list of home daycare supplies

The Ultimate List of Home Daycare Supplies

Are you a new daycare provider searching for a list of home daycare supplies? Look no further! We have curated the ultimate list of essential items, ensuring a secure and comfortable environment that is ideal for children. From imagination-sparking toys to top-notch safety equipment, this comprehensive guide has got you covered. Join us as we explore the necessary and delightful daycare essentials that you should always have on hand!

Getting Started

Let’s start your planning process by visualizing a typical day from arrival to departure. Think about how many children you want to accommodate and the wide range of activities you plan to engage them in. From arts and crafts to naptime necessities, each moment of the day calls for its own set of tools and materials. Interestingly, you might discover that you only need a few supplies to provide a high-quality daycare service. Sometimes, simplicity encourages creativity and learning more than an abundance of toys and gadgets. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family who may have childcare items they no longer need. Recycling and reusing supplies help save costs and promote sustainability and resourcefulness within your daycare environment. So, let’s get started on creating a fantastic space for the little ones!

Explore More: How To Create A Daycare Schedule Template is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Everything You Need To Start A Home Daycare

1. Front Entry Essentials

When setting up a home daycare, your front entry is a crucial area that needs careful thought and planning. The front entry is the first point of contact for the children and where they’ll be storing items like jackets and shoes. Consider investing in essential organization tools to avoid this area becoming a chaotic dumping ground.

A coat rack is a must for hanging coats neatly, while a front entry cubby can provide additional storage space. A shoe rack will help keep footwear in order, preventing any lost shoe incidents at the end of the day. Plus, name labels are also handy – by labeling each child’s storage space, you ensure that each child knows exactly where their belongings go. A dedicated space for each child not only instills a sense of responsibility in the kids but also makes pick-up times smoother and more efficient. Remember, an organized daycare starts with an organized entryway.

Having a bulletin board or parent board at the front entry is super essential for keeping caregivers & parents in the loop. It’s like a central hub where you can find daily schedules, meal plans, upcoming events, and policy updates. Plus, it’s a great place to show off kiddos’ artwork and achievements, building a strong sense of community and pride. And let’s remember how it gives parents a peek into their child’s day, sparking meaningful convos about their daycare experiences at home. A well-maintained board shows how dedicated and organized the daycare is, giving parents peace of mind about the top-notch care their little ones receive.

Daycare Front Entry Essentials

  • Hangers
  • A coat rack
  • Cubby
  • A shoe rack
  • Name labels 
  • Bulletin Board / Parent Board

2. Play Area Must-Haves

The playroom, or the main area of your home daycare, is hands down the most important space. It’s where imaginations will soar, skills will grow, and friendships will bloom. When you set up this area, the first thing to do is designate specific zones for different activities. Boundaries help the kids understand where they can play and what areas are off-limits, keeping everyone safe and maintaining order. And remember toy storage! An organized play area makes it easier for everyone to join in and clean up afterward. You could go with a big toy bin that holds a ton or try a cubby system with individual bins that help teach kids about sorting and staying organized. Remember, the goal is to create a space that’s fun, welcoming, and perfect for learning!

Explore More: 5 Tips for Creating a Safe and Stimulating Play Area


You don’t need a ton of toys.  The more toys you have, the more toys you’ll have to clean up and organize.  Oh, and don’t forget more you need to sanitize. You’re better off having fewer toys out at a time and rotating toys on a weekly or monthly basis.   Too many toys often overwhelm kids anyway.

Try to have age-appropriate toys.  But don’t worry about having gender-specific toys. Let kids decide what they want to play with.  However, remember small toys for older kids are choking hazards for smaller children. A general rule is if the toy can fit into a toilet paper roll, it’s too small.


When it comes to home daycare supplies, books play a crucial role in fostering language development and offering a calm-down activity. However, here’s a valuable tip: reserve your personal favorites for your own collection.

Instead, go for books that can handle the rough and tumble of enthusiastic little readers – you know, ripped pages, chew marks, and maybe an unfortunate puke incident (it happens!).

And don’t forget to stock up on books for all ages! From picture books for the little ones to early readers for the older kids, having a diverse selection will cater to different reading levels and interests. Because let’s face it, fostering a love for reading all begins with having the right books on hand in your home daycare.

Art and Craft Supplies

Brace yourself for the mess, but remember, crafts are so much fun! Seeing those little eyes light up as they create their adorable masterpieces is all worth it. Parents absolutely love to see their kiddos having a blast while letting their creative juices flow.

