Free Daycare Supply List Templates, Samples and Guide

You've spent weeks or months gathering everything you need to curate an engaging, high-quality childcare environment and developing appropriate daycare supply lists. Your program cannot function without contributions from children's parents and guardians. A single infant can go through over 2,000 diapers in the first year alone, and those consumable materials need to come from somewhere! 

The truth is that your staff and the children in their care have needs beyond the daycare supply list for infants. Children of all ages need a range of supplies to keep them safe and comfortable throughout the day. The key to a successful program is communicating those needs to your families clearly and compassionately using comprehensive daycare supply lists.  

Continue reading to learn our best tips for daycare supply lists and take advantage of free templates/samples.  

Free Daycare Supply Lists

Free Daycare Supply List Templates 

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Daycares are busy places and creating daycare supply lists takes time. That’s why we built several free templates to ease some of the stress. Check all your boxes with our free daycare supply list templates below. Click the images below to download the free Word document templates. Or, copy and paste the text below the images to build your own PDF or Word document. 

Preschool and Early Learning Daycare School Supply List 

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Teachers in an early learning setting need two types of materials to best serve the children in their care: classroom supplies and personal care items. These materials will ensure that every child is a safe, engaged child, not a bored child. The following daycare supply list takes all these needs into consideration so your staff will have everything they need to provide holistic care for preschool-aged children.  

Dear Parents, 

We're requesting the following supplies in anticipation of a fantastic year of growth and learning. Please label each item with your child's first and last names. 

We'd appreciate it if you could send your child with these items on the first day of the program. Going forward, a prepared child will arrive with their backpack and folder every day.  

  • A small backpack or day pack for a child 
  • A two-pocket folder for home-school communication 
  • A seasonally appropriate change of clothes, including socks and undergarments 
  • A fitted crib sheet, blanket, travel pillow, and small stuffed animal for naptime  
  • One container of wet wipes 
  • Two boxes of tissues 
  • A pack of large Ziploc bags 
  • A pack of small Ziploc sandwich bags 
  • A box of 24 crayons 
  • A box of 10 "fat" washable markers 
  • A package of "fat" pencils 
  • A package of washable glue sticks 
  • A water bottle your child can open and close independently 
  • A family photo to keep at school 

Toddler Program Daycare Supply List 

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Toddlers are busy, messy little people whose developmental levels vary considerably, even within a single daycare classroom. Your daycare supply list should demonstrate an understanding of a toddler's evolving needs. Ask for supplies that anticipate upcoming milestones while respecting each child's current developmental needs.  

Dear Parents, 

Toddlers are constantly growing and changing, and we need a few supplies to keep up with their needs. Please label each item with your child's first and last names. We'd appreciate it if you could send your child with the following items on their first day.  

  • Two or three seasonally appropriate changes of clothes, including socks and undergarments 
  • A fitted crib sheet, blanket, travel pillow, and small stuffed animal/comfort item for naptime  
  • A sippy cup 
  • A large package of diapers 
  • A large container of baby wipes 
  • Two boxes of tissues 
  • One pack of large Ziploc bags 
  • A family photo to keep at school 

Daycare Supply List for Infants Program 

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Infants require more consumable supplies than any other age group, and those daycare supplies will become depleted with use. It can be wise to request more than you need so you won't be without supplies. 

With this age group, materials are very personal, so ensure all items are clearly labeled and that your classroom has a clear organizational system in place. These systems will be key to curating a welcoming environment for families.  

Dear Parents, 

We're requesting a few essential supplies to provide the best care for your sweet infant. Please label each item with your child's first and last names. We'd appreciate it if you could send your child with the following items on their first day.  

  • Two or three seasonally appropriate changes of clothes, including socks 
  • A sleeper or sleep sack for nap 
  • Pacifiers or comfort items, if necessary 
  • One or two large packages of diapers 
  • One or two large containers of baby wipes (with dispenser)  
  • Diaper ointment  
  • One container of baby powder 
  • Two boxes of tissues 
  • One large pack of Ziploc bags 
  • Three or four bottles, preprepared  
  • Baby food and snacks 
  • A family photo to keep at school 

Distributing Your Daycare Supply List 

Parents are busy, and families with multiple children have their hands twice as full. The best practice is to share your daycare supply list in various modalities. 

Include a paper list with each child's welcome packet. You might consider sending a virtual list via email and your parent communication app. If you are proactive, most children will arrive with their daycare supplies on their first day in your care.  

Including clipart or photos of any products that might seem new or unusual can be helpful. If you require items to be labeled, indicate this on your list.  

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What if a Child Is Missing Daycare School Supplies?  

Providing the best care for a child is challenging when you're missing the necessary supplies to meet their needs. If a child is missing any school supplies for daycare, communicate this to the child's family ASAP. Sometimes all it takes is a quick verbal reminder at drop-off or pickup.  

Occasionally, busy parents require a push, and that's where a quality parent communication app is essential. 

You can send parents reminders throughout the day, such as when you notice a child is on their last pack of wipes. Many providers also include a notice in the child's home-school communication folder.  

A phone call is an appropriate next step if parents or guardians fail to respond. Always communicate with compassion. If a family is struggling to procure daycare supplies, work together to find a suitable solution.  

What Is the Best Way to Remind Parents About the Daycare Supply List? 

In a connected world, a parent communication platform such as Vanco Smartcare is the best way to keep parents in the loop. It's a convenient way to connect with daycare families securely in real time. The app even allows you to send photos and other media so parents can peek at their child's empty cubby from anywhere. 

Paper lists can get lost or destroyed. Instead, meet parents where they are using an intuitive interface like Smartcare or Preschool2Me.  

Anticipating Seasonal Supply Needs in Daycare  

Daycare supply needs change with the seasons, and your daycare supply list will change, too. If a parent sends in a change of clothes in September, those clothes won't fit (or be seasonally appropriate) by April. Likewise, children will need sunscreen and hats for outdoor play during warmer months. 

Normalize using a childcare management app to schedule parent reminders weeks or months in advance. When reminders are automatic, parents and providers will have everything they need to focus on what matters: the children.

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