If you're planning to open a day care center in an old property that you're renovating, the playground has to be completely redone. Not only have safety standards changed tremendously, but the equipment itself can become unsafe after a while, especially if it's been sitting out, exposed to the elements, and not being maintained. Chances are the playground will need a total redo.
Check the Ground
The surface under the equipment, and on the playground in general, will likely be very outdated, if it's still there at all. Cover concrete and rocky ground with rubber mats that soften falls, which will be inevitable if you're going to have lots of kids running around. Remove edging that could injure children, and replace plants that are near the play area with ones that won't stick children with thorns.
Replace Metal Equipment
Remove all equipment that has old, exposed metal and replace it with new, softer equipment that uses plastic and rubber. Granted, some components of the new equipment may still contain metal -- like bolts and supports -- but the parts that children touch should be made from plastic, wood, and coated metal that has been rounded and smoothed. Buy equipment new from a dealer, such as Playgrounds USA, and not used from a random seller; new equipment not only has a warranty, but it also meets up-to-date safety codes.
Group by Age
When you add new equipment, try to place items together according to the ages that should use the equipment. That way you don't have small children trying to compete with big kids on equipment that's not appropriate for younger ages. If that older-age equipment is right by one of the pieces of equipment meant for younger kids, you'll have a harder time keeping smaller children away from that older-age equipment. It's easier to keep kids in particular sections of the playground instead of letting them wander onto equipment that could be hazardous to them.
You need to have proper overhead clearance to ensure no one's head is at risk of being hit or caught. However, you do need something overhead to provide shade. The playground equipment manufacturer may have small shaded pavilions that you can install to give kids a cool place to cool down.
Playground equipment has come a long way from the old metal slides and jarring, hard surfaces. Once you have your new equipment installed, you'll notice how safe the new designs are.