CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE GUIDE
Capacity - The total number of children that may be in care at any one time
Group - Two or more children who are cared for in the same self-contained
as specified by the license or letter of compliance.
classroom. In addition, these children have the same caregiver who is re-
sponsible to address their basic needs, well being and development.
Child Care - A comprehensive service which enhances the productivity of
working parents by attending to the development needs of their children.
GSA - The US General Services Administration is an agency of the US
The intention of high quality Federal child care is to allow employees to
Government, which, among other responsibilities, provides and manages
respond to their dual work and family responsibilities effectively to the ben-
building space occupied by Federal agencies.
efit of both families and the Government as employer.
Infant - A child from birth to12 months.
Child Care Center - A licensed child care center is a facility, other than a
private residence, approved and licensed by a state or other applicable
Mixed-Age Grouping - Mixed-age groups usually contain children rang-
local authority where a person, other than relative or guardian, is compen-
ing from 2 to 5 years old.
sated to provide care and supervision for 4 or more children under 7 years
of age for less than 24 hours a day. For the purposes of this Guide, a
Net Usable Floor Area (NUFA) - The amount of space the Government
"small" center will be one which is licensed for less than 60 children, while a
must lease to accommodate a space requirement. It is comprised of oc-
"large" one is licensed for more than 94 children.
cupiable area plus any additional space (such as corridor spaces) that
may be required to meet GSA requirements. (See Table1.1 on page 1-5)
Classrooms - The architecturally defined areas that contain each group of
children. Classrooms may be separated by full partitions or by partial bar-
NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) - A
riers that also allow controlled visual or acoustical connections to other
professional organization of early childhood specialists concerned with the
groups. The internal layout of a child care classroom is markedly different
care and developmental opportunities provided to children.
from that of a traditional primary school classroom.
NAECP - National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.
Dead End Corridor - A portion of the egress corridor which does not lead
to an exit and which would require an occupant to retrace his or her steps
Occupiable Floor Area (OFA) - Refers to the portion of the building occu-
to reach safe exit in an emergency. The maximum allowable length is
pied by a tenant. In the case of a child care center, it includes Actual Floor
regulated by applicable codes.
Area (AFA), circulation, including general circulation external to the class-
room as well as circulation internal to the classroom. In general, 20 per-
cent of the occupiable floor area should be considered as general circula-
Developmentally-Oriented Child Care - Child care which shows an un-
tion exterior to the classroom. This is fairly efficient circulation and may not
derstanding of the fundamental needs of the developing child, and aids
always be attainable, depending on the required center configuration. For
development by providing appropriately structured and free activities
example, when a center is located within existing space, it may not be able
throughout the day.
to have the optimally efficient circulation system.
(See Table1.1 on page 1-5)
Federal Families - The families of Federal employees.
Office of Child Care - The organization under the PBS Commissioner's
Gross Floor Area (GFA) - Refers to the total area of all floors of a building
Office responsible for the oversight of GSA's child care program. See Ap-
including main building lobbies, elevator shafts, egress stairwells and exte-
pendix C for telephone and mailing information.
rior partitions measured to the exterior side of the exterior wall. (See Table1.1
on page 1-5)
PBS-140 - July 2003