Daycare Cleaning Checklist

Daycare Cleaning Checklist

Running a daycare facility efficiently poses many challenges. With current events putting an extra emphasis on the cleanliness and well-being of everyone and everything we come in contact with, it may seem more overwhelming than ever. Providing the best possible environment for children means keeping the classroom safe, clean, organized, and germ-free. Cleanliness is so much more than just vacuuming, putting toys away, and taking out the garbage at the end of the day. Creating or updating your cleaning checklist is an easy way to keep things running like a fine-tuned machine.  So, where do you start when it’s time to implement a new cleaning plan?


Organization is key

There are endless amounts of cleaning tasks to tackle when it comes to keeping your childcare center clean and free of germs and viruses. The best way to stay on top of it is to keep things organized. Create a list that divides cleaning duties up into categories and figure out which tasks need to be done continuously, every day, once a week, once a month, and what tasks need to be done with the help of professionals. A specific cleaning schedule will not only help you stay on top of everything that needs to be done but will divide up the work and help you prioritize the important things first.


Make Cleaning Lists Easily Accessible

Make sure that the staff and those responsible for cleaning duties can easily access the list and  check things off as they go. Posting an updated cleaning checklist in a designated spot will ensure tasks are not only getting completed but that the same things aren’t getting cleaned multiple times when it’s not needed.


Continuous Cleaning

These are ongoing tasks that should be done throughout the day. This list will include things that need to be cleaned before and after each use.


  • Clean and disinfect all diaper changing tables and potty chairs. Make sure they are free from any bodily fluids before and after each use.
  • Use hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes after each diaper change or trash is emptied.
  • Empty trash receptacles and diaper pails before they are full.
  • Toilet seats and handles should be wiped down with bleach or disinfectant after each use.
  • Keep play area surfaces wiped down after each activity.
  • Food prep stations, and countertops need to be disinfected before and after food is prepared.
  • Dishes must be washed after each use. Do not leave unwashed dishes in the sink to pile up.
  • Sinks must be clear and free of food and debris.
  • Tables, highchairs, and all other seating and surfaces need to be wiped down before and after snack time.
  • Make sure toys that are not being used are picked up and stored away. Toys that have been chewed on or are dirty should be put away out of reach for cleaning. Spray toys or soak in a sanitizing solution at the end of the day.


Daily Cleaning

Making a daily cleaning schedule will help staff stay on task and make it easier to divide up the cleaning duties. These are the things that need to be cleaned daily; some more than once a day.


  • Wipe and spray down toys at the end of each day and return them to their designated spot.
  • Clean up and organize all art and craft supplies.
  • Check mats, linens, and sleeping pads for soil and wash after each use.
  • Clean and sanitize kitchen equipment, sinks, and countertops.
  • Sweep and mop your daycare center’s floors and vacuum all rugs and soft surfaces.
  • Disinfect doorknobs, cabinets, and light switches as well as all phones and computers.
  • Clean bathrooms by scrubbing toilets with bleach. Disinfect all countertops, sinks, and surfaces at the end of each day.
  • Wash all linens before returning them to beds or changing tables.


Weekly Cleaning

These are things that can be done weekly. You can divide these tasks up to be done on a specific day. This will make an overall cleaning practice seem less substantial and ensure that they are accomplished thoroughly.


  • Clean and wash all soft toys, dress-up clothes, or special play items.
  • Wipe down and disinfect books and bookshelves.
  • Take everything out of cubbies and wipe inside and out with disinfectant wipes or spray.
  • Do a deep clean of art supply and craft areas.
  • Wipe down cribs and changing tables, thoroughly clean with bleach or disinfectant; making sure to get under the mats and pads.
  • Change out linens and wash and fold the old ones.
  • Do a deep clean of the center and all activity rooms. This should include dusting
  • hard-to-reach places as well as wiping down the walls.
  • Deep clean the bathrooms and be sure to get hard-to-reach places like behind the toilet and underneath the countertops. Spray and wipe down bathroom walls and stalls.
  • Deep clean the kitchen and food prep areas, including kitchen equipment and utensils. This should include a deep clean of the fridge and cabinets. Check all food and beverages for expiration. Throw out anything that is old or will not be used.
  • If your center uses a car or van for transportation, do a deep clean of the inside. Make sure to vacuum thoroughly. Wipe down all door and window handles as well as all surfaces inside the vehicle, including windows.


