Tips for Designing a Functional Daycare Layout

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I’ve learned that the layout is very important for making a place where kids feel safe, interested, and ready to learn over the years that I’ve run a daycare. I’m going to share my ideas and suggestions with you on how to make a daycare plan that works and encourages fun, safety, and organization. From furniture that is just the right size for kids to cozy reading nooks, everything helps create a safe place where kids can grow and learn.

I strongly recommend prioritizing safety with soft play mats, organizing efficiently with storage solutions, and creating inviting learning spaces with child-sized furniture for a functional daycare layout.

  • Safety First: Incorporating features like soft play mats and rounded furniture edges enhances safety for children during playtime, minimizing the risk of injuries.
  • Organization Is Key: Effective storage solutions such as cubbies with bins promote organization within the daycare setting, ensuring that toys, books, and supplies are neatly arranged and easily accessible.
  • Comfortable Learning Spaces: Creating cozy reading nooks and using child-sized furniture fosters a conducive learning environment, where children feel comfortable and engaged in educational activities.
  • Space Optimization: Balancing the need for different activity areas within limited space can be challenging but strategic use of room dividers helps optimize space utilization, creating separate zones for play, learning, and rest.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: Maintaining a functional daycare layout requires regular cleaning and inspection of soft play mats, furniture, and storage units, as well as updating and rotating toys and materials to keep activities fresh and stimulating.

Child-Sized Tables and Chairs Set

Making sure the furniture was the right size for the kids was very important to me when I set up my daycare. I chose tables and chairs that are the right size for kids because they make them feel more at ease and help them be more independent during activities and meals. I learned that picking materials that would last was important for handling the rough play and spills that come with taking care of kids.

I made sure to put these tables and chairs in different areas of the daycare so that there would be clear areas for different tasks. This not only helped me keep things in order, but it also gave the kids a sense of routine and direction. I bought movable tables and chairs so that the furniture could grow with the kids and fit kids of all ages. This also made sure that the furniture would last for a long time.

Check out the best Height Adjustable Toddler Table and Chair Set.

Storage Cubbies with Bins

I always put a lot of thought into keeping the daycare clean and organized, which is why I built in storage cubbies with bins. These cubbies were a useful way to store toys, books, and school tools while still making them easy for the kids to get to. I found that putting words or pictures on the bins helped the kids find their things, which made cleanup time a snap.

After planning where to put these storage units in the daycare, I made sure that everything had a clear place to go. I kept the activities fun and new for the kids by switching out the toys and materials often. This also encouraged them to be creative and explore. Having a plan for keeping the storage cubbies clean and organized helped make the space nice to look at and useful for both the kids and the adults who cared for them.

Check out the best Collapsible Fabric Storage Cubes Organizer with Handles.

Soft Play Mats

When I was running the daycare, safety was always my first concern, especially when it came to making areas for active play. Within my plan, soft play mats were necessary because they provided a padded surface that kept kids safe while still letting them play and explore. I picked mats made of materials that were easy to clean and would last through a lot of use and cleaning to keep up with hygiene standards.

With care, I put these mats in specific play areas so that the kids would have plenty of room to move around safely. By using bright colors and interesting patterns, I not only excited the kids’ senses but also made the room look nice, which made them want to play and explore. Making sure the play mats were always in good shape and free of any possible dangers through regular inspection and maintenance sessions.

Check out the best Soft Non-Toxic Baby Play Mat.

Room Dividers

In a shared daycare, making good use of the room was important for making it as useful as possible and setting aside areas for different activities. I mostly used room dividers to make specific areas in the daycare plan. To accommodate changing needs and activities throughout the day, I chose dividers that were light, movable, and easy to rearrange.

Putting these dividers in the right places helped make separate but linked areas for play, learning, and rest. By using see-through or open-weave dividers, I was able to keep an eye on things and keep an eye on the kids while still giving them a sense of separation and safety. Multifunctional dividers with built-in storage or show features helped the daycare make the most of its space by making the most of the square footage it had.

Check out the best Room Dividers and Folding Privacy Screens.

Cozy Reading Nook

As someone who cared about encouraging kids to love reading, I made sure to include a cozy reading nook in the daycare plan. I chose soft chairs like bean bags and pillows so the kids would want to curl up with a book. By putting up shelves with books and other things that were right for their age, I made a quiet place where the kids could go to learn and use their imaginations.

I made the reading nook a quiet place away from the noise and activity of the daycare. I used soft lighting and warm decorations to set the mood. I told the adults who cared for the kids that reading out loud to them and having engaging story time were great ways to help them learn the language and understand what they read. By changing and switching out the reading materials regularly, I kept the space interesting and new, and I hope that the kids will always love learning and reading.

Check out the best Large Indoor Play Tent for Reading Nook.


  1. Enhanced Safety: Designing a functional daycare layout according to established tips significantly enhances safety for children. Incorporating features like soft play mats and rounded furniture edges minimizes the risk of injuries during playtime. Strategic room dividers can also help prevent accidents by creating clear boundaries between different activity areas.
  2. Promotes Organization: Implementing effective layout tips facilitates organization within the daycare setting. Storage solutions such as cubbies with bins ensure that toys, books, and supplies are neatly arranged and easily accessible. This not only reduces clutter but also encourages children to take responsibility for maintaining order in their environment.
  3. Optimized Learning Environment: A well-designed daycare layout supports a conducive learning environment. Features like cozy reading nooks and child-sized furniture create spaces where children feel comfortable and engaged in educational activities. Room dividers can help create separate areas for focused learning, play, and rest, enhancing the overall educational experience.


  1. Cost Considerations: Designing a functional daycare layout according to recommended tips may incur additional costs. Purchasing child-sized furniture, soft play mats, and storage solutions can be expensive, especially for smaller daycare facilities with limited budgets.
  2. Space Constraints: Implementing all recommended layout tips may be challenging in daycare settings with limited space. Balancing the need for different activity areas, such as play spaces and reading nooks, within a confined area can be difficult and may require creative solutions to maximize space utilization.
  3. Maintenance Requirements: Maintaining a functional daycare layout requires ongoing effort and resources. Regular cleaning and inspection of soft play mats, furniture, and storage units are necessary to ensure hygiene and safety standards are met. Additionally, updating and rotating toys and materials to keep activities fresh may require a continuous investment of time and resources.


I’ve learned the hard way that making a useful daycare layout is a very careful process. By putting in child-sized furniture, organizing storage well, providing soft play mats, using room dividers strategically, and making cozy reading nooks, like the ones I’ve suggested, I’ve seen for myself how these things can turn a space into a safe place for kids. Assessing and changing the plan regularly is important to make sure that the daycare stays a welcoming and helpful place for everyone who comes in.

From my own experience, I know that careful planning and attention to detail are important for making a daycare setup that encourages safety, organization, and fun. When you put functionality first and make a place that encourages learning and exploring, I’ve seen how children do well in an environment that is just right for them. As long as you follow these guidelines, I’m sure you’ll be able to design a daycare that makes everyone happy and content.

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To learn more on how to start your daycare, check out my startup documents here.

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