Child Care spaces should be secure environments that provide a variety of learning experiences and meet the physical needs of the children. See WBDG Child Development Centers for more information on the unique attributes of spaces designed for child development and care. Typical features of Child Care space types include the list of applicable design objectives elements as outlined below. For a complete list and definitions of the design objectives within the context of whole building design, click on the titles below.
- Occupancy: Occupancy Group Classification is Educational Occupancy E as sub-occupancy with Business B2 Building Occupancy, with sprinklered construction. See also WBDG Secure / Safe—Fire Protection.
- Consider providing on-site food service areas directly serving the daycare population and on-site laundry services and water services including hot water and water conditioners.
- Additional elevators and exit stairways may be required for Child Care spaces located on the 2nd level of buildings.
The following building program is representative of Child Care center space types and is based on the ratios prescribed in the PBS-140 Child Care Center Design Guide. The center described below included provisions for 86 children.
Tenant Occupiable Areas
|Qty.||SF Each||Space Req'd.||Sum Actual SF||Tenant Usable Factor||Tenant USF|
|Staff and Parent Areas||1,140|
|Multiple Purpose Space||1||800||800|
|Play Yard Storage||1||200||200|
|Infant Classroom (8)||1||900||900|
|Younger Toddler Classroom (12)||2||1,060||2,120|
|Younger Toddler Restroom||2||40||80|
|Older Toddler Classroom (14)||1||1,060||1,060|
|Older Toddler Restroom||1||40||40|
|Preschool Classroom (20)||1||1,440||1,440|
|After School Classroom (20)||1||1,440||1,440|
|After School Restroom||1||60||60|
|Parent Drop Off/Parking||10||300||3,000|
|Play Yard Porches||4||400||1,600|
|Subtotal Tenant Usable Areas||11,612|
The following diagram is representative of typical tenant plans.
Example Construction Criteria
Relevant Codes and Standards
The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of child care centers. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible.
Organizations and Associations
- Building Child Care in California—This project exists to provide a centralized clearinghouse of information and services designed to improve child care providers' access to financial resources for facilities development projects in California.
- National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education—The NRC's primary mission is to promote health and safety in out-of-home child care settings throughout the nation.
- Architectural Graphic Standards, 12th Edition by American Institute of Architects, Dennis J. Hall. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016.
- Children, Youth, Environments, CYE is a refereed journal and multidisciplinary, international network dedicated to improving the lives of young people. The journal targets researchers, policy makers, and professionals and is guided by a distinguished Editorial Advisory Board.