8 Requirements for Planning a Daycare Building


This article is about 8 Requirements for Planning a Daycare Building.

1 – The premises must be of adequate size for the number of children use them 


–   There must be one separate classroom for each group of fifty (or fewer) children

–   Classrooms must have space for children to move about and to play actively.  Young children cannot sit  still for long periods of time.

–       There must be space for enough tables and chairs so  that  all children can  sit down at  the same  time,  and space for the necessary educational equipment.

–       Space for storage of equipment & supplies  is needed.

–       There must be  space either in the classroom or the halls for children to hang coats and hats.

–      The minimum space  requirement for each classroom for 50  (or fewer) children is  36 square meters,  and a larger space is desirable.


8 Requirements for Planning a Daycare Building

8 Requirements for Planning a Daycare Building

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2 – The premises must have sanitary facilities


–      There should be potable water available.

–      Safe and sanitary drainage system should exist.

–      One child-sized toilet bowl for each  10-15 children  should be provided.   (Some urinals may be provided for boys.)

–      One wash bowl  and faucet should be provided for each  10-15 children.

–      Toilets should be located so as  to open to outside light  and air and should also have fixtures for artificial light. Doors should close well  and windows should be screened.

–      Toilet floors should be constructed of impervious material.

–       The walls should be oil-painted or tiled to a height of one and a half meters.

–      Toilets  should be located away from the kitchens.

–      Toilet and washing facilities must be located close to the children’s classrooms.   In  large centers  it is preferable to have several small installations,  in different parts of the building,  rather than one large central  installation.

–       Separate toilet  and washing facilities must be provided for staff.


3 – The building must be safe


Pre-school children require surroundings which protect them from danger.

They have not yet developed judgment as to what is safe and what is dangerous, and it is therefore up to the adults responsible for their care to see to it that there are no possibilities for them to be hurt.

– It is preferable that all rooms used by children be on the ground level

– When necessary to use the first floor for children’s rooms, special precautions must be taken

– Low stairways or ramps with child-height banisters should be provided.

– There should be screening or bars of a type that children cannot climb on, or through, to protect first floor windows, galleries,terraces, open stairways.

– The building should be constructed with fire-proof materials when possible.

– There must be provision for fire control, such as fire extinguishers.

– Doors should open out from classrooms.

– There must be protective screening around any heating apparatus, and some protection around electric outlets.

– The building structure should be inspected periodically by a building engineer or architect who can judge its safety for active use by groups of children.

–       In addition to these special precautions necessary where young children are  concerned,  all local building regulations must be observed.



8 Requirements for Planning a Daycare Building

8 Requirements for Planning a Daycare Building



4 – The building must be comfortable


–       It  should be adequately heated,  ventilated,  and illuminated. Rooms used by children must have an even temperature.

–        free from drafts or overheating.

–      In cold weather,  heat  should be provided so  that classrooms are warm enough to enable children to  remove their outer wraps.

–      In hot weather,  there should be blinds on windows to shield the children from the glare and heat  of the sun.

–      All  classrooms must have fresh air   –  preferably from windows and doors opening directly on  the out-of-doors.

–       Classrooms should have natural  light as well as artificial illumination to  be used when necessary.

–      Walls of classrooms should be oil-painted,  at least to a height of one and a half meters,  and  light colors which are cheerful and attractive to children should be used.


5 – The premises must have outdoor play space



–      The playground should be immediately adjacent to the building.

–      It  should be adequate in size for the active play of the number of children in the center.       (In a large center the program can be arranged so that  different classes can use the playground in rotation.)

–     Should have a drainable surface so it can be used after snow or rain.

–   Should have areas exposed to  sun as well as areas protected from sun.

–       It  should be enclosed with a wall or fence high enough that children cannot climb over,  and should have at least one exit to the street.

–       There should be a soft  surface    (sand,  grass,  or stuffed mattresses) under all  climbing equipment.


6 – The building should have adequate kitchen facilities


It is  desirable to locate the kitchens on the ground floor,accessible  to  outside entrances, with convenient storage facilities, and not adjacent to the toilets. All equate kitchen facilities requires

– A total area of about 30 square meters in order to prepare food for 150 to 200 children (more space in proportion for a larger number).

– Arrangements for ventilation above cooking units.

– Windows for daylight and fixture for artificial light.

– Potable running water and suitable drainage.

– Oil-paint on walls up to at least one and a half meters.

– Screening for windows.

– Several individual kitchen areas. These are For receiving, checking, and storing foodstuffs and supplies.

– For preliminary preparation of foods, such as washing, peeling, and cutting vegetables, meat or fruit.

– For food preparation, such as cooking, cutting bread, making salads, and preparing desserts.

– Milk preparation.

– Washing of dishes, pots, and utensils.

– Disposal of garbage. – Storage areas for equipment used in cooking, serving and dining.

– Suitable equipment and material for preliminary preparation, food preparation and food serving.

– Food refrigeration equipment.



8 Requirements for Planning a Daycare Building

8 Requirements for Planning a Daycare Building

Image Source 



7 – The building needs other space too


For the adults – 

–  A director’s office

–   A room where teachers can rest

–   Sanitary facilities for adults

–   Space  for adults to hang coats.


For the medical programs

–   A clinic  room with running water,  if medical examinations are
done in  the center.

–   A place to keep first-aid supplies.

–   A place  to temporarily put a  child who becomes ill during the day.


For parents

–   A place where they can wait to see.


8 – The building should maintain a high level of sanitation

The building must always be in a sanitary condition.When young children are brought together in groups, there is a certain risk of infection,  and lack of building sanitation is a major contributing cause. 

Walls and furniture should be washable. Special attention must be given to  the kitchen,  the toilets, and the classrooms to see that they always clean.

Garbage  and refuse disposal must be done in a sanitary fashion. Ply and other insect control is essential.

To maintain a sanitary building requires an adequate number of maintenance personnel, with well defined jobs and the proper equipment with which to work.


Article source : JDC guide for day care centers a handbook to aid communities in developing day care center programs.


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