Examples: Appropriate furniture can include consideration of the furniture’s size, weight, durability, construction, and material. For example, chairs should be short enough that children can sit in them without having to climb, risking injury from the chair tipping.
The physical facilities, buildings, and grounds of child care centres include:
7 square metres of outdoor space per child, based on the number of children outside at one time;
outdoor areas enclosed by fences;
outdoor areas and equipment that support a variety of play activities such as climbing, group activities, building, and exploring the natural environment;
outdoor play areas that have shade;
3 square metres of unencumbered indoor space per child;
separate lavatories customized for adults and children;
drinking water available at all times and in all indoor and outdoor play spaces;
quiet and private indoor areas for parents and staff; and
a reception area where all visitors must sign-in and out.
Child care programs located in urban areas with limited outdoor space can accommodate children’s needs for both active and outdoor play by offering larger indoor spaces such as gyms for active play and by taking children to local parks. Additionally a child’s need for outdoor space will vary given his or her age and mobility level. For example, a group of infants would require less square metres of outdoor space than a group of 3-year-olds.
Unencumbered indoor space is defined as usable activity space for children. Closed storage areas, indoor space reserved for staff, reception areas, etc. should not be included when determining the amount of unencumbered indoor space available.
Examples: Quiet and private indoor areas can include areas for parents to breast or bottle feed their children, space for staff to take breaks away from the children, office space, and private areas for parent interviews.
Toys and other materials are chosen:
based on the ages, abilities, and interests of children;
to sustain interest and support emerging skills;
to reflect differences in gender, ethnicity, cultural background, age, and special needs without promoting stereotypical images; and
to stimulate development in curriculum content areas.
Examples: Storing crayons with other art supplies, blank paper, and coloring books rather than on the shelf next to books meant for reading can encourage children to use crayons for their intended purpose and discourage writing in books.
The least restrictive environment for infants is chosen at all times including:
using cribs only for sleeping;
limiting the use of infant swings, jumpers, and bouncers; and