Need help designing a daycare floor plan? Achieving the best space design for the safety and development of the children in your daycare is very important. Extension Online can help with free, online courses that show you how to effectively layout your daycare floor plan in a way that will help you keep your children safe and allow them to learn and grow in a way that is socially and developmentally appropriate for them.
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A properly set up and maintained physical environment can make all the difference in the effective workings of your day care. An effective daycare floor plan is one that allows you to always have sight of all children in your care – with no blind spots; yet is not too open, which encourages running and rough play. Sleeping, eating, and diapering and toilet care are a large part of any daycare provider's day. A proper area for diapering and toileting with diapers, wipes, and a trash can is necessary. Individual cribs and mats will be needed for each child to avoid contamination. Ensure that you have furniture that promotes self-help skills, including low sinks or sinks with steps stools and child-sized toilets.
You will also need appropriate furniture for snacks and mealtime, including high chairs for infants and toddler-sized tables and chairs. Your daycare needs to have spaces to move, crawl, and roll, but also have spaces for comfort, rest and relaxation separated from the areas of more active play. We all want our children to learn, and creating separate learning areas that are developmentally appropriate for the children in your care is a great way to accomplish this.
You will want to have a language and communication-rich environment, as well, with a reading area and appropriate books. Wall decorations can also enhance the child's experience. You will also want to incorporate a routine of verbal interactions and physical play with your children.
Of course, outdoor experiences and physical activity are very important. So, don't forget about the layout and design of your outdoor space. Safety will be essential here as well. You may want to consider strollers and bucket swings with straps for your infants, while toddlers can learn from a variety of experiences with texture (e.g., sand, rocks, grass, wood), colors, and activities (e.g., balls, tunnels, sand boxes, riding toys, etc.) Appropriate supervision is necessary to avoid choking hazards and injury in active outdoor play.
Caregivers want to provide children with safe, stimulating, and enjoyable learning experiences. Appropriate physical environments that include safe spaces, a variety of learning materials and sensory items, and spaces for quiet and loud, active play – both indoors and outdoors – is crucial for child development and important for the safety, efficiency, and success of your daycare.