Keeping my layout fresh, flexed, and organized is very crucial to my sanity and the day to day operations of the daycare. Having a separate space off my living room and kitchen that is strictly for daycare has been the biggest advantage to this. My “office space” is in the kitchen but directly next to the open-way to the daycare room. I am able to allow free play and conduct the daily business tasks simultaneously. Also, it allows for teaching, open-ended art, free play, toddler interactions, and circle time to flow nicely from one moment to the next. There is no time at all that I am away from the sounds or sights of the children and still they are safe and engaging in play/learning whenever they please. The most engaging materials the children I care for have are their art /craft materials. We do a rotation of structured art and open-ended art through the week. Most projects are processed art so they are able to go back and forth from time to time to finish something or let something dry, etc.
Having my exclusive daycare space allows me to “turn off the daycare” at 5pm! This helps me transition from the kids to my own children and family. All daycare related items are in and stay in the daycare room. When I am done cleaning up for the evening, no one reenters, nothing needs to be done. It is “put away” . Also, my business area in my kitchen corner is a close away competer desk. At 5pm this is closed up like anyone else’s shop would close.