Now, let’s talk craft supplies. You don’t need to break the bank to stock up. Reuse items around your house – empty toilet paper rolls, old crayons, or scrap paper can quickly transform into a spaceship, a beautiful necklace, or a colorful collage. Don’t forget to check out your local buy-and-sell groups for craft supplies, too. You’ll be surprised what treasures you might find! And why not post a “wanted ad” for free leftover craft supplies? You never know who might have a box of supplies gathering dust in their garage, just waiting for your home daycare to put them to good use.

Daycare Art and Craft Supplies Essentials

  • Crayons
  • Paints & Brushes
  • Paper
  • Safety scissors
  • Glue

3. Outside Play Area Considerations

So, you’re thinking about having an outdoor play area for your home daycare? That’s fantastic! Kids love the outdoors, and it’s an excellent way for them to burn off some of that endless energy. But before you start setting up that swing set, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

First and foremost, is your area fenced in? A secure fence is a must-have for any outdoor play space. It keeps the kiddos contained and safe from any potential hazards outside your yard. And remember a lock on the gate.

Next, let’s talk about storage.

Those outdoor toys aren’t going to put themselves away (as much as we wish they would). Consider investing in a weatherproof storage box or shed. They’re perfect for keeping everything neat, tidy, and, most importantly, out of the rain.

And finally, think about the age ranges of your little ones. Keeping infants entertained while catering to the needs of more active toddlers is a juggling act. A shaded area with soft play mats and sensory toys can work wonders for the babies. As for the toddlers, a sandbox, slide, or even a mini obstacle course will keep them busy.

A toddler water table is a fantastic investment for any home daycare or even for your backyard fun. These tables offer endless interactive play that brings joy to little ones and aids in their development. Playing with a water table can help improve motor skills, enhance hand-eye coordination, and boost creative thinking. They come in all shapes and sizes with various features, from simple setups to more complex designs with sand play areas and multiple levels. Some popular options include the Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table and the Little Tikes Flowin’ Fun Water Table.

Remember, setting up your outdoor play area will take time and planning, but seeing those happy, exhausted faces at the end of the day makes it all worthwhile.

Daycare Outdoor Equipment Essentials

  • Climbers
  • Slide
  • Sandbox
  • Water Table
  • Play pool
  • Sports equipment
  • Picnic table

While setting up your daycare’s outdoor space, it’s absolutely crucial to check with your licensing body about any safety measures you need to implement. Remember, these guidelines aren’t just legal requirements—they’re there to ensure the well-being and protection of the children in your care.

Generally, steer clear of trampolines and bouncy castles. They can pose significant safety risks, and the liability issues can be a real headache.

4. Meal Time Supplies

Ask any kid; snacks are important!!!!!! 

To have everything run smoothly, ensure you have enough supplies for everyone. Start by figuring out where your eating area is going to be. Will you use a kid-sized table or high chairs, or have booster seats at your dining room table?

Try to have multiple sets of unbreakable dishes. You don’t want to be doing dishes all day. We recommend two plates, one bowl, two forks, two spoons, and 2 cups per toddler/preschool-age child. This number of dishes is just a ballpark figure – feel free to tweak it as per your needs! After all, every group of kids is unique!

Here’s your go-to checklist of supplies that will make snack and meal times as smooth as butter.

  1. Accessible Eating Spaces: It all starts with the right setting! Be it a kid-sized table, high chairs, or booster seats – pick what fits your space and the little ones you’ll be caring for best! It’s all about creating an easy-to-clean but comfortable space where the kiddos can enjoy their meals.
  2. Unbreakable Dishes: This is a given!  
  3. Bibs: Because when it comes to kids, some messes are just a given (and let’s admit it, pretty adorable too)! Bibs will keep those cute outfits looking fresh even after a hearty meal. 
  4. Wipes & Napkins: These will be your trusty sidekicks for quick cleanups, post meals, and those surprise spills. Plus, they’re perfect for tiny hands that want to help clean up!
  5. Sippy Cups and straws: Ideal for water, juice, or milk. Keeping the kiddos hydrated is super important, and what better way to do it than with fun sippy cups and straws? *Some providers require parents to supply these items.  
  6. High-Chair or booster seats

And voila – you’re now equipped with your ultimate mealtime supply list! With these tools in your toolkit, you’re ready to rock breakfasts, lunches, and snack times like a total pro. 

