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  1. #1
    Administrator Starting to feel at home... admin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    49 Times in 15 Posts

    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 !
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario
    1,469 Times in 1,125 Posts
    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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    Feb 2011
    Region of Durham, ON
    28 Times in 24 Posts
    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...
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    4 Times in 4 Posts
    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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    Feb 2011
    140 Times in 116 Posts
    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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    Oct 2011
    Sudbury Ontario
    8 Times in 7 Posts
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    10 Times in 9 Posts
    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
    Starting to feel at home...
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    30 Times in 21 Posts
    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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