Monthly Cleaning

The things on this list should include areas that require regular maintenance. You can rotate these tasks to everyone on staff throughout the year, so the load is shared by all.


  • Check the plumbing and drains. Look for leaks or possible clogs.
  • Deep clean windows, blinds, and curtains.
  • Deep clean behind furniture; vacuum and dust baseboards and windowsills.
  • Deep clean shelves, closets, and all storage areas and containers. Be sure to take everything out and wipe down with disinfectant before reorganizing.


Professional Cleaning

This list should include things that are best left to the professionals. Things that may require special equipment or need to be done during off-hours.


  • Deep clean carpets or upholstery a few times a year to ensure there is no buildup of bacteria in heavy traffic areas. This will also help to treat stains as well as prevent them from happening.
  • Clean air ducts to ensure air is free from mold and dust buildup.
  • Deep clean and polish hardwood floors
  • Deep clean bathrooms and kitchens. Extensively cleaning the grout will minimize the accumulation of germs, mildew and bacteria.


In addition to a safe and routine cleaning practice inside your center, it is crucial to let parents know what they can do when picking their kids up from daycare to help prevent the spread of germs.


Tips for Parents During Pickup


  • Keep hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes in the car.
  • Wipe down backpacks and lunch boxes before getting into the car.
  • Discard of any old or uneaten lunch or snack items that cannot be kept.
  • Keep a separate bag for soiled or dirty items that are returning home with your child.



Having a regular cleaning routine is place will ensure that the children and parents that visit your center frequently stay healthy, happy, and germ-free. And that, in turn, will help to keep you business healthy as well!



Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Are you getting ready for longer, sunnier days, spring break and getting one month closer to the end of the school year? So are we! Spring is the perfect season to close out winter and do some spring cleaning. Here are our tips for spring cleaning at a childcare center:

1. Floors
Sanitize floors to remove muck and germs that built up over winter.  Steam cleaning hard surfaces like linoleum or hardwood and using a carpet cleaner to clean carpets is your best bet.  Search for professional cleaners in your area.  Or, if you’re on a budget, most home improvement stores offer affordable rental options.  Plan on about an hour per room and 24 hours to fully dry.  A great way to clean floors on a budget is to rent cleaners, come in on a Saturday morning (or another day you don’t have kids in school), clean and be done by lunch time, and then come back on Monday to a facility that feels like new!  We’ve heard it turns into a team event too – just don’t forget to bring the donuts!


2. Organize
Your center is probably no stranger to a mess – crayons, markers, books, toys get strewn around.  Here are our favorite organizing hacks:

  • Supply buckets: get small (1 gallon or less) buckets and keep crayons, markers and other small supplies separated into their own bucket. The handles make it easy for kids to carry without spilling, and clean-up time become a game: match the right supply to the right bucket.
  • Prep bins: get larger tote bins and put all supplies for a single activity into each bin. For example, if you’re doing a self-portrait, put paper, crayons and other materials into a bin with a lid.  When it’s time for the activity, take out the bin, distribute supplies and when it’s time to clean-up, everything goes back in the same bin.
  • Label maker! Need we say more?  Having a label maker for your supply buckets, prep bins and other boxes makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and easier to put things back where they belong.


3. Files
Spring is a good time to shred old files.  Make sure you know your state’s laws for record retention.  7 years is usually a very safe bet.  Many communities offer free shredding events to safely dispose of documents that are no longer needed.  Check out to see if there’s an event near you.


4. Upgrade Systems
Just as you sanitize your floors, organize your supplies and get rid of files you no longer need, spring is also a great time to upgrade your systems.  Do you have a mobile app for parents to manage attendance, pay bills and get updates?  Do you have an electronic registration form?  How about a way for parents to book a tour on your website?  If you don’t or your current systems are older than the documents you’re shredding, give us 30 minutes to explain how Smartcare can help organize your day-to-day operations, delight parents and increase revenue.


Interested in learning more?

Schedule a Demo

Watch our 1 minute intro video above

Your live demo will include how to:

  • Send billing and post payments
  • Record attendance history
  • Retain medical information
  • Note incidents, successes, and birthdays
  • Make payments at your center
  • Create real-time communication with parents
  • Use leads to nurture prospective families
Meet all your center’s needs with our cohesive child care and preschool software solutions

The Daze of Summer

The Daze of Summer

Summer can be a unique time for a childcare center. Normal routines get disrupted. Everyone seems like they are in vacation mode. And yet, you probably feel busier than ever. We think summer is a great opportunity expand your program offerings and think about improving in the next year.
Summer Activities

Summer activities can present different challenges and opportunities than the school year.

