Daycare Supplies: Everything You Need to Start a Daycare

daycare supplies and toys

Whether you’re running a small home daycare or a big, multi-location daycare business, one thing’s for sure: You need a lot of daycare supplies to make it through the day! From diapers to toys to the all-important hand sanitizer, here’s our list of must-have daycare supplies for your daycare or child care center.

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But be sure to check your state’s legal requirements for the type and size of your child care or daycare center. That way you'll be compliant with the laws and regulations in your area. And also check out the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s program standards.

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Safety Supplies

Keeping your kiddos safe is your top priority. A good daycare supplies list includes first aid kits, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, an emergency preparedness kit, and an emergency plan, among other things. Be sure to check your local government's emergency preparedness guidelines so you can be sure you meet all of the legal requirements.

Cleaning Supplies

You love your little ones for sure, but let’s face it: They're messy germ factories! You’ll want to stock your child care or daycare center with cleaning supplies, bathroom supplies, hand sanitizer, and a develop a plan for regularly sanitizing toys and furniture. Some toys/areas in your daycare will need to be cleaned daily. Others only need to be cleaned once a month or as needed. Again, check your state’s guidelines so you can be sure you’re compliant with any regulations.

Furniture & Equipment

Your child care center will need appropriately-sized furniture for both play, feeding, and sleeping areas. You’ll also need tables and chairs for older kiddos, and highchairs or boosters for the little ones. Nap mats or cribs are essential, of course, as are step stools for the bathroom. For your play area, you’ll need shelves or a storage system to hold your play materials and daycare supplies.

Play Materials

Gotta keep them entertained! You’ll want to offer a range of age-appropriate and safe toys at your daycare that can be easily cleaned. Pick a variety of gross/fine motor activities and cooperative play toys such as blocks. Most child care centers also have a dramatic play area and a reading nook/library. You’ll need age-appropriate educational materials, as well as craft and art supplies for projects. If you have an outdoor area, you’ll need some outdoor play equipment such as a sandbox or water table, and riding toys are always a big hit.

Daycare Technology

As the owner of a daycare or child care center, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of administrative tasks you’ll be juggling. From attendance tracking to billing your families, you’ll want to put some smart systems in place to keep things running smoothly. Enter brightwheel, an easy-to-use daycare software and app that will help you manage your daycare and stay in touch with families. You can use brightweel for recording and tracking daily events and activities like naps, bottles, and diaper changes, and parents get real-time updates delivered to their mobile device throughout the day. This powerful daycare app also offers secure, digital check-in/check-out, and an automated paperless billing system. This is a great way to keep your families looped in on daily activities. Brightwheel will keep your parents happy and simplify your management tasks.


Brightwheel is an easy-to-use app for preschools, daycares, and families. Download it today and get started in just a few minutes!


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