Topic 1 of 1: Designing Spaces for Children, Staff, and Families
When planning a facility, the Early Childhood Administrator must carefully analyze the physical environment based on the needs of children, staff, and families. Along with the basic requirements for creating “a safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments” (NAEYC, 2007, p. 63), administrators must consider how the space feels and looks. The way spaces are designed and used “conditions how we feel, think, and behave; and it dramatically affects the quality of our lives” (Greenman, 2007, p. 1).
Envision the type of program you hope to administrate and consider how you will design the facility to meet the needs of children, staff, and families. After reading Chapters 7 and 12 from the course textbook, please respond to all three parts of the discussion described below based on your envisioned program:
Part 1: Part 1 of the Discussion focuses on planning physical spaces for the children. First, provide a brief description of the type of program you hope to administrate. Review the requirements for spaces for children described in this week’s readings, and describe what areas you would include and how those areas will be used and maintained. Discuss the challenges an existing facility would pose.
Part 2: For Part 2 of the Discussion, you will focus on planning spaces for the staff. Review the requirements for staff areas described in this week’s readings. Suppose your facility has limited space. You have a large open 16×20 space available. How would you design this space to meet the needs of staff? Consider how you would make it functional, welcoming, and multi-purposed. What challenges might you face with renovating the space?
Part 3: For Part 3 of the Discussion, you will focus on designing spaces for families. Describe your vision for family involvement in your program. What kind of space is needed? How will you create a sense of welcome and provide space for community building?
Greenman, J. (2007). Caring spaces, learning spaces: Children’s environments that work. Redmond, WA: Exchange Press.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2007). NAEYC early childhood program standards and accreditation criteria. Washington, DC: Author.