CHAPTER 6: SITE DESIGN
eral Protective Service about its recommendations at the earliest stages of
American Academy of Public Health Association Academy of Pediat-
planning and design. These early security decisions are critical and the
rics-Caring for our Children/Out of Home Child Care Programs 2002;
RCCC must be included in these discussions.
The latest NAEYC Requirements.
The center should be separated from public areas by buffer zones and
barriers, such as fences or screens, particularly in high-security-risk areas.
Play yards should serve as extensions of classroom spaces, especially
The designer may create buffer zones with open turf areas, or with rows of
where temperate climate allows an easy flow of children and staff into the
trees, perimeter hedges, or berms, or any combination of these. Buffer
exterior space on a regular basis. Play yards should be integrated, to the
zones are useful because they offer the center staff the time to observe
greatest extent possible, into the overall design of the center. Within a
individuals as they approach the center through the buffer zone. In addition,
central play yard, separate play areas are recommended for each age group
they help shield children from unwanted wind, noise, and other disruptions.
The center location and local conditions may necessitate the use of fences
and screens to block views from outside the center. These must be
Some states require a separate fenced play yard for infants and toddlers.
sensitively designed to enhance the way the center relates to its context.
Even without such complete separation, individual play areas within the
overall play yard can be developed to serve each of the following age
6.3 Concepts for Play Yard
classifications if provided by the center:
The activity spaces provided for children in play yards are largely determined
by the initial landscape architectural features incorporated into the play
yard. Individual play areas within the overall play yard should offer a range
Within the play areas, spaces should be developed to support and pro-
of developmentally appropriate activities for social, emotional, intellectual,
mote each of the following activity types:
and physical development. All play areas must be designed according to
the guidelines set forth in the most recent publication of the Handbook for
Public Playground Safety by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Large Motor Play (Climbing / Wheeled Toys)
Commission. In addition play areas must comply with:
The latest ASTM F1487-01-F15.29 Standard Consumer Safety Perfor-
In addition, equipment storage which is directly accessible from the play
mance Specifications for Playground Equipment for Public Use
yard must be provided. Walk-off mats at every entry point from the play
The latest ASTM F1292-99 Standard Specification for Impact Attenua-
yard to the building must be provided.
tion of Surface Systems under and around playground equipment
The latest ASTM F1951-99 Standard Specification for the determination
6.4 General Design Concept
of accessibility of surface systems under and around playground equip-
Areas within the play yards should be zoned by activity type, age group,
The latest ASTM F2049-00 Guide for Fences/Barriers for Public, Com-
and landscape character. Play areas for infants and toddlers must be
mercial and Multi-Family Residential Use Outdoor Play Areas;
physically separated from play areas for older children while retaining some
36 CFR Part 1191 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
visual tie. Typically, fencing with no sharp edges is to be used to separate
Architectural and Barrier Compliance - latest of all applicable Sections;
the play areas. It should terminate 1000 mm above the ground and below
Uniform Federal Accessibility Guidelines (UFAS) for General Services
any portion of it should be visually compatible with the perimeter fence or
wall. The tops of fencing and spacing of pickets must present no hazard
to children or adults. Picket spacing can be no more then 3.5 inches apart.
PBS-140 - July 2003