The Ultimate Guide To Fundraising For Your Daycare in 2022

We’re big believers that your budget shouldn’t prevent you from providing the best possible equipment and care for your children, which is why we’ve put together this fundraising guide and a list of grants you may be eligible for.

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So you’re building a new playground or upgrading an existing playground—that is such an exciting and fun endeavour! However, we understand that many daycares or early childcare centres don’t have the budget to get every item on their wish list (daycare playground equipment and playsets can be expensive!)

We’re big believers that your budget shouldn’t prevent you from providing the best possible equipment and care for your children, which is why we’ve put together this fundraising guide and a list of grants you may be eligible for.

View Daycare Grants

We’ve worked with plenty of daycares and early childcare centres that have successfully fundraised enough money to complete their playground project.

The Ultimate Guide to Fundraising For Your Daycare in 2022 was created to be the one-stop-shop resource for all things daycare fundraising. It includes:

1. Tried-and-true fundraiser ideas that have worked for other daycares and childcare centres (19 of them, to be exact!)

2. Links to our list of grants AND a complimentary guide to writing grant applications

3. The principles of what makes a fundraiser effective so you can apply those same principles to your upcoming fundraiser

4. Tips and tricks from the Simplified Playgrounds team to make your fundraisers even more special

5. The key roles or “hats” that you’re going to need to wear to make sure your fundraiser is as successful as possible 

There are lots of different ways to raise money for a playground. What worked best for one daycare might not be the best option for another daycare. Each community is different, and a bit of trial and error is usually required to figure out what’s going to work for you.

One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give you is that fundraising doesn’t need to be “one-and-done”. If one fundraising campaign didn’t give you the results you were looking for, don’t give up! Sometimes it is necessary to run a few different fundraisers to raise enough money to complete your project.

It’s never too early to start thinking about what type of fundraiser you want to run. We’ve put together a list of different ways to raise money for your daycare or early childcare centre:

  • Facebook fundraisers
  • Applying for grants
  • Walk-a-thons
  • Discount or coupon books
  • Donated items
  • Yearbooks
  • Art Calendars
  • Yard Sales
  • Nighttime Daycare
  • Gift baskets or packages
  • Silent auctions
  • Comedy shows
  • Art exhibits
  • Car washes
  • One-time events
  • Bingo nights
  • Food sales
  • Talent shows
  • Raffles

Facebook Fundraisers

Plenty of daycares have had great success using Facebook to raise money. Facebook reviews each fundraiser for legitimacy, so make sure you provide all the necessary information Facebook requires. This is a simple, yet effective way to raise awareness and extra funds.

Simplified Tip: The best time for Facebook fundraisers? Your daycare’s birthday. It’s a fun and creative way to get the fundraiser started. The key is to make it personal and share exactly how the funds are going to be used. This can have a big impact, as the more people that donate, the more the word spreads and more potential donors will see the fundraiser.

Applying for Grants

daycare owner applying for grants

You’re probably eligible for government and/or private grants. Securing grants can be one of the easiest ways to fundraise money for your daycare or upcoming playground project. Some grants are dependent on location or how the money will be used, so make sure you have a detailed plan or strategy of how the money will be used before you start applying for grants.

Simplified Tip: We’ve compiled a list of grant opportunities broken down by location. Take a look to see which ones you may be eligible for! We’ve also created a grant writing guide to assist you.

Daycare Grant List
Grant Application Guide


woman and child on a daycare walkathon

This is one of our favourite methods of raising funds. Why? Because it gets the kids and adults moving! It’s a great activity for everyone to do together. There are plenty of online platforms participants can use to collect pledges from friends and family members, create teams and choose a date and time for the event.

Work with other local businesses to offer prizes to the top teams, and make sure to have participation ribbons or certificates for everyone to celebrate the end of the event.

Simplified Tip: We always encourage participants to create teams. It’s more fun than walking alone, and it can create a healthy level of competition! Talk to local businesses about donating prizes such as gift cards or gift certificates. Most local business owners love to help out other locals and support the kids.


woman and child on a daycare walkathon

Professional photos of the kids and staff are great, but taking candid photos of the kids and the various projects and games they’re participating in while at daycare can be a great way to share the magic with parents.

Taking photos like this provides parents with an insight into what daily life is like for their kids at daycare. Taking candid photos while the children are baking, gardening, playing, or reading is the easiest way to spread the magic. After a year or even just a few months of doing this, you should have enough content and magical moments to compile into a yearbook that is full of memories and great times.

Simplified Tip: Shop around for photo books to keep costs low. Check out sites like Groupon, or see if you can get a bulk discount.

