Daycare Safety

Your Top Priority is the Safety of the Children

woman with kids

As a daycare provider your responsibility for daycare safety is high.

You must look at each and every area of your daycare to insure it is the safest possible environment for children. You'll be caring for several children at a time so keeping your areas safe means you will have far less to worry about.

Start first with the way the rooms are arranged. It doesn't matter whether you are using existing main floor rooms or are converting a large basement or garage into a daycare. Make sure to separate areas.

You'll need areas for both loud and quiet play. You don't want kids playing with noisy toys in the same area as children trying to read books. Define the sections with shelving units and area rugs.

Locate toys in the area they will be used. Toys used on the floor (cars, trucks, large dollhouse, etc.) should be in a separate area than small motor activities (puzzles, coloring books, etc.) that would be used on a table. This makes it less likely that children will get in each others way (less fighting) and makes clean up at the end of the day easier.

  • Make sure that any free standing furniture or equipment is sturdy enough for a child to pull themselves up on. Realize that even large play toys (kitchens, tool work stations, etc.) can topple if a child climbs on them.
  • Use area rugs with rubber backing or double sided sticky tape to keep them in place.
  • If you are separating one large room, arrange the room so that you are capable of seeing all the children all of the time. Do not create blind areas where the children will be unseen.
  • Eliminate any long straight paths in your area. This encourages running and can be dangerous for small children.

You will be watching several children at a time. Always know how many children are in your care at any given time. Take time to periodically count heads. Prior to going outside, make sure all of the children are present and do the same before coming back in. Choose other times during the course of the day to double-check and make sure all the children are where they need to be.

You'll want toys to be picked up on a regular basis during the course of the day. Toys left on the floor after play are tripping and falling hazards you need to avoid.

  • Use bins, baskets or boxes to store smaller toys like blocks and Lego's. Label each storage container with the name and picture of what goes inside. This makes it more likely the children will put toys where they belong when they are finished.
  • Have daycare safety rules for play. Teach children to pick up all parts of a toy when they are finished. Only then should they be allowed to choose another activity.

Place any art supplies next to a sink for easier clean-up. You don't want to have to walk across the room to clean up paint brushes, art smocks, etc.

Make sure that diaper bags are inaccessible to children. Many times, items such as Tylenol and baby powder are inside.

Practice Daycare Safety Always

Check the indoor play area regularly.

  • Sanitize toys at the end of the day.
  • Look for broken toys and remove anything no longer considered safe.
  • For infants and young toddlers toys, here's an easy way to make sure their toys are appropriate. Use an empty toilet tissue tube. If a toy, or part of the toy, can fit inside the tube it is not appropriate for an infant or toddler.
  • Clean up any spills immediately.

Check the outdoor play area too.

  • A fenced in area is preferred. Make sure any gates leading outside the area are locked.
  • The ground coverings must be soft.
  • Make sure there are guard rails on any elevated platform.
  • Periodically check the playground equipment for protruding nuts or bolts that could potentially harm children.
  • Check your yard for tripping hazards. If you have elevation changes or a tree stump, realize these must be avoided as much as possible by the children to insure their safety.

The most important rule for daycare safety? Diligent supervision. If your room arrangement makes you able to see all the children, and you are constantly supervising, your entire day will be much easier.

Daycare safety is your top priority. Once you have insured that the children will be safe, you can spend the rest of your time enjoying the children.


As a child care provider, your top priority is the safety of the children. PLEASE... take the time to look over the entire safety section.

Daycare safety covers many areas. Learn all you can to insure the safety of the children in your care.



Looking for step-by-step instructions to start your own successful home-based daycare?

Check out my START A DAYCARE section. An all-free list of articles to guide you every step of the way.

For even more helpful hints, take a peek into the DAYCARE TIPS area.

Looking for Forms? The DAYCARE FORMS area has an organized list of free forms available for immediate printing.


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