CHAPTER 3: ADULTS AND CHILDREN IN THE CENTER
and linens. Facilities need to be provided for this. The needs of the service
Pre-school children (36 months and older, not in kindergarten)
personnel can be expedited by:
School-age (6 years and older; enrolled in after-school or summer
Adequate space in janitor's well-located closet for cleaning materials.
programs at the center)
Ease of supply delivery.
Efficiently designed facilities for waste disposal.
Centers typically do not care for children over 5 years of age unless the
Adequate locked storage for toxic materials.
center runs a summer program, a kindergarten, or a before and after school
Easily implemented recycling programs.
Adequate counter space and efficient kitchen arrangement.
Adequate refrigerator space.
For the infant, the environment must provide many opportunities for activities
Generous, deep, three-compartment sink and gooseneck faucets with
throughout the day. The infant classroom needs to be warm and nurturing
spray attachment and disposal in kitchens.
in character. Typically, infant groups will be comprised of six to eight infants
Finish materials and building design features that are easy to clean with
cared for by two teachers. Infants are brought to their classroom by their
minimal use of unhealthful cleaning materials (see LEED draft renovation
parents. Clothing and supplies, usually carried in a diaper bag, are placed
in each infant's cubby storage space. Diapers and wipes are stored in
Protection from the potential health and indoor air quality impacts of clean-
separate compartments at the diapering area within easy reach of the
ing and maintenance activities by the use of appropriate design features
changing table. Strollers or tote bags that are left at the center during the
(see section 7.6.18).
day should be stored on pegs or rods in storage areas. Formula is kept
Pre-school and younger children spend an average of nine hours per day
As infants mature, their sleep needs decrease from the frequent naps of
at the center. For most of their care, children remain at the facility. There
young infancy to a few naps at regular times during the day. Because each
are occasions when the children leave the center on field trips with teachers
infant may have a unique schedule, a variety of activities can take place in
and center volunteers. The center must promote a child's optimal
the infant room at any given time, ranging from playing, diaper changing,
development by providing safe, interesting, health-promoting, and
and eating to sleeping, cuddling, and nursing. This variety of activities
appropriate environments which allow the children to engage in
requires that quiet areas be separate from more active areas.
developmentally appropriate activities.
Most infants have not begun toilet training, so frequent diaper changes are
Children's needs, in many respects, correspond to their age. Although
needed. When teachers are with an infant at the diaper changing table,
each child develops according to his or her unique schedule, children can
they also need to supervise other infants and maintain visibility to other
be characterized as belonging to general age categories of development,
infants. Visible connection between teacher and infant should be maintained
with each age group having a different set of needs. To meet these needs,
to the maximum extent feasible. The design and location of changing
the space for each age group will be inherently different.
tables should reflect this requirement. Teachers' view into the activity area
should be unobstructed while at the diaper changing area. When infants
The following four broad age groupings will be referred to throughout the
are in the activity area, they must be able to see teachers as well.
Guide. In any individual center, actual age ranges between groups may
overlap. In some centers, children may be grouped in mixed-age
During the first year, the infant's diet progresses from nursing and bottle
classrooms. Age ranges are as follows:
feeding to soft foods and finger foods. For young infants, eating is a nurturing
Infants (birth to 12 months)
time, with the infant either nursed by the mother or held by a teacher or
Toddlers (12 to 36 months), including subgroups of:
parent during bottle feedings. Teachers may start to feed infants soft foods
Younger toddlers (12 to 24 months)
at around 5-6 months. At around 9 months, infants, seated in low high
chairs, begin to feed themselves and drink from cups. This process can be
Older toddlers (24 to 36 months)
PBS-140 - July 2003