Done choosing a location, budgeting and construction? It’s time to set up basics inside the daycare center!
Congratulations on working your way through the last four guides on how to start a daycare! I sincerely hope they have been helpful. And now that construction is done, we have progressed to Part 5, where we can begin daycare center setup!
It’s time for the rubber to hit the road, and this includes purchasing and organizing furniture, getting your utilities in order and putting up signage. This is also a great time to begin marketing and recruiting staff. You can get a lot of things done in this phase, and Hopping In’s guide is here to show you how.
Find out everything you need to know about daycare setup and classroom signage in our video:
Set up utilities
A big part of daycare center setup is making sure your utilities are in order. This includes internet and a landline phone, electric, gas, water and garbage disposal. Commercial properties generally do not have garbage pickup included so it’s up to you to pay a company to haul off the garbage weekly or bi-monthly from from a dumpster.
Even the process of daycare center setup is going to generate a lot of garbage, so sorting this out from the get-go will help you avoid a messy beginning.
Buy equipment and classroom supplies
Research and price out your options for your equipment list. Examples of some equipment you’ll need are covered in Part 2: Finding Funding and Calculating Expenses. You can also click here for a helpful list of more interior supplies you’ll need.
Find a good place to buy this equipment and classroom supplies. You’re best advised to shop with daycare furniture speciality companies like Factory Select or Constructive Playthings to get the best pricing and quality. Your budget won’t suffer, and the kids will be happy.
Later on, you can see how the business is doing in real time, and if you need extra funds for cool playpens and props the kids will love, take a look at how Hopping In can help you generate extra revenue and get you one step closer to the waitlist.
Classroom signage: there’s a lot of it!
Each daycare center classroom needs signage posted on the walls. Requirements will vary by state.
For example, you might need to post the children’s daily routine schedule up on the wall. A few others you may need are a diapering and gloving policy sign by a changing table and a cleaning and disinfecting checklist. Other signs I need in my daycare centers include: CPR/choking, local emergency info (so you can act quickly in an emergency and find poison control, hospital, police, reporting abuse hotline, etc.), hand-washing instructions, exit plans (showing “you are here” and the two escape routes), classroom rules (be kind, say please, say thank you: even though some kids can’t even read yet, it’s just one of those things).
I also require signs that show bottle warming instructions, fire extinguisher indicator stickers, labeled play areas, opening and closing instructions for each classroom (toddlers, preschoolers, etc.), allergies/medications, immunization schedule, no smoking signs, your daycare’s philosophy, a no shoes sign for the baby room and so on.
Other good things to put up are classroom posters (colors, shapes, numbers, etc) and some artwork or even a mural. You can never go wrong with a mural (well, you can, so hire someone who paints daycare-center-appropriate murals). Also, the daycare center setup phase is a good time to buy awnings, window decals and outdoor signs. A daycare center with good signage and a nice front awning attracts new customers!
Don’t forget to keep improving, though, and make your daycare center even more colorful as you go along! Small budget is no excuse; just try out Hopping In and bring your daycare center setup ideas to life.
Read on to Part 6: Passing Daycare Center Inspection.
How to start a daycare center table of contents
5: Classroom Signage and Daycare Center Setup Basics
Author: Hopping In Blog
Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.
To contact him or for media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org