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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Small daycare space

    I am wondering what size people's daycare rooms are. I am in my eighth year now and have had 3 different spaces all exclusive for daycare and anywhere from 10x22 to 12x17. I am almost ready to move into my new space. For the last year since moving to our new place the daycare has been done upstairs in the space that is the master bedroom. Never have we slept in it or had any furniture in it, just always been a great playroom measuring 14 by 19. My new space is nearly finished and is much smaller than previous spaces and quite frankly is making me very anxious. It is an irregular shaped room as we knocked a dining room into a bigger space with the main floor laundry. Largest dimensions are 17 x 10 but then it reduces for 17 on one side to just short of 10 on the opposite and then they meet each other with a gradual angled wall. Very hard to visualize I'm sure, so I'm sorry I can't explain it better. I know I will have to plan my layout very carefully to maximize the space but I do wonder how off putting it will be to my February new starters who I said I would invite back prior to Xmas to see the new space. I obviously have a reputation with my other families who understand that I give great care regardless of the space but these new parents still have time to explore their other options and it worries me. This new space will be a little tight when there is me plus 5 little ones in it and quite frankly I am freaking out.

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    My home is 2 stories and it's got a suite in the basement. We live upstairs (kitchen, LR,master bedroom, spare room, washroom) and my basement is my daycare (kitchen,washroom,LR (play room), spare bedroom(nap room) and laundry room. I believe it's 8-900 sq ft. Sometimes I feel like it's too small but almost every parent who has seen it has told me they really like my set up and love that we do everything down here so we aren't going up and down the stairs to eat or use washroom. If I had my choice, the playroom would be a couple feet longer but my group plays well in here.

    I keep the toy shelves, play kitchen, furniture up against the walls so that they have the whole floor open to play. I also have a hallway that leads to the kitchen where they can play because it is visible to me at all times.

    As long as the space is safe, fun, welcoming and the care is great, parents will love it! Good luck with getting everything in the new place!!

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    How exciting to plan a new space! I really wouldn't worry about it...with a clean slate you can really utilize all those small space storage ideas out there (gotta love Ikea for that). But being already in place you can weed out the items you really don't use and have some do double duty (for example, my train table is rotated out for many other uses too (sensory/Lego/blocks/cars & tracks/little people center). Plus, if you think about the amount of time you really spend in a playroom. For me, we're outside as much as we can; parents love that
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  4. #4
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    My play area is roughly 12'x12'. It is half of a 12x24 room that is my kitchen at one end and play area at the other. I have put the toys and shelves around the edges, against the wall - except the kids table and chairs and mini soft couch. I find it is plenty of space, though I do rotate toys. I have in the room:
    -bench cubby & hooks for outdoor clothes/bookbags
    -large dollhouse
    -small shelf (3 small toy bins, music instruments, board books, 4 cube puzzles, 2 science baskets)
    -play kitchen
    -play washer & dryer
    -doll bed and dolls
    -kids size table & chairs
    -cube shelf with 3 toys bins on bottom and 3 open shelves on top row for tray puzzles and larger toys. Weekly theme books/decorations on top of this shelf.
    -small block table with bin underneath for toy cars
    -big comfy blue arm chair to relax in.
    -soft mini fold-out couch for toddlers to relax on.
    We just have 2 push toys - a stroller and a grocery cart. I have a shelf in my laundry room to store extra toys and a filing cabinet in there too for papers and books. Felt/magnet board is stored in the space between fridge and counter. I guess the key to a small space is making sure there's not too much out at once or it can get crazy. But less toys make for a quicker clean up!
    We do have lots of windows in our room, which makes it seem bigger.

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
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    My basement playroom is 11 x 30 and then a smaller 8x10 area off to the side where we have our books, stuffies, and my teaching stuff.

    Upstairs we use the diningroom which is 11 x 13 and truthfully the five of them play in there just fine. The trick is what is available and when. Your space will allow you to have some of the larger things out too which for me are basement only items.

