CHAPTER 4: NAEYC AND OTHER STANDARDS
4.1.4 Staff Qualifications and Development:
4.1.7 Physical Environment:
GOAL: The program is staffed by adults who understand child development
GOAL: The indoor and outdoor physical environment fosters optimal growth
and who recognize and provide for children's needs.
and development through opportunities for exploration and learning.
The quality of a center's design can play an important role in attracting and
The physical environment supports the operational quality of a center and
retaining skilled staff who spend so much of their time in classrooms. A
profoundly affects the behavior and development of children, as well as
properly designed center can improve staff attitude, reduce stress, and
the efficient functioning and sense of well being in adult caregivers. A
minimize the effort of the teachers. It can also integrate appropriate
pleasant functional environment is bound to influence the way caregivers
acoustical treatment and separation of active and quiet areas to reduce
react to the children. Likewise, when we consider that young children do
noise levels. The appropriate arrangement of the diapering areas to allow
not yet talk, or do not talk with adult sophistication, we can appreciate the
easy supervision makes the staff's job easier. Classroom features should
power of the cues the environment gives them. The ideal environment is
be considered to reduce the effort required for teachers to perform their
intriguing, rich and challenging to children, but is not over-stimulating or
tasks. Conference space must be adequate to allow for staff training
"flashy." It is rich in subtle visual and tactile experience, incorporating natural
sessions and regular staff meetings. A separate lounge with lockable
elements to the maximum extent possible. The center must have sufficient
storage space for staff personal belongings provides staff members with a
activity space, storage, and curriculum materials for the children. Outdoor
quiet break area. The lounge should include ample storage space for
and indoor space must be provided, with both quiet and active play areas.
resources and equipment. It is also highly desirable to have space to
The criteria set forth by the NAEYC in this category are embodied in the
prepare large materials and learning activities.
standards of the Guide.
4.1.8 Health and Safety:
GOAL: The program is efficiently and effectively administered with attention
GOAL: The health and safety of children and adults are protected and
to the needs and desires of children, parents, and staff.
The placement of the director's office space should facilitate frequent contact
The center's design must comply with the requirements of the latest edition
with the children, parents, and staff. Adequate space must be available for
of GSA's Facility Standards for the Public Buildings Service. The building
parent orientation sessions. Adequate work space and file storage must
security assessment, available through the regional FPS, is an essential
be provided to support a center director in the performance of administrative
guide to security requirements for specific locations. It must also comply
tasks. The arrangement of office space should be studied to ensure the
with Federal, state, and local codes and standards which may apply. The
adequate amount of storage space and efficient placement of equipment.
center design must facilitate both teacher supervision and ease of
maintenance. Because centers must be cleaned much more frequently
than office space, for example, design details should be considered with
GOAL: The program is sufficiently staffed to meet the needs and promote
this in mind. Properly designed, well located toilet and hand washing facilities
the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children.
are essential. Lockable storage must be provided for poisonous materials
in each classroom, kitchen and laundry area.
The size of classrooms must allow for the optimal supervision ratio between
staff and children. Table 4.1 establishes the permissible staff-child ratios
and group sizes for Federal child care centers. The center must also comply
GOAL: The nutritional needs of children and adults are met in a manner
with local licensing regulations.
that promotes physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.
The center design must provide ample space for the storage and preparation
of food. Space requirements will depend on whether food is catered, prepared
PBS-140 - July 2003