Cleaning in childcare centers: creating a safe and sanitary environment for kids

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Updated on:

June 11, 2023

Essential Cleaning Checklist for Childcare Centers: A Step-by-Step Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Environment

Parents rely on daycare centers to give their kids a safe, wholesome, and educational environment in which to grow and develop. As a qualified daycare provider, you owe the families that depend on your services more than simply entertaining art projects, nutritious meals, and recreational supervision for their children. Along with all of that, you're managing a team, a business, and working behind the scenes to keep things organized.

Making a clean, safe environment devoid of any invitations for germs and viruses to play is one of those duties. The importance of creating a daycare cleaning checklist is highlighted by the fact that kids share toys, play on floors, and consume everything.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the distinction between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting to maintain a safe environment in daycare centers.
  • Establish a daily cleaning checklist, including tasks like floor mopping, kitchen cleaning, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces.
  • Conduct weekly and monthly deep-cleaning, addressing areas such as toys, bookcases, bathrooms, and storage spaces. Consider using a steam cleaner like the Fortador Volt Mini for effective and chemical-free cleaning.

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childcare center cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection

Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

Cleaning a daycare center entails more than simple housekeeping. It's necessary to disinfect some places while sanitizing others.


Cleaning is the process of cleaning surfaces with water and a mild detergent to remove visible dirt, soil, and debris. If there is dirt in the path, you cannot adequately disinfect or sanitize. Before continuing, scrub, wash, and rinse each surface.


Sanitizing involves applying a sanitizing solution, such as bleach or an EPA approved industrial product, to the cleansed area and letting it air dry. Dishes, food prep areas, plastic toys that kids ingest, and other items need to be sterilized after cleaning.


Covering the cleansed area with a disinfecting solutions, such as bleach or ammonia, is known as disinfection. Covering the cleansed area with a disinfectant solution, such as bleach or ammonia, is known as disinfection. Make sure to avoid mixing ammonia and bleach. Before wiping it off, let the area air dry or adhere to the manufacturer's instructions. Disinfect the toilets, diapering areas, and any other locations where bodily fluids have been touched.

Commercial disinfectants

A "hospital grade" germicide's cleaning products labels should be carefully studied before use. Many of these could be harmful to youngsters and dangerous.

Never use cleaning supplies that are marked DANGER or CORROSIVE.

Check with the childcare nurse consultant or licensing organization to be sure any additional disinfectant or sanitizer you use is appropriate for use in a childcare setting before using it instead of a bleach and water solution. When use an industrial sanitizer that has received EPA approval, always adhere to the manufacturer's instructions.

daily cleaning checklist

Daily Cleaning Checklist

Having a cleaning routine and checklist in immensely going to help you to keep up the tidiness of your daycare facility.

  • Floors: Mop or sweep wood, tile, and carpeted floors.
  • Kitchen: kitchen counters, sinks, tables, and chairs should be sprayed and cleaned.
  • Bathrooms and diaper changing stations: Spray and clean the sinks, counters, toilets, and plastic changing pads in the restrooms and diaper changing stations. Clean the interior of toilet bowls and mop the floor.
  • Toys: As directed by the manufacturer, soak plastic toys in a non-toxic disinfection solution. Allow to dry by air. Books and puzzles should be cleaned with a moist towel and dish soap. Prior to using again, let the item air dry.
  • Mats, cots, and cribs: Wash bedding in hot water and dry completely. Use antibacterial wipes to clean all surfaces, then let them air dry.
  • High-touch surfaces - Use a non toxic disinfectant or wipes to clean light switches, door knobs, handrails, and other surfaces.
weekly cleaning checklist

Weekly Cleaning Checklist

  • All soft toys, play outfits, and other unique play things should be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Clean and sanitize the books and bookcases.
  • Cubbies should be cleaned inside and out, using disinfectant wipes or spray.
  • Deep-clean the craft and art supply departments.
  • Clean the cribs and changing tables thoroughly, being sure to get under the mats and pads.
  • Replace the bedding and wash and dry the old ones.
  • Deep-clean the center and all of the activity spaces. Dusting difficult-to-reach areas and washing down the walls should be part of this.
  • Deep-clean the bathrooms, making sure to reach tight spaces like those beneath the sinks and behind the toilets. Bathroom stalls and walls should be sprayed and cleaned.
  • The kitchen and the spaces where food is prepared should be thoroughly cleaned. The fridge and cabinets should also be thoroughly cleaned. Check the expiration dates on all consumables. Discard anything that is outdated or won't be used.

If your center relies on a car or van for transportation, give the inside a thorough cleaning. Make sure to do a thorough vacuuming. Clean all of the door and window knobs, as well as the interior of the car, including the windows.

monthly cleaning checklist

Monthly Cleaning Checklist

  • Verify the drains and plumbing. Check for any potential obstructions or leaks.
  • Deep-clean the drapes, blinds, and windows.
  • Clean thoroughly behind furniture; dust baseboards, windowsills, and vacuum.
  • Thoroughly clean all storage spaces, including shelves, closets, and boxes. Before arranging, make sure to remove everything and sanitize the area.
portbale steam cleaner
Fortador Volt MIni portable steam cleaner

Best Equipment for Daycare Centers Cleaning

One of the nest cleaning products to use for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing the daycare is a steam cleaner. These machines combine high pressure with high temperature which are able to battle against any grime and germs. These machines are perfect for daycare cleaning since you do not need to use any harmful chemicals in order to disinfect or sanitize.

One of the best steamers on the market is the Fortador Volt Mini steamer. It is very portable and easy to store. Even though it is a small machine, it is still very powerful and will aid you in battling against all dirt and viruses.

This machine comes with many accessories that will help you in cleaning different hard to reach areas. It is very easy to use and video tutorials are included on our website.

About the Authors

Kristina Tretyakova
Distinguished as a South Florida Top-10 student in 2021. Studying Marketing and Business Administration at FIU. Proficient in daily operations and skilled in cleaning, auto detailing and copywriting.
Izabela Forysiak
With a decade of experience in export operations and logistics, I bring a wealth of expertise to the field. I've navigated the complexities of logistics with precision, ensuring smooth operations and seamless exports.

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