Art Calendars

woman and child on a daycare walkathon

One of the most common activities for children to do at daycare is arts and crafts. Parents and family members love showcasing their children’s art on the fridge, and you can take it a step further by compiling all of the children’s art projects throughout the year into a calendar.

Canva has free calendar templates you can use for inspiration or mock-ups.

Simplified Tip: Make sure to label each child’s artwork so their family members can appreciate it!

Yard Sales

woman and child on a daycare walkathon

Most people have knick-knacks or junk in their attic or garage that never get used. Give the children’s parents or family members an opportunity to host a community yard sale.

This is one of our favourite fundraising mechanisms because it gives the parents an opportunity to get rid of junk while helping you to raise funds for your daycare!

If your daycare isn’t in a great spot for a yard sale, see if a community member or parent is willing to host the yard sale!

Simplified Tip: Get the kids involved by having them create cute posters advertising the yard sale to hang up around the community. They can also decorate the yard area, as well as a donation jar.

Nighttime Daycare

woman and child on a daycare walkathon

Parents and family members need an occasional break from the stresses of daily life. One interesting way to raise funds for your daycare is by offering nighttime daycare once a month or once a quarter. Offer to take the kids in for part of the night to give the parents a needed break. Choose a weekday or weekend night and charge parents a fee to drop their kids off for the night.

Order pizza (or provide healthy snacks—we don’t judge here), have a kid-friendly movie ready to go, and supply arts and crafts.

Parents and family members will really appreciate the opportunity to take a break!

Simplified Tip: Limit the number of children you’re willing to take in for the night. It can be tempting to host everyone who signs up, but it’s important to make sure you’re not causing undue stress on yourself or your employees.

Setting Up Your Daycare Fundraiser

There are four main areas to think about when it comes to setting up and planning your upcoming fundraiser.

1. Determine Budget

Spending too much money on setting up your fundraiser can eat into the amount of money that goes towards reaching your goal. Start by setting up a clear budget for setting up the event, buying any relevant materials, and reserving any spaces.

2. Set Clear Goals

Are you fundraising to purchase new playground equipment? If so, get a quote first. Is there something else you’re fundraising for? Make sure you understand the associated costs in as much detail as possible.

Setting clear goals in the beginning makes it more likely you’ll achieve those goals as time goes on.

Your goals don’t just need to be related to the dollar value raised. It can also include the number of community members involved, or the number of people reached on social media.

3. Choose Your Fundraiser Type

Some fundraising types will be better than others depending on your budget, location, and how much money you need to fundraise.

Work with the parents and committee members to determine which fundraiser is best. Getting buy-in from all of these stakeholders early on will make your life much easier further down the line.

After determining the type of fundraiser, you can start to put together a project plan!

4. Involve The Community

Other members of your community are usually a great starting point for planning out and garnering support for your upcoming fundraiser.

Prizes, gift baskets, and sponsorships can come from other local businesses. Parents and other community members could be receptive to volunteer or committee positions. This can be especially helpful if organizing and planning everything is a weak spot for you. Lean on other members of your community to help you out!

Businesses, church groups, local offices, banks, and doctor’s offices are great places to present your upcoming fundraiser.

Setting Up Your Fundraising Committee

This can be a group of people, or if you’re a solo operation, you can wear all of these hats. The most important aspect is being aware of these different roles so you can make the fundraising process as smooth as possible.

1. The Commander

The person in this role should be adept at managing people and making informed decisions. The Commander is responsible for removing tie-breakers and barriers. They are the voice of reason and should not be conflict-averse.

2. The Treasurer

The Treasurer needs to understand the local laws and regulations that govern fundraising. They are also responsible for responsibly managing the budget and funds raised from the fundraiser. The Treasurer helps to inform The Commander when it comes to allocating budget and resources.

3. The Advertiser

This role is responsible for communicating the fundraiser to all key stakeholders. These key stakeholders are parents, community members, and other local business owners. The goal of this role is to raise awareness of the cause and fundraiser.

4. The Planner

The Planner performs one of the most important roles in the fundraising process. They make it happen. The Planner lays out the fundraising plan so that it runs as smoothly as possible. Depending on the community involvement and size of the fundraising initiative, there may be multiple people fulfilling this role.

Closing Thoughts

Raising enough money for a new playground, supplies, or initiative for your daycare or early childcare centre can seem daunting at first. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This Ultimate Guide has compiled the experience and knowledge gained by other daycares and early childcare centres that have walked this path before you.

After reading this guide, you should have a better understanding of the different types of fundraising campaigns you can run, how to set up and plan your daycare fundraiser, and the different types of roles and responsibilities that go into making a fundraiser successful.

If you'd like assistance choosing the right play equipment for your daycare, reach out to us!

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