Explore More: The Best Daycare Plates

5. Napping Area/Quiet Time

Naptime is like that magical golden hour (or two) in the day when you can finally grab a breather. So, we totally understand why you’d want it to go off without a hitch. Here’s what you need to keep those little angels sleeping sweetly!

The Perfect Nap Area

First things first, where are the kids going to nap? A spare room? Mats on the floor? The choice is yours! Think about what will work best for your space and the kiddos you care for.

Bedding Supplies

Are you planning on supplying the bedding? If so, you’ll need comfy and easy-to-clean mats and blankets. Remember, each child should have their own set of bedding!

White Noise Maker

This handy gadget is a lifesaver for getting multiple kids to sleep in the same space. It drowns out any background noise and helps create a soothing environment. Trust us, it’s worth every penny!

Quiet Time Activities

And how about those older children who don’t nap? It’s a great idea to have separate toys and activities for quiet time. Think puzzles, coloring books, or storybooks – anything that keeps them engaged but creates a peaceful atmosphere.

And there you have it! With these supplies, you’re all set to make naptime a peaceful, restful experience for the kids (and a relaxing break for you).

6. Daycare Toileting Supplies

When you start a home daycare, it’s super important to have all the diapering supplies you need on hand. It’s a good idea to have a spot dedicated to diaper changes, like a changing table, but using changing pads on the floor works, too. And if parents bring their own disposable diapers, ensure you have plenty of liners and diaper pail refills. Oh, and remember to keep track of each child’s diaper type for smooth communication with the parents!

Daycare Diapering Supplies 

The Perfect Spot:

First things first, where are you going to change those little kiddos? A spare room? A corner in the play area? Think about what works best for your space and keeps the kids comfortable.

Diapering Supplies:

Let’s talk diapers! Parents should be providing you with these. After all, diapers are pricey and come in so many sizes and brands – it’s impossible to stock them all. But make sure parents supply lots of extras. The last thing you want is to run out mid-change! 

Storage Solutions:

And where are you going to keep each child’s supplies? You’ll need a practical storage system. Think baskets, shelves, or cubbies labeled with each child’s name. Labeled storage spaces will help keep things organized and ensure you always grab the right size diaper!

Change Table & Pad: 

A sturdy changing table and a comfortable changing pad are must-haves! They’ll provide a safe, comfy spot for diaper changes. Plus, they’re easy to clean – win-win!

And there you have it! With these supplies, you’re all set for a smooth diapering routine. Remember, preparation is key, and you’re doing an incredible job gearing up for this adventure.

Daycare Potty Training Supplies.  

Are you wondering about the supplies required for older children and kids embarking on potty training? Let’s delve into some essential items that can support this crucial developmental stage!

First and foremost, you’ll need a potty chair or seat that is appropriately sized and comfortably accommodates your daycare children. Consider obtaining a step stool that ensures their safe access to the chair.

Promoting independence is critical: Your ultimate goal is to empower these little ones to use the restroom independently. While you will still assist with wiping, the aim is to instill confidence in them to navigate their bathroom trips by themselves. 

Potty Training Essentials 

Little Potty

Not all kids like to use a potty seat on the big potty. So, having a little potty on hand is a great idea. It’s just their size and can make the whole process less intimidating.

Potty Seat

A potty seat that fits onto your regular toilet can also be a great tool. It makes the bathroom kid-friendly and can help ease the transition from little potty to big potty when the time comes.

Stools for All

A stool for the toilet and stools for washing hands are must-haves. They give the little ones that much-needed boost to reach the toilet or sink, promoting independence and safety.

Faucet Extender

And don’t forget a faucet extender! This nifty gadget brings the water closer to their little hands, making hand washing more accessible and fun.

And there you have it! With these supplies, you’re all set to support those little ones on their potty training journey. 

Basic Daycare Bathroom Supplies

  • Little potty
  • Potty seat
  • Stool for toilet
  • Stools for washing hands
  • Faucet extender
  • Soap / Hand sanitizer
  • Hand Towels
  • Safety Supplies (Anything Required by your Agency)

7. Transportation

Let’s talk transportation for your home daycare. We promise it’s not as scary as it sounds – in fact, it can be a fun ride with the right gear! But there are some factors to consider before offering transportation in your home daycare. Does your vehicle have sufficient space to accommodate all the kids? Is it reliable? Have you considered the cost of additional insurance? Let’s explore these essential factors and supplies needed for daycare transportation!

