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Daycare Ideas: Interior Design Inspiration for Your Childcare Center

Daycare Ideas: Interior Design Inspiration for Your Childcare Center

Daycare Ideas: Interior Design Inspiration for Your Childcare Center

If you work in early education, you know that the design of your facilities is critical for providing high-quality care for young children. Good interior design can help keep your program organized, encourage little ones to explore and learn, and provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children you serve.

Whether you’re starting your own childcare business or refreshing your current site, this guide will provide you with daycare room ideas on how to best design your space for both infants and toddlers.

How do I start planning the interior design of my daycare center? 

The first step to designing the rooms in your childcare center is to carefully consider the children you serve and what their needs are based on their age. The decor and furnishings that you use should be functional, developmentally appropriate, and able to facilitate a wide range of activities and learning. 

Here are a few of the most common elements needed for daycare centers, broken down by age group.

Ideas for infant rooms (under 1 year): 

  • Cubby storage
  • Classroom storage
  • Station for changing diapers
  • Crib area
  • Feeding area
  • Adequate room for crawling and developmental play 

Ideas for young toddler rooms (1-2 years old):

  • Cubby storage
  • Classroom storage
  • Station for changing diapers
  • Children’s toilets and sinks
  • Eating area
  • Crib or cot area
  • Adequate room for activities and developmental play

Ideas for older toddler rooms (2-3 years old): 

  • Cubby storage
  • Classroom storage
  • Station for changing diapers
  • Children’s toilets and sinks
  • Eating area
  • Nap area
  • Open, unrestricted area for activities and lessons 

If your childcare center uses the same rooms for mixed ages, you’ll need to include all these elements in your interior design plans. 

Daycare ideas for infants

Here are some successful daycare room ideas for infants. Take a look and see if they spark ideas for your own center!

brightwheel_daycare ideas_infant 1Source: Pinterest

This infant room features ample crib space and an adjacent play area with soft flooring. Wall decals and hanging mobiles help to make the room more inviting and fun.

 

Daycare Ideas for Infants - brightwheelSource: Pinterest

This infant room uses a low dividing wall to separate the sleeping area from the play area. Small shelves and mats create distinct activity spaces for infants to explore. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Infants - brightwheelSource: Calbert Design

This center maximizes the play area space by pushing cribs and drawers against the walls. Colorful toys and furnishings make the room more stimulating for little ones.

 

Daycare Ideas for Infants - brightwheelSource: Pinterest

This daycare center includes a separate changing room that can accommodate multiple infants at the same time. Playful wall decals help to brighten the space and provide infants with something fun and colorful to look at while being changed. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Infants - brightwheelSource: Pinterest

This layout uses strategic furniture placement to create a seamless transition from the play area to the crib area. The hanging cloth from the ceiling also helps to create a calm and peaceful ambiance in the room. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Infants - brightwheelSource: Leport Schools

This infant play area is simple but effective, and can easily be set up in a home daycare. It includes ample crawling space, a mirror that’s safely affixed to the wall, and decorations that help to develop gross motor skills. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Infants - brightwheelSource: Smart Kids Bilingual Daycare

In this center, a colorful mat covers the entire floor, creating a generous amount of space for crawling, playing, and learning. 

Daycare ideas for toddlers

Here are some successful daycare rooms for toddlers that can help to inspire new ideas for your own facilities!

Daycare Ideas for Toddlers - brightwheelSource: Guardian Newstead

This open floor concept ensures that active toddlers will have plenty of room for play and exploration. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Toddlers - brightwheelSource: Early Childhood Fun 101

This daycare center uses simple decor, such as wall art and hanging planters, to create a peaceful, airy atmosphere. The table on the right doubles as additional storage space, as the two white lids can be removed to store toys and art supplies underneath. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Toddlers - brightwheelSource: Clever

This childcare center features a colorful mural that brightens the entire room. A simple shelf is used to split the room into a reading and learning area and space for playtime and crafts. 

 

brightwheel_daycare ideas_toddler 5Source: Apartment Therapy

This toddler play area is easy to set up in a home daycare. It uses wall art, green furniture, and other fun decorations to bring the outdoors inside. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Toddlers - brightwheelSource: Project Nursery

This daycare center uses low shelving to create four distinct play areas: a cafe, a reading area, an art corner, and a toy area. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Toddlers - brightwheelSource: Pinterest

Wall decals and hanging stars make this nap room cozy and comforting for little ones.

 

Daycare Ideas for Toddlers - brightwheelSource: Pinterest

This childcare center utilizes multiple shelves and storage units to stay organized and to create distinct activity areas in the room. 

 

Daycare Ideas for Toddlers - brightwheelSource: Inhabitat

By using an entire wall for storage, this daycare center maximizes the amount of space available for toddlers to play and do other activities.

 

Daycare Ideas for Toddlers - brightwheelSource: Pre-K Tweets

This toddler classroom has a cozy reading nook that includes a rug, a couple of chairs and pillows, and a bookshelf. 

Daycare storage ideas

Effective storage and shelving solutions can help make a daycare center safe, inviting, and organized.

 

Daycare storage ideas - brightwheelSource: Pinterest

You can organize play stations, such as this toy kitchen area, by using floating bins and shelves that are safely affixed to the wall. 

 

Daycare storage ideas - brightwheelSource: Create Play Travel

Themed clothes hooks can help to keep a dress-up station tidy and more fun for children to use. 

 

Daycare Storage Ideas - brightwheelSource: Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station

This classroom uses a combination of shelving and colorful bins to keep toys and activity materials organized and easy to reach. 

 

Daycare Storage Ideas - brightwheelSource: Les Petits Gazette

Floating shelves and child-sized book bins can keep your reading corners clean and incentivize children to read more. 

 

Daycare Storage Ideas - brightwheelSource: Pinterest

This daycare cubby station includes multiple shelves for children’s belongings and hooks for backpacks and jackets. 

Where can I find daycare decor? 

There are many online stores that sell furnishings, decorations, and play materials for childcare centers. Here are a few of the most popular online retailers for early education:

What other supplies do I need when starting a daycare center?

Whether you’re running a home daycare or a big, multi-location childcare business, you’ll need a lot of supplies to run smoothly and to make sure you’re in compliance with your state’s legal requirements. Here’s a list of recommended supplies to start with:

  • Safety supplies, including first aid kits, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and an emergency preparedness kit
  • Cleaning supplies, such as disinfectants, gloves, and hand sanitizer for your staff members
    • Age-appropriate and safe toys, including toys that promote cooperative play and help to develop gross and fine motor skills
  • Daycare technology to help you run your center efficiently and smoothly, such as brightwheel—an all-in-one early childcare solution that empowers educators to streamline their center’s operations and build a great reputation! 

Additional resources for daycare ideas 

For more inspiration on how to design your center and how to successfully launch your childcare business, check out these helpful resources:



At brightwheel, we are immensely grateful for everyone making an impact in early education. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. Thank you for all that you do! 


Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at www.mybrightwheel.com.

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