I'm coming to the end of my fostering assessment process and in a few weeks I'd hope to be thinking about kitting out my spare room with start up basics. I think I'm aiming for age 4 and over to start with and would be just one child. I don't have my own children. I've found a bed I like and have been looking at wardrobes and storage units. What else did you have to start with that was particularly useful?
Enough bedding and towels, neutral for any gender, and we asked our family and friends for kids games, books etc that they didn't want anymore. We got some great stuff. A chair by the bed perhaps for reading stories? I made sure both rooms had a lamp or nightlight, too. And I know some carers who keep basic toiletries and toothbrushes in, especially if they do emergency placements. They might come with nothing or they might come with everything they need so don't go overboard!
We bought catch locks for all rooms downstairs. Our little one liked to get up and wander around all night when they first came. I was concerned about keeping them safe. Just put them on the top of doors where they couldn't reach. Tried stair gate first but they opened it as soon as we put it up! All night supermarkets are great when they are first placed. Don't buy individual items until the child is placed as lots of times you will get the phone call and be waiting only to be later told plans have changed.
Thank you- I'm looking at safety equipment at the moment. Hadn't considered catch locks. Does that work ok with fire evacuation? Just wondering about them myself. Have a date for panel now so want to use the time I have left in the best way by being as ready as possible without going overboard!
The only doors that we put the locks are are downstairs and we lock them on the way to bed so there's no one locked in. It worked out for us as I was so worried about them getting injured downstairs if we were all asleep. There are also alarms that you can get for their bedroom that alert you when they come out of their room. Fortunately the wandering settled down after a couple of months.
My LA supplied all the start up furniture, bedding, prams, car seats etc when I was first approved and as they became worn I replaced them. The quality of the bedroom furniture was really strong and sturdy and looked good. All the baby supplies were from mothercare. Ask before you purchase any large items.
Some children come with loads and some very little but I always have spare toothbrushes and toiletries the rest you can buy as you go along children like to be involved with this and it also helps if they can choose bed covers help them personalise there room.
I always take them shopping as soon as they arrive if they are walking then the first stop is for well fitted shoes and Appropriate clothing, the last one to arrive with us had only a carrier bag with a baby grow two vests and a top. They also get to pick a toy which belongs only to them.
I planned on letting them choose their own posters to go on the walls and getting a name sign for the door if they would like one to personalise the room. I now have some games and toys that have been given to me that suit the ages I will potentially be caring for. They will be able to use these until I find out more about them/what their interests are. I had planned on the shopping too for the first outing with them as there is bound to be something they will need, even if they come with a lot. Have 3 sets of bedding and a waterproof mattress cover and pillow cover so should be ok to start. Hadn't thought about a stock of things like toothbrushes etc so will work on that next. Thanks for continuing to post ideas? Any other suggestions as it's all been so helpful.
Thanks freethebiscuit. I'm sure it has its own rewards. I think the more I can do to prepare in advance the easier it will be when a child arrives. Stocking up the freezer today making freezer cookies, chicken nuggets and fish fingers, and batch cooking spag Bol and tomato sauce- loads of hidden veg!