CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE GUIDE
The Guide provides a discussion of issues that affect design. It sets the
benchmark. If stakeholders believe that certain features cannot be met at a
specific center location, these concerns should be addressed to the Office
of Child Care through the Regional Child Care Coordinator (RCCC).
The Guide is intended to be a source of basic architectural information for all
individuals involved in the design of Federal child care centers. Individuals
This chapter describes the purpose of the Guide, its organiza-
seeking detailed information on child care practices, center operations, or
tion, the intended audience, how the information should be
general Federal building standards should refer to other documents. Spe-
applied, and other documents that must be referenced. It
cific users of the Guide include:
also contains a glossary of terms used throughout the Guide.
Architects and Engineers (A/E's) who will provide design services under
the direction of the GSA. In addition, these individuals must use the Guide
for pre-design planning or to assess the extent of improvements required
in an existing center in order to achieve the standard established herein.
The GSA Federal Child Care Center Design Guide (hereinafter referred to
GSA Public Buildings Service in preparation of Prospectus Development
as the Guide) contains criteria for planning and designing child care cen-
Studies (PDS), planning and program preparation. The Guide outlines the
ters in GSA-owned or controlled spaces. It is intended for use in develop-
special GSA child care center requirements which exceed base building
ing future centers and expanding or renovating existing ones. Further-
alterations and services for office space.
more, it aims not only to specify design criteria but also to explain the
rationale for the criteria in order to enhance professional judgment. The
GSA Regional Child Care Coordinators to interpret the level and type of
criteria contained in the Guide establish the baseline levels of features and
features and finishes to be provided in centers.
finishes to be provided in all GSA centers. The Guide also identifies de-
sired or allowable design features.
GSA Property Managers to maintain all centers and improve existing ones
The objective of the Guide is to promote centers that are child-oriented,
to meet the benchmarks set in the Guide. In addition, the GSA managers
developmentally appropriate, beautiful, environmentally sensitive, health
will use it for guidance in repair and replacement of existing conditions and
promoting and functional. The designer needs to be aware that a child
may be in a center up to 12,500 hours if he or she starts as an infant and
continues until entering school.1 Because children spend such long hours
GSA Real Estate Specialists when developing Requests for Proposals
at the center, the design of their spaces is especially critical.
(RFP) and Solicitation for Offers (SFO) for the procurement of child care
The design effort must allow for, and be sensitive to, the differences in
space attributes for children and those for adults as well as the differences
Federal Agencies planning to contract with private sector architectural
in space usage by the children in different age groups. Information about
firms to establish new centers or renovate existing ones.
the characteristics and activities of the children is included to provide
rationale for aspects of design. The requirements and recommendations
set forth in the Guide are aimed at establishing optimal design; though,
specific maximum or minimum requirements are stated when appropriate.
PBS-140 - July 2003