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Designing the Family Child Care Environment

by Hazel A. Osborn
November/December 2001
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Article Link: http://www.ccie.com/article/designing-the-family-child-care-environment/5014246/

A special advantage of family child care is the homey atmosphere that many centers struggle to provide. But there's a special challenge, too - a dual personality. Although the environment should help the family and child care program enrich each other, sometimes their needs conflict.

One problem is traffic (when an area is used for an activity and a passageway). Another is access (when space is needed for two or more conflicting purposes). A third issue is storage. Good design can enhance the home and resolve these problems.

Non-Traditional Approaches to Design Offer New Options

To create a good environment, let go of preconceptions about how your home should look. And don't use a child care center as your model, or you risk losing that essential homey quality.

Instead, use your space creatively to meet everyone's needs. How do you know what they need? Ask them - and do some reading about arranging space (see references on page 49). You'll learn that the science of designing environments to accommodate people comfortably is called ergonomics. By keeping everyone's comfort in mind, you can more easily make decisions about ...

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