If you’re considering designing and building a new facility for your child care center, there are good resources available to send you down a path to amazing results.
By reviewing the tips provided by the National Institute of Building Sciences in their Whole Building Design Guide, you’ll see that the tips are surely backed up by much research and discussion with existing centers and their owners. Obviously, they’ve discovered what inspires and supports effective learning and positive development.
Many factors impact what your center’s requirements: number of students attending, age of these students, hours of use and the center’s setting. Regardless of whether your center is large or small, stand alone or part of a larger structure, your center should include these fundamental spaces:
- Child-friendly classrooms
- Meeting or community space for children and adults
- Child-friendly and adult restrooms
- Outdoor and indoor play areas
- Office space for staff
- Meeting space for adults
- Food service space
- Storage space
There are several characteristics that your new center should have in order to give children the best chance to be comfortable, safe and ready to learn.
It should be homelike and child-sized, encourage autonomy and invite self-expression. It should be structured, yet flexible, have indoor and outdoor space for physical activity and for experiencing nature. And it should be safe, secure and healthy. This is a lot to ask and takes lots of thought and careful planning.
But without all of this, children cannot:
- Relax and be themselves.
- Have a place that they feel is “theirs” – that they can “get familiar with.”
- Be encouraged to learn in different ways that help them to develop in critical areas.
- Be inspired and excited as well as calm and restful.
Children simply do not have the opportunity to embrace all of the necessities of development if they are in an environment that doesn’t support their physical and emotional needs, their health and their well-being.
We’ve touched on just a tiny portion of what should be present for children to experience successful development. There is great reading for more details about the fundamental components to bring together to create the perfect center for child development. Review them here.