CHAPTER 3: ADULTS AND CHILDREN IN THE CENTER
Ease of navigating corridors with strollers and buggies (angled corners
are an aid).
A clearly visible bulletin board location.
Mail boxes dedicated to the needs of parents.
Central, relaxed-feeling place for parents to meet and chat with other
CHILDREN IN THE
parents and staff, and to deposit tuition checks, etc.
Ease of assisting children with outer garments in spaces designed to
accommodate several children and adults as they do the same.
Private space for parent/teacher to conference.
Adequate refrigerator space to store formula and food.
Adult family members spend time in the center in several different ways,
This chapter identifies users of the center, the basic needs and activities of
including arriving with the children, picking them up to take them home, as
each age group, and how these needs and activities impact the center de-
well as spending time with them while at the center. For instance, parents
may eat lunch at the center with the children, meet with teachers and staff,
socialize with other parents, and participate in center activities, organizations,
The design of the child care center should accommodate the needs of
and programs. The center may even function as a focus for human contact
children, parents, teachers, administrators, and service personnel in a
and stress reduction that is not possible within the worker's own work
comfortable and nurturing environment. It must allow adults to care for children
in settings designed primarily for use by children. The following summarizes
the needs of each group.
For instance, parents accompany their child to the classroom. When they
arrive there, the parents usually help children remove and store their outdoor
clothing. They may bring infants in strollers. They also leave messages
for teachers and receive messages from them, usually at one location
Congress granted authority for use of Federal space for child care to
designed specifically for that purpose. They may linger to spend time with
increase worker productivity that results from on-site child care. Like many
the child or to talk to the teacher before departing. The entry, reception,
private employers, the Government saw that providing parents with the
and classroom cubby areas provide a social setting for the parents, without
opportunity for quality child care could enhance the performance of the
disrupting the flow of activity in the classrooms.
organization -- especially because the majority of worker absences result
from the breakdown in child care arrangements.
Parents may visit their children during the day. Nursing mothers might visit
the center to feed their infants and, therefore, a private, intimate-feeling,
So, the designer should keep the needs and convenience of these busy
area should be provided for them to do so.
adults in mind when planning and designing the center. At the same time,
the design should provide a setting that supports a community of center
Parents also come to the center for conferences with teachers. Information
users. This will serve the needs of the children and the agency. It will
may be posted for the parents on a bulletin board, typically located along
enhance a natural, home-like environment for children and will increase
the entrance path. The center will have slotted fee boxes for tuition checks
the employee's allegiance to the workplace as a quality, family-friendly
environment. The design can respond to the needs of parents by
and the center. These must be considered in the design. Finally, parents
are encouraged to participate in volunteer activities at the center such as
Temporary parking arrangements for drop-off and pickup.
serving on committees or boards, participating in fund-raising activities,
assisting with field trips, and various types of classroom assistance.
PBS-140 - July 2003