How to select Multi-Purpose Resources for Childcare
Purchasing resources that provide multipurpose uses is not only cost effect but greatly benefit the service. Resources that can be used with adult directed, intentional teaching or alternatively by children in free open play benefit the program and create great flexibility. When looking to purchase new resources for your early learning service consider the multipurpose opportunities of the equipment you are buying – this will help you drive your budget further.
Consider the purpose of this purchase
Is there a new interest in your service that children have displayed that is driving your purchase? This is a great reason to buy new equipment but what happens after this interest dies down? Ensure you purchase with long term as well as short term purpose in mind to drive that budget further! Purchase resources that will have use in the future and not just a once off opportunity.
Can the purchase be used in multiple rooms and varying age ranges?
Many services cater for children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age and to ensure purchases are cost effective, it is important to look at how the equipment can be used to cater for many age ranges. Consider the safety of some items for use with babies as well as challenging the preschool age children and the varying ways each age group may use the resource.
Is it inclusive for all children including those with disabilities?
When purchasing resources consider whether it will be inclusive of a variety of abilities. Services who cater for children with disabilities may need to look at whether the resources can be used for these children as well to prevent the need to purchase too many resources for specific care needs.
Does the equipment fit into various learning centres?
Can the resource move across the service into different learning areas? Think about whether the purchase will be able to morph into different developmental learning areas in the learning environment, for example used in construction but also used in the outdoor environment, therefore extending the use of the resource.
Is it long wearing and durable and flexible?
Purchasing well made, durable products is a must for any business but especially true for Early Learning Services. The rigors of day-to-day use mean it is important that purchases are going to stand the test of time and remain safe and well presented for their purpose for a long period. STEP4 can help provide your service with resources that will stand up to the wear and tear that comes with the busy use by many little hands!