How to set up your front entrance space

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This is an area that often gets congested as parents drop off in the morning and pick up at the end of the day.  If your front foyer space is very small, you might want to consider staggering your daycare children’’s drop off times so that everyone does not arrive at the same moment.

Lay down a large front door mat so that the parents can move around a bit while they help their child get out of their jacket and boots.  Chances are the parent will not take off their shoes to come in so have another mat that leads to the closet or set of hooks where the daycare children will store their belongings. Having a spot for the parent to set down their keys and purse or bag is very helpful.  A chair, small table, ledge or shelf will do.

A child size stool, chair or bench is also very helpful at the front entrance.  The child can sit on it to take their boots off and you will find it extremely helpful when you are getting all your children ready for outside play time later on in the day.

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Next, you need to decide if you are going to make room in your front hall closet for your daycare children’’s coats, boots, hat, mitts and backpacks, or are you going to install some hooks.  I have found low hooks to be a quick and easy way to organize five sets of outerwear.  We live in Canada, so we deal with all types of weather.   Low hooks encourage children to take responsibility for their own belongings.  They can learn at a young age to hang up their coat, put their boots on the mat and put their hats in a certain place.

Hooks

 We use a large basket that sits on the floor for hats.  I found large hooks that will hold a bag, snowpants and a jacket for each child.  Some people will install a low shelf above the hooks to store hats and mitts.  Some people use bins inside their coat closet, others use a coat rack (just make sure it won’’t tip over).

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I wouldn’’t recommend hanging up the children’’s coats everyday in the closet because you will quickly find that it is too time consuming.  You need something that is easy and fast. Leaving all the coats in a pile is certainly quick but you’’ll run into problems with kids not being able to find their coats and mittens getting mixed up.  I used to teach Kindergarten so I understand the confusion and chaos of helping multiple children get dressed everyday.

I mentioned earlier the benefit of having a few child size chairs or stools or a bench. A bench is fantastic to have because the children will use it to sit on as they get dressed and it is also a place for the kids to sit and wait if they are the first ones dressed.  You can have a simple game they can play or a poster they can look at while they wait for you to finish dressing the younger children. Plus, many benches have a hidden storage compartment.

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Lastly it is very helpful to have a spot in the front entrance to place craft projects or anything that is going home.  A shelf or ledge is ideal but a clothesline or bags hanging on the children’s hooks would work as well.  Some caregivers will set up a small spot for notices, reminders or communication books.  This depends on the routine of the caregiver and the number of children they care for.

Now that you have considered and met the needs of your daycare parents and daycare children at drop off and pick up time, you will find the daily transitions smoother and easier.

Comments

  1. How did I not find you sooner!!! Great information! I would love to share my tips as well!

    Thanks for the help!

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