For toys, I've bought the basic/classics - Fisher Price. I think in total, I've spent $300 on all my daycare purchases over the past year!

    The items that I can't go without is the Fisher Price Activity Gym - allows infants to pull themselves up and to crawl under the arches. Fisher Price Little People Sets (would love to find the house though), a doll and stroller, my double stroller, booster seats (we don't have alot of space for highchairs), toy cars, ride-on toys and kitchen.

    This year we will be buying a cot (as little one is starting to potty train), and a swing set!

    And always rotating toys (once a month usually). Also Dollarama is a godsend! Like others have stated, I bought the alphabet and numbers, and some art supplies (especially the clear laminate - I used to actually laminate things). The last daycare I worked at, I had photocopied many of the items that we used to decorate my room with (I was head teacher of the toddler/preschool room). So I used those items to decorate my room with - colours, birthdays.

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  9. #6
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I'd agree with everything everyone else has stated, I would add my kitchen centre. The kids use it daily and it's actually so popular that I have to set a timer to rotate the kids in and out.

    As for what I wouldn't spend money on... kid sized tables and chairs, a big bookshelf and full sized high chairs. $25 Ikea Antelop high chairs were a godsend
    Last edited by VictoriaChildCare; 10-06-2011 at 09:25 PM.

  10. #7
    Starting to feel at home... angelina's Avatar
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    the hits in my house: small cars, all those little ones that they can pretend to play endlessly and a carpet that has drawing of highways

    the big runway - platform where cars need to run ( kids don't care, they play on the floor)

    little people - they ride on cars, buses, trains

    play kitchen with all food and pots and dishes - which we also use for our play dough

    hammer and those bench they can pound over and over again (hit among the boys)

    the blocks - we sort them by colors, we load them on our dumptruckts, sometimes we use them in the kitchen too.

    lots of big blankets, bed sheets - we spend hours building forts, fortress, farm station
    halloween custom for dramatic play


    what i should not have bought: TOYS WITH BATTERIES. no matter how cute they are, pain when batteries run out!

    free standing easel for art - kids color in the carpet and table - and it takes lots of space even if i can fold it. and the clip gets loose easy - it was a good brand

    what i did not buy: swings, baby jumpers, that sort of stuff that take up so much space and i cannot fold them.
    If they whine, give them cheese. If they're not hugable, hug yourself. (me)

  11. #8
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    out biggest hit here was a GIANT castle made out of moving boxes! It cost us 8$ for the ducktape and that's It!
    We love our mega block and balls!

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