CHAPTER 7: INTERIOR SPACE DESIGN
have an art sink, raised areas, and loft areas (though these level changes
need not be built in), and must have open, architecturally unrestricted areas.
7.1.4 Common Areas:
The center may have additional space, typically in a centrally located area
for use by children, teachers, and parents. This is desirable because one
beneficial "by-product" of a child care center can be a stronger sense of
community among those who use the center.
This chapter provides concepts and criteria for the design of
The center may also include a multiple-purpose space. The multiple-
the interior spaces within a child care center. Major types of
purpose space may be used as a meeting or gathering area and as a
spaces include entry and circulation, staff, classroom, com-
large-motor-activity area. If adequate outdoor play yard space is not
mon, and service areas.
available, or if the climate in which the center is located is not conducive to
outdoor play during significant portions of the year, an indoor large-motor-
7.1 General Information
activity area must be provided. If lofts are to be located in this room,
applicable protective surfacing must be provided for the highest unprotected
deck of the loft or climber, whether portable or permanent (Ref: ASTM-
Spaces within the center can be separated into three major types, including
a) the classroom and common use areas used by children; b) the staff
areas used by teachers and administrators; and c) the service areas used
An isolation sick bay, where a child will wait until taken home by a parent, is
by people servicing the center. The entry to the center and main circulation
best associated with the center director's office. Where local licensing
pathways unify these areas. Following are descriptions for each space
does not require it to be separate, it should not be completely separate as
type. See the Finish Schedule for finish recommendations.
this may frighten the child. See Chapter 10 for ventilation requirements.
7.1.1 Entry and Circulation:
7.1.5 Service Areas:
The entry includes the transition space, vestibule, and reception area where
The center requires space for services including food, laundry, janitorial,
parents, teachers, children, and visitors enter the facility. The main
and service dock/entrance.
circulation provides pathways between discreet functional spaces.
7.1.6 Entrance and Circulation:
7.1.2 Staff Areas:
These spaces should allow for safe and convenient arrival and departure.
Staff areas include the director's office, assistant or secretary work space,
The character of the main entry is vital to establishing a friendly impression
staff lounge and work area, staff toilet, parent/teacher conference area,
for the children and creating a non-threatening transition from the parent's
and central resource storage.
care to that of the center. Certain features will help promote this desired
impression: 1) The entrance door must be glazed with safety glass, affording
full visibility for children and adults, 2) Children should be able to see other
Classrooms for infants, toddlers, pre-school children, school-age children,
children in classrooms, as well as interesting displays from the entry to
and mixed-age groups of children are specific to the group using the space.
help allay anxiety; and 3) If a reception desk is desired for center operations
These classrooms must have a variety of spaces to support the children's
(typically in centers over a population of 74), the reception desk should
care and developmentally appropriate activities. Architecturally defined
allow children to easily see the adult behind it. It should be a simple desk,
spaces within classrooms include the entrance, cubby storage, classroom
not a high counter such as might be seen in a professional office, for
and teacher storage, diapering station and storage, toileting and hand
example. (The need for a reception desk should be questioned during
washing, sleeping, nursing, and food preparation. The classroom should
PBS-140 - July 2003