COVID-19 Childcare Supplies List for Parents

As childcare centers are beginning to reopen, extra precautions like more cleaning, sanitizing, hand washing, and personal protective equipment are part of what the ‘new normal’ looks like. 

While these may be important measures to take, they do come at a significant financial cost — and when centers are operating with less enrolment, more staff and additional supplies, any financial support from parents  is welcome.

As parents begin to return, now is the perfect time to update supplies lists to include items that help with the new health and safety requirements. By sending a few extra items, parents can do their part to help their center significantly reduce their expenses and prevent more drastic measures like increasing tuition.

See the list below for items that parents can provide centers to help during these challenging times!

Supplies Lists

Cleaning & Protection

  • Paper towel
  • Lysol spray or wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand soap
  • Dish soap
  • Sponges
  • Disposable gloves
  • Face masks

Infants

  • Diapers
  • Diaper cream
  • Wipes
  • Pacifiers
  • Teethers
  • Bibs
  • Bottles
  • Food (milk/formula, baby food)
  • Sippy cup
  • Feeding utensils
  • Washcloths
  • Bedding
  • Sleepsack
  • Extra clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Medication

Toddlers

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Underwear
  • Extra clothing
  • Bibs
  • Indoor shoes
  • Sippy cup
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sleeping bag
  • Yoga mat or nap mat
  • Medication

Preschoolers

  • Indoor shoes
  • Extra clothing
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sleeping bag or blanket
  • Yoga mat or nap mat
  • Medication

General Tips

Label everything

Make sure that nothing gets mixed up, especially while teachers are trying to keep items separated to prevent cross-contamination.

Keep items organized by activity

This makes it SO much easier to find everything you need when getting ready for an activity.

Keep everything easily accessible in the bag

Try to not have everything piled on top of each other. Ideally, teachers should be able to open the bag and see every item that’s inside at a glance.


Want even more tools to better manage your center? Download our free ‘New Normal’ kit!


What are other items can parents provide to help their center? Let us know in the comments!

Michael Keshen

Michael is the Content Manager at HiMama, with over 7 years of online content publishing experience. He is the current editor in chief for HiMama's early childhood education blog and ECE Weekly newsletter. When not developing content for early childhood professionals, he can usually be found out and about with his wife and daughter exploring all that Toronto has to offer, or playing music with his karaoke band.

13 comments

  • Katie Schultz says:

    This is completely unnecessary and unfair to parents. While I agree that upping tuition or adding a fee is not ideal, I think my parents would rather pay a little extra every week than have to search out gloves or hand sanitizer to bring to child care.

    • Fetouh Bakiry says:

      I strongly agree .

    • JUANA GAYTAN says:

      I strongly agree parents are In the same boat as, us its hard if we work all week its hard to find cleaning supplies as persons that dont work
      or are related to cashiers are given a phone call to come get supplies as the truck just came in sorry to say.

    • Ms. Banks says:

      I AGREE WITH YOU! I would be willing to pay an additional $20.00 per week to cover the cost.

  • Imma Martella says:

    I think they should be supplying items. They do it in JK and SK. And parents are very receptive and feel involved when you ask for things. It’s not like you are using the things on other children. It’s their child so they should. It probably reassures them as well that nothing is shared and their child have they’re own things.

  • Debbie Alston says:

    Hello, Their are several items on your supply list that I would like for you to reconsider.

    Lysol Spray / Wipes – Lysol spray leaves a film on the surface once used. It is not appropriate for
    sanitizing are killing germs. Bleach and Water is the best solution.

    Sponges – Sponges harbor germs and bacteria! Wiping surfaces with a sponge only causes the germs and bacteria to remain
    in the sponge and you are spreading the germs from surface to surface.
    Paper towels are the best solution. You use them once and throw them away!

  • Belkis LeVrier says:

    Thank you for the time spent putting this article together with the intent to help us. I agree that parents are eager to help. We don’t ask our parents for anything, and they have been donating items on their own. But, if we were in need, we would certainly ask for help. Our parents would be more than happy to assist and get involved.

  • Rae Redmond says:

    I do think it’s unfair for them to bring everything but there are ways to allow them to understand. Instead of an enrollment fee, I ask parents for supplies, twice a year that WILL be used on other children for a sense of community. It’s like the hand sanitizer that’s at the front of the grocery store? Relate it to their job–I’m sure they have hand sanitizer at their desks, you use a facial tissue when you need it although it wasn’t purchased for you, I’m sure you don’t bring your own toilet paper to work! We ALL want to be safe so someone, EVERYONE should supply it. Reach out to your state superintendent of education to stock you with PPE. Hold a fundraiser for vinyl nap mats that can be cleaned easily. Purchase a set of sippy cups and water bottles from Dollar Tree that stay at your facility so there’s no back and forth or forgetting. Parents should obviously supply extra clothing, lunch, diapers, wipes, linens and medication. Then when you do raise tuition, tell parents why! (I purchased wipeable mats, hand soap, paper towels for our community…) If there is a problem with sharing, you have some adult teachable moments on your hand! Good luck!

  • Melinda says:

    I think it’s best they supply because it will be best for their child other than using something that the child will react to, yes in the long run if finished during the school may have to have some in store for incase. Some parents understand but others will definately not they would rather opt for paying more fees….

  • Nicolene Mathews says:

    I think it’s every parents responsible to provide their children for nessasary equipment to protect them from any sickness…as they are well aware that government will not support on regularly basis.

  • Jamila Mohamed says:

    I think childcare centers should provide all safety supplies for parents and their children at the centers.

  • Amanda says:

    If you are a home daycare provider, I don’t think it is to much to ask that each parent supply disinfecting wipes, paper towels, tissues, etc.
    It is not like you are solely relying on them for your supply of cleaning products that are required anyway.
    It is only to help out.
    lets say you have two to three families and each one brings a two pack of paper towels, a box of tissues and a pack of disinfecting wipes.
    will it last forever? no. but it is a huge help!
    The hours in our day are spent taking care of their children, making sure that they are in a safe, nurturing, and educational environment.
    we put in countless extra hours planning, prepping, training and CLEANING to make sure our programs are as safe as possible.
    If everyone helped out with a box of gloves here and some paper towels from time to time, it would benefit everyone.
    Anytime I am out, I will try to grab an extra box of something just so I do not run out.
    gloves for changing diapers is a big one.
    the other one is paper towels.
    Those two items that are required by SO many can be hard to find now so if a parent is out and sees a box and it is on the supply list, it can make such a difference.
    There have been plenty times that I personally have went out on the weekend looking for these items and have not been able to purchase my usual amount.
    Then I am left with having to go out at the end of the day after i close or order online.
    you have to do what you have to do and plan accordingly but sometimes, even that isn’t enough now.

    Many parents are happy to help and if they really are not able then that is why it is important to keep communication open and how you word everything.

  • Kimberly says:

    As a grandparent now of children taken care of at daycare I, as well as my daughter, have no problem providing ANYTHING the kids need. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be used only for them or for all the children there. Especially now with the covid19 it is of great importance for everyone to try and help each other in anyway. People need to stop complaining and realize that it’s not the sole responsibility of anyone for our babies to be safe. We need to do get safely through this together. Everyone wants the children as well as the care providers to stay healthy. Thank you so much to all the care providers that are still there to provide care so that parents are able to continue employment.

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