Do you run a summer camp or offer summer specific activities?  Consider offering summer programs for school-age children.  This is a great way to make use of extra space at your facility and helps parents find quality care. 

Smartcare can help in several ways:

  • If you’re already using Smartcare, use our messaging feature to message parents to promote your summer programs.  Chances are many of your parents have school-age children!
  • Better yet, if you’re using Smartcare, ask your families if they have school-age children and use tags to tag families with school-age children so that you can filter for just that group, and message them specifically.
  • Use our online enrollment feature to quickly get information about children enrolling in summer programs and eliminate data entry.
  • Use our billing feature to bill by attendance, flat fee or on-demand, based on the fees for your program.
  • Use our lesson planning functionality to build engaging activities specific to your summer program, keeping kids engaged and parents satisfied.
  • Track attendance for all of your programs, keeping children safe and giving parents peace of mind.


Getting Ready for Next Year

In addition to using summer as an opportunity to expand program offerings, summer is also a great time to get ready for next year. 

Use the change in pace to look back at the prior year and assess your performance.  These are just a few questions to ask yourself.  Each situation is different, but in general, this a good place to start.

  • Were you in ratio compliance for all your classes for the prior year?
  • Are you collecting over 98% of charges in less than 30 days?
  • Did you meet your budget, especially for teacher payroll?
  • Did you complete assessments on all children and discuss the outcome with parents?


Smartcare has tools to help you improve next year.  At a high level, Smartcare is an all-in-one platform to manage a childcare center, with functionality including:

  • Manage multiple locations from anywhere
  • Online enrollment and registration
  • Manage attendance
  • Automate billing, payment collection and account integration
  • Class, student and teacher scheduling
  • Employee hours worked and paid time off
  • Curriculum, lesson plans, assessments and activity tracking
  • Custom reporting
  • And much more!

Schedule a Demo

Watch our 1 minute intro video above

Your live demo will include how to:

  • Send billing and post payments
  • Record attendance history
  • Retain medical information
  • Note incidents, successes, and birthdays
  • Make payments at your center
  • Create real-time communication with parents
  • Use leads to nurture prospective families
Meet all your center’s needs with our cohesive child care and preschool software solutions

Manage Teachers Easier

Manage Teachers Easier

We know managing teachers at your childcare center can be a struggle. We also know that you care deeply about making sure the children at your school get great care and education, and that you want your teachers to be satisfied with their work so that they stay and grow with your center. We’re here to help, and here’s how:

Basic Info

This may not be the flashiest feature of our application, but it’s an important one.  We digitize all your teacher records, giving you one single place to access information like name, contact info, and more.

Time Sheet

Teachers will clock-in and clock-out using Smartcare’s app, and use can use this information to power your payroll, eliminating the need for teachers to manage attendance in disparate systems.  You can see clock-in and clock-out information from anywhere, and you can make add time or make edits as needed.  You get the ability to manage vacation and sick time, creating limits and resets, as well as seeing how much time has been used.  If you want supervisors to review and sign-off on timecards, we can do that too with our employee timecard report.


When it comes time to run payroll, our Payroll List report gives you options to customize date range, when a pay period starts and ends, how overtime is calculated based on your state or your own policies, and many other grouping, sorting and filter options.


Our scheduling features gives you the ability to create Schedule Templates which is just a fancy way of saying you can have one or more schedules and assign those to teachers rather than create individual schedules for each teacher.  But you can always create individual schedules or make edits as needed based on changes for that teacher.  Your teacher schedules will link with your student schedules, so you can see classroom ratios in the future and adjust as needed.

Certifications and Training

We know that no two centers are the same, so we’ve given you all the flexibility you need to track certifications and training.  Using custom fields or tags, you can create dates for certifications that have a specific time period or add tags for certifications to know which staff have those certifications.  Using documents, you can upload electronic copies and keep those in your digital files so they’re accessible whenever you need them.  All custom fields are reportable, so you can run reports to see whose certifications will need to be renewed, and you can proactively plan accordingly.