Car Seats

First things first, are you offering transportation for your daycare kiddos? If yes, do you have enough for all your little passengers? Or are you asking the parents to pitch in with their own car seats? Whatever your plan, safety is always in style!

Insurance Matters

Now, let’s chat about insurance. Yes, it might sound like a grown-up bore, but trust us, it’s worth it! Extra insurance gives you peace of mind when you’re on the move. So, buckle up and be safe!

Park Time Fun

You don’t want to be stuck indoors all day? Little ones need fresh air and outdoor play. So, how will you transport your mini crew to the park? Have you got a big enough stroller? Or a super cool wagon? Either way, consider how you plan on transporting all different age groups.  

8. Office Equipment

When you open a home daycare, there are a few must-have office essentials to consider. These tools help you stay organized, manage administrative tasks, and create a safe and engaging environment for the little ones.

First up, you can’t do without a computer. It’s your go-to for record-keeping, scheduling, and communicating with parents. And remember a printer! You’ll need it for all those daycare policies, permission forms, activity sheets, and essential documents. Just make sure you have enough ink to keep things running smoothly. While it may be possible to operate a daycare without a computer, having one makes life so much easier.

A reliable phone is also a must. It’s your lifeline for communicating with parents, emergency contacts, and your agency. And let’s remember the internet. It helps you stay up-to-date on licensing requirements, educational resources, and community events.

For staying organized, file folders are your best friend. Keep all those important documents like licensing certificates, enrollment forms, emergency contact info, and medical records neatly filed. Having a well-organized filing system makes it super easy to find the exact documents you need, like tax receipts, exactly when you need them. No more searching around aimlessly!

9. Cleaning Supplies

Keeping a clean and hygienic environment in a home daycare is super important! So, make sure you have all the necessary cleaning supplies. You’ll want disinfectant wipes or sprays to sanitize toys, surfaces, and those high-touch areas. And don’t forget a vacuum cleaner or broom and dustpan for daily floor cleaning, plus a mop or steam mop for regular mopping. It’s also handy to have paper towels, tissues, and garbage bags within reach to handle any messes that pop up. By having these cleaning supplies ready to go, a home daycare can make sure the little ones stay happy and healthy by keeping those pesky germs away!


First up, meet your new best friend – the vacuum! It’s a lifesaver when cleaning up crumbs, dust, and all those tiny bits and pieces that kids magically scatter around. Go for a model that’s easy to maneuver and has good suction power.

Steam Mop

Next on the list? A steam mop! This gadget is a game-changer for keeping your floors squeaky clean. Plus, it kills bacteria and germs without chemicals. How cool is that?

Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

And let’s remember the cleaning products. Remember, we want to keep our little ones safe, so opt for non-toxic cleaners. They’re gentle, effective, and kind to the environment. Win-win!

With these essentials, you’re all set to keep your home daycare clean and healthy. 

10. Safety Equipment Considerations

When starting a home daycare, ensuring the safety of the children in your care should be a top priority. To create a safe environment, there are several key safety equipment and measures that you need to consider.

One essential safety equipment is childproofing supplies. Childproofing supplies may include outlet covers, door knob covers, and cabinet locks to prevent access to potentially dangerous areas or items. Installing safety gates at stairways or other areas where children should not have access is also crucial.

Furthermore, it is essential to have appropriate fire safety measures in place. Fire safety supplies can include smoke detectors and fire extinguishers strategically placed throughout the daycare area.

Additionally, a well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have for any home daycare. It should include basic medical supplies such as band-aids, gauze, antiseptic solution, and gloves.

Lastly, consider the layout and design of your daycare. Having soft, cushioned flooring in play areas can help prevent injuries from falls. Child-sized furniture and equipment that are age-appropriate and well-maintained are also crucial for promoting safety.

By considering these safety equipment and measures, you can create a secure and nurturing environment for the children in your care, giving parents peace of mind and establishing a solid foundation for a successful home daycare.

Also, Explore: How To Childproof Your Home Daycare. 

Don’t go out and buy brand-new stuff.  Get as much as you can used. Look for extra high chairs, toddler beds, kid’s tables, and toys at thrift stores.  Local buy-and-sell groups often have great deals, too. But keep in mind that without a receipt, you will not be able to write used items off as an expense.   

*In the USA,  if you shop at garage sales, you can write up your own receipt and have the seller sign it.  You need to include the date, a description of the item, the price, and the signature from the seller.

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