Childcare Center Design (01-03-20)

Van Liempd, Oudgenoeg-Paz, and Leseman studied links between childcare center design and kids’ (aged 6 months to 6 years old) behavior.  They reviewed published studies related to the design of indoor play areas at center-based early childhood care and education spaces, learning that “children of 2–3 years of age felt more free to move further away from the caregiver if the room was divided in open zones so that they could keep eye-contact with the caregiver. . . . such a spatial arrangement apparently . . .  enables them to autonomously explore the physical environment, which is regarded of central importance for cognitive and language development. . . . if a ‘special’ place was created where children could play alone, this place was rather frequently used for solitary play, and if such a place was not present, children turned to other (non-play) areas to be alone. . . .Daycare educators wanting to encourage young children's autonomous exploration of the playroom and to stimulate peer interactions should create playrooms that are divided in zones by way of low visual barriers . . . [with] a variety of designated, appropriately equipped play areas.”

Ine van Liempd, Ora Oudgenoeg-Paz, and Paul Leseman.  “Do Spatial Characteristics Influence Behavior and Development in Early Childhood Education and Care?” Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press,