CHAPTER 2: MISSION, GOALS, ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY
Facilitating family involvement in the center, particularly with the child's
Responding to local conditions, climate, and regional preferences in the
design, while also considering the goals of the parents, sponsoring
agency(ies), and governing boards of directors.
Creating an environment that attests to GSA's high level of commitment
in providing appropriate, well thought-out and beautiful environments
for the children of Federal workers. The appearance and functional ar-
rangement of the center should enhance the Federal asset, especially
as it is often a highly visible feature.
Designing "through the eyes of a child," with a resulting sensitivity to
children's scale, including how they will use the space, what they will
This chapter describes the administration and policies of the
see, and what kind of experience they will have.
GSA with respect to child care centers. It discusses the agency
Providing an intriguing environment, yet one devoid of overpowering
groups and processes involved in the planning and design of
colors, features and literal "themes." The designer should avoid such
the center; the operation of the center; the real estate man-
literalness because it inhibits the child's ability to imagine a series of
agement policies affecting center development; standards with
alternate meanings to objects and features.
which design and operations must comply; and the GSA goals
Sizing the classroom to accommodate the recommended group size
and objectives for center design and operation.
and staff to child supervision ratios. The design should efficiently use
space and incorporate ease of the supervisor together with features
such as strategically situated storage.
2.1 Program Goals and
Providing durable and cost effective materials and details. This is vital
when the designer considers the intensity of use that a center receives.
The designer must be particularly sensitive to the life cycle cost of mate-
The primary mission of the GSA Child Care program is to enhance the
When there is doubt about historic eligibility, consultation with the GSA
performance of the Federal employee by offering the opportunity for quality
regional historic preservation officer is strongly recommended. Adequate
care programs in GSA-owned or controlled space. Families that do not
time should be budgeted for this possibly involved process. Early recog-
work for the Federal Government may "backfill" slots not used by Federal
nition of the need for consultation can be crucial to project success. It
employees, in order to ensure the viability of the center, Federal
should be noted that the design and appearance of play yards has also
employees always have preference for available slots in the center. Should
been a difficult issue in the past when they are located near historic
the use of the facility by Federal families fall below 50%, a marketing plan
to boost Federal enrollment is to be implemented to raise it to the requisite
Energy Policy Act of 1992. The center design must minimize energy
50% or greater level required. The center design must meet the needs of
use. The design should use the life cycle costing methodology in esti-
children, teachers, administrators, and parents by:
mating and comparing investment decisions involving capital and oper-
Supporting the staff's care of children by creating environments that
ating costs. Mechanical systems, and introduction of features such as
allow them to focus their efforts on the care and nurture of children. The
overhangs to diminish long term energy use are examples of such ma-
design should provide features which encourage strong, positive rela-
tionships between staff and children. It is highly functional.
Establishing a distinctly child-oriented environment within a federally-
Creating an environment that comfortably accommodates the needs of
controlled facility. The impression created by the design should be the
well qualified staff in order to attract and retain them.
antithesis of a typical institutional setting. In other words, the center
should "feel like home" for the child.
PBS-140 - July 2003