We often hear that teacher turnover is a challenge.  What we have learned by working with nearly 2,000 childcare centers is that teachers leave for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes they leave for pay, and that’s a budgeting decision that can be tough to make, although Smartcare has solutions to help increase enrollment and reduce transaction costs, increasing budgets for teacher compensation if you choose to do so.  But beyond pay, often teachers leave because of their schedules, frustrations with their day-to-day activities, and lack of professional development.  We think our only scheduling tool helps make scheduling easier and clear.  We think our teacher app helps teachers do their in-classroom documentation and parent communication (ask us more about our teacher app!).  And ultimately, we think saving time managing employees gives directors more time for staff development.

To learn more about how Smartcare can help you make managing teachers easier, schedule a demo here

Parents want better communication and more convenience

Parents want better communication and more convenience

Communication and coordination is critical. Technology can streamline communication while also engaging parents more fully in their child’s experience.
Send News Alerts Throughout the Day

Besides indicating a child’s status at your center, a mobile communication app enables you to send news alerts, messages, updates and other information through real-time notifications. It can also allow parents to monitor their child’s achievements throughout the day.

Handle Emergencies More Efficiently and Effectively

Imagine a scenario in which you have to close your center because of a snowstorm or other emergency, but some parents don’t receive the message because they already left the house before you called – or maybe they failed to check your center’s website. With the ability to send real-time notifications through a mobile app, you can ensure that parents never miss receiving vital information.

Provide Written Reports at the End of the Day

Many child care centers provide a written report of each child’s activities and progress at the end of the day. But when parents leave their children with you, this is often the first extended absence they have experienced from their child – and it is only natural that some parents might feel anxious or want to learn how things are going before pick-up time rolls around. A mobile app allows you to delight your parents throughout the day.

With a real-time communication app, you can engage with parents and satisfy their curiosity throughout the day by sending them updates, photos, and even short video clips showing key happenings and milestones. Parents appreciate getting these glimpses into their child’s day. Providing a more personal touch to their experience with your center.

Communicate Regularly Without Disrupting Staff

To make sure these real-time updates do not get in the way of actual child care, it is essential that your teachers and other child care providers have an easy way to capture special moments.

Teachers already record their observations about children’s behavior and development; if they can send parents quick updates from the same system they use to log this information, then these updates will not disrupt their daily workflow.

See how one cohesive platform can simplify your workflow!

For Parents, It’s All About Convenience, Convenience, Convenience

Real-time updates are terrific, but parents also want to be able to view a summary of their child’s progress at a glance. They want an easy way to register their child, schedule child care service, and provide medical information, permission forms, or other information as needed, without having to visit your center in person to drop off this information. And they want convenient options when it comes time to pay for child care.

Technology can simplify payments:
  1. It frees busy parents from having to think about making payments. It’s all about their convenience.
  2. It prevents you from having to chase down payments from late-paying clients.
  3. It simplifies your record-keeping.

As parents have more choices about where to send their children for child care, the quality of their experience plays a big role in the choices they make.

This includes not only the quality of the care their child receives, but also important factors such as safety, convenience, communication and engagement. These are all areas where technology can help set your services apart from your competition.

Parents Demand Enhanced Safety

Parents Demand Enhanced Safety

The most important factor in choosing a child care provider for many parents is a safe environment. One survey of parents, from the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, found that this was the number one issue for 36% of parents. Cutting edge child care centers are finding that the right technology can help put parents fears to rest by ensuring their child remains secure in their care.

One of the biggest fears on the mind of every parent is the threat of their child being abducted while the parent is away. It’s unlikely a stranger will be the culprit. A more likely scenario is the danger that a child might be taken by an adult that he or she knows. Child care centers need to be prepared for these kinds of situations by having a secure way for parents to drop off and pick up their child. Ideally, all entrances into your facility should be kept locked at all times, and access should be granted only to those who are authorized to enter. So how can you control who enters your facility?

See how we can add a greater level of security in your center.

A system that is becoming increasingly popular is one that allows secure entry to your facility through a simple QR scan. It’s much like the one airline travelers now use to board their flight. A big advantage of this type of system is that it can easily be modified to accommodate trusted friends or family members if someone’s drop-off or pick-up plans should suddenly change.

With a QR code scanner, parents can add another person who is authorized to pick up their child to the system on the fly. Then the system notifies the parents that the child has been picked up by the appropriate person. Parents appreciate knowing when their child has been signed in or out of the facility.

An app that shows the status of a child in real time can give parents this peace of mind, while also ensuring that all family members who are responsible for daily drop-offs and pick-ups are on the same page. No one can pick up a child without an appropriate and approved QR code, giving parents peace of mind.

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