    Don't put too much on the walls or at least all of the walls or the room will start to close in. Designate one long wall for displays which will emphasize the length of the room. Across one of the short ends put shelves on the entire wall and out of rotation toys, resources can be stored on the shelves. That allows the parents to see everything available to the kids even if they aren't out. If you make the bottom shelf 24" you can use this at child height as a play table and it is great for the fisherprice playsets either for play or storage. We have the long shelf along the entire length of the room and 12" shelves above for storage. Keep as much of the floor space open and the room will feel bigger and give you more play options.

    It isn't size of space that appeals to parents as much as what is available in that space.

  6. #6
    Expansive... dodge__driver11's Avatar
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    My playroom is my sons bedroom only. Some of the bigger stuff IE: Painting, circle time, is done in the living and dining areas. If you like I can send you my website link so you can take a look.

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  8. #7
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I'd love that dodge...thanks

  9. #8
    Euphoric !
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    I have approx. 1000sq ft of space for my daycare. It is my whole basement (minus the laundry room but I do have 2 playpens in there for the not so good sleepers). I have a kitchenette down here and do all my cooking down here. For myself I prefer a large space and I know everyone who interviews with me comments about how wonderful my space is. I also have 1 acre of yard for the kids to play in outside.

    I have seen many small daycares and they seem to work well. It wouldn't be for me and I don't think I would want my child spending their day playing in a small space.

  10. #9
    Euphoric !
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    You also need to remind parents about the times you are not in the space in that it is deceiving thinking they are there all day. They nap for 2 hours, eat lunch in the bright open kitchen, go outside to run around, etc. When they play also remind the parents that keeping the space smaller encourages the children to settle at an activity long enough to learn from the play since it discourages them from just running around being silly. There are times I move furniture for that reason to keep them more contained.

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  12. #10
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickyc View Post
    I have approx. 1000sq ft of space for my daycare. It is my whole basement (minus the laundry room but I do have 2 playpens in there for the not so good sleepers). I have a kitchenette down here and do all my cooking down here. For myself I prefer a large space and I know everyone who interviews with me comments about how wonderful my space is. I also have 1 acre of yard for the kids to play in outside.

    I have seen many small daycares and they seem to work well. It wouldn't be for me and I don't think I would want my child spending their day playing in a small space.
    I have always had a large play space but I know enough as a parent and with my experience that a daycare provider with a large space does not trump a provider with a smaller space. The number one thing that all parents should prioritize is the safety and wellbeing of their child and that can't possibly be determined based on the size of my space. And quite frankly, if ever anyone told me they had decided not to send them to me based on the size of my space, then I would be happy not to get into any kind of relationship with them if that is how they base judgements on the care I provide. There is small and then there is to small. My room appears small in my mind because I am going from a large space to a smaller space and I am my biggest critic so get worried abut how it will be received.

    As many helpful posters have put, its about placement and explaining that on a typical day we are in different areas outside of the room such as the kitchen/dining area to eat and do arts and crafts. Also included in our day are walks out in the stroller and lots of outdoor time in my impressively large yard for my area which is notorious for small lots. I love your thinking Playfelt about using the smaller space to the advantage when teaching the kids to settle and focus on one activity rather than running around, which is a problem a lot of kids encounter at a certain age, and also discouraged the dreaded dumping of toy bins.

    I sure do prefer a large space, but for years I have always put my daycare preferences ahead of my families in the home and now it has been my choice to finish a much smaller space for daycare versus my original plan of finishing the basement so that I may be better of financially and that if the financial investment to do such a reno was a choice I made in the future, it would be for family use, not daycare. The industry has become so competitive, preventing me from the ability to be priced competitively while covering the annual inflation of costs and I can not justify spending 20-30K on a basement reno when I could not possibly offset the cost on daily rates charged for daycare.

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