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Last updated: 05-26-2010
The Child Care space types, described herein, are the facilities required for child care services permitted within federal facilities. Child Care space types include all space sub-types, including toilets, food preparation and service, office space, and meeting space, as well as security features required in compliance with codes and regulations.
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.
- Classroom equipment and durable goods including cots and cribs, chairs and other seating devices, furniture, play equipment, academic equipment, presentation equipment, audiovisual equipment, computer equipment, food service, and hygiene equipment.
- Outdoor spaces may include play yard space, including fencing, canopy, sidewalk, ground cover, drainage, shade devices, play structures, and vegetation planting. See WBDG Playground Design and Equipment for more information.
- Occupancy: Occupancy Group Classification is Educational Occupancy E as sub-occupancy with Business B2 Building Occupancy, with sprinklered construction. See also WBDG Secure / Safe—Plan for Fire Protection.
- Office space in Child Care space types should be equipped with infrastructure to support telephone and data communication systems including space, power, and conduit and telephone and data communication equipment.
- 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.
- Security equipment for Child Care space types may include access control, intrusion detection, and alarm systems. See also WBDG Secure / Safe—Provide Security for Building Occupants and Assets.
- 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
For GSA, the unit costs for firing range space types are based on the construction quality and design features in the following table (PDF 76 KB, 9 pgs). This information is based on GSA's benchmark interpretation and could be different for other owners.
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.
- Building Child Care in California, Child Care Center Facility Development Checklists (PDF 41 KB, 8 pgs)
- GSA, PBS-140 Child Care Center Design Guide
- GSA, P-100, Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service
- Interagency Security Committee (ISC) Security Design Criteria—Contains specifications pertaining to window protection in child care centers located in GSA controlled facilities. (For Official Use Only)
- International Building Code
- National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Early Childhood Facilities
- U.S. Department of State, Creating a Child Care Facility at Post
- Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Making a Place for Children: Child Care Facility Planning Manual for Washington State (PDF 6.0 MB)
Accessible, Secure / Safe—Plan for Fire Protection, Secure / Safe—Provide Security for Building Occupants and Assets, Sustainable—Protect and Conserve Water, Sustainable—Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
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, 11th Edition by Charles Ramsey and Harold Sleeper. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007.
- 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.