CHAPTER 5: PLANNING FOR SPACE AND LOCATION
The location must allow for all exits and entrances to be secured. Nor-
other groups. However, at least one interior viewing panel, at children's
mally, movement should be restricted through one main entrance and
height, is required both adjacent to corridors and between classrooms where
perhaps an additional service entry. Where possible, maximum visibil-
possible. The classrooms themselves should be as open as possible,
ity of entry points from inside the center should be provided.
allowing supervision and the penetration of natural light. The classroom
The location must be a defensible space with a secure perimeter and
contains the required spaces for all recommended activities, as well as
spaces for personal care. It should be flexible enough to support variable
The security assessment may recommend the center entrance be sepa-
demographics of the clientele as well as to allow program adjustments to
rate from the main building entrance in order to reduce congestion and
serve fluctuating demand for child care services. Adequate space is also
to address security considerations.
necessary for storing children's and teacher's personal items, curriculum
The security assessment may recommend that a guard station should
materials, supplies, and equipment. Space should conform to NAEYC
be located near the center so that surveillance of comings and goings to
accreditation and local licensing requirements.
the center are easily seen by posted guards. Alternatively, a form of
5.10.2 Common Spaces:
surveillance will be provided.
Spaces shared by more than one group are included in this category. The
designer needs to be cognizant that the child may spend very few hours of
5.8 Approach and Access
the day in his or her home. The center becomes the "home away from
home" for the child . The design should convey this impression. A common
If possible, the center location should be within walking distance of public
area that "feels" like the core of the center is an excellent organizing concept
transportation. Ensure that bicyclists and persons using mass transit also
and one which will dispel an institutional feeling, especially if it is treated in
have safe approaches to the building and do not endanger child or adult
a "home-like" way. This may be simply an area of the circulation that
provides a stopping place that allows social interaction. However, it should
not be the multi-purpose room. Circulation through the multi-purpose room
The center location should be within walking distance of the work place
has proved to be an undesirable design feature.
and Federal transportation.
5.9 Historic Preservation
Other common areas may consist of one or more of the following: multiple-
purpose area, large motor activity area, meeting/gathering area, and a
separate sick bay (if the latter is required to meet local licensing
The decision to locate a center in a National Historic Building must take
into consideration the historic preservation requirements outlined in the
latest edition of GSA's Facility Standards for the Public Buildings Service.
5.10.3 Play Yards:
If located in a historic building, the GSA Region's office responsible for
Play yards are outdoor extensions of the classrooms, providing many of
historic preservation must be contacted and made a part of the process at
the same opportunities as indoor spaces. Play yards should provide for a
an early stage of planning the center. Play yard location is also a vital
variety of developmentally appropriate activities and include storage for
consideration in assessing the effect of the center location on historic
curriculum equipment as well as wheeled toys, trikes and wagons. Spending
structures or neighborhoods.
time on the playground is undoubtedly the preferred activity of children.
5.10 Children's Spaces
Therefore, to the greatest extent possible, the designer should arrange
ease of access to the play yard from the classroom and maximum adult
A classroom is the architecturally defined area that contains each group of
children and their teacher(s). Classrooms may be separated by full partitions
or partial barriers that allow controlled visual or acoustical connections to
PBS-140 - July 2003