CHAPTER 7: INTERIOR SPACE DESIGN
7.6.9 Eating/Table Area:
shelving, approximately 405 mm deep by 760 mm high, functions well for
Meal and snack times in the classroom are opportunities for children and
this purpose. Small items requiring further organization can be placed on
their teachers to enjoy social interaction in small groups, much as the family
this shelving in containers such as plastic tubs, or wire or wicker baskets.
might do in the home. A parent may join the child at the table to share
Shelving can be built-in millwork or freestanding movable units. Where
appropriate, shelving open on both sides should be considered as it creates
more open feeling in the classroom. If shelving backing is used it should
Usually, this area is part of the open, unrestricted portion of the classroom
be attractive and useful. For instance, it may be mirrored with nonbreakable
and is used for other activities during the day.
reflective material. The movable units lend greater flexibility, though they
must be equipped with locking casters. A combination of built-in and
Infants are held during bottle feeding while older infants who are able to sit
freestanding units will offer the best design solution. It must be noted that
may be placed in a low highchair while being fed soft foods. Traditional
some state and local codes may require these units to be fixed to the floor.
highchairs are not recommended due to risk of falling and tipping and the
7.6.11 Classroom and Teacher Storage:
reduced opportunity for social interaction. Provide low stools for the teacher
It is essential for classroom design to include adequate storage for the
to sit on while feeding older infants. Provide a gliding chair or other
many items required for a quality program. Nothing conveys a more
comfortable chair for the teacher to sit in while bottle feeding. Locate the
cluttered, chaotic, and shoddy impression than inadequate storage. This
infant eating space near the food preparation, away from the open,
is often overlooked. Storage for cots, strolling equipment, curriculum
unrestricted area where other infants may be moving about. Young toddlers
materials, and supplies is necessary. Use of doors on storage areas should
may be seated at the same round table.
be minimized for several reasons, including finger entrapment and the
greater possibility of abuse when there is inadequate supervision. When
Locate eating/table areas for older children in a central location, away from
doors are deemed necessary, they must have full vision panels and their
children's toilets and hand washing sinks, in a pleasant area with natural
hardware should always allow a child trapped there to exit when the door is
light and lots of displayed items of interest, such as plants. For toddlers
locked from the outside. Alcoves (without doors) can function well for storing
and older children, the eating/table area is part of the general activity space.
the kinds of cots which have been designed to be stackable and are
attractive enough to leave exposed.
Children older than infant age need movable chairs and tables of appropriate
scale for their eating area. Storable tables might be used so that the room
Provide some lockable storage within the classroom, including some
can be changed to accommodate other activities. Each toddler, pre-school,
cabinets elevated above children's reach or with a door to limit their access.
and school-age classroom must provide a separate, room-temperature
There is to be one lockable cabinet in each run of cabinets. This storage
drinking fountain, preferably in the eating area (check local licensing). Mount
area is required for storing classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
the drinking fountain at 560 mm above the floor in a central location on a
Hooks and pegboards can provide easy storage of aprons and small
plumbing wall for toddlers. For pre-schoolers, and in general areas, mount
equipment. Other areas of storage might include overhead storage in a
at 810 mm.
food preparation area. Provide a lockable cabinet, above child's reach, for
storage of items such as medications, cleaners, and other restricted items.
Recommended finishes for the eating/table areas include sheet vinyl flooring
Refrigerated medications will be stored in the refrigerator at the kitchen or
and a vinyl wall covering or high gloss, washable painted wall.
food preparation area in a locked container.
7.6.10 Child-Accessible Display:
7.6.12 Teacher Storage:
Shelving placed low to the floor allows children to easily see available
Some lockable storage must be provided in the classroom for teachers to
curriculum materials and to make selections. These materials may be
store outdoor clothing and other personal belongings. This storage may
items such as books, art supplies and equipment, manipulative toys, large
be provided in the storage area or in cabinets intended for the teacher's
or small blocks, pull or push toys, and socio-dramatic materials. Open
PBS-